I Want to be a Fire Truck

When I was a toddler I wanted to be a Fire Truck. Then when I was a little older, I wanted to be a Lawyer. Then when I was a bit older again I wanted to be a Cabinet Maker, then a rock star. Now i’m an Engineer.

Image Credit: bit.ly/1gKy8pG

Image Credit: bit.ly/1gKy8pG 

My point is that it always seems we should have some idea of the direction in which we want to/are meant to head. But really, we probably don’t. Ultimately the majority of us just fall into place, somewhere that our education has dictated we belong, or somewhere that our connections have placed us. We then just keep turning up. We stop asking questions. Wait for the next pay packet. Then figure out how to spend it.

I can’t accept this.

I overheard a conversation on the train this morning, on my way to my desk. A lady was telling her friend about how her child seems to have figured out what he wants to do with his life. He wants to be a physio because he is good at maths and sport. It seems to me that as adults we expect that our children should be making decisions so young as to what they want to do with the entirety of their lives, and that it is expected of them to do that thing they decide on so young, their entire life. We scare them into thinking that if they make the wrong decisions they will be stuffed.

Perhaps life is more about the journey than the destination. Perhaps we should concentrate on enjoying the right now than exposing ourselves to stressful and unenjoyable situations in search of some ultimate goal or job that we don’t know yet if we will even enjoy. The workforce is so far removed from the education system that we are simply not giving our youth realistic expectations.

I am no wise old Wizard. I’m just a young man, confused and lost, starting off on my pursuit of happiness. I feel though that my wisdom is growing. Money no longer controls my thoughts. Though money is necessary in this life, and I do aim to make my own, passion, people and love are taking over my mind.

If I could, and I hope I soon do, speak to the (ultra) young people (i’m still very young) currently going through school and being asked to make decisions for their future. I would tell them to do whatever it is that makes them happy, and do it better than anyone else. Choose subjects based on what you enjoy and not on what prerequisites a particular course at university might have. If you are doing classes that you don’t enjoy in order to get into a University course. You’re probably not going to enjoy the University course. Success is personal. If you’re measuring your success based on someone elses opinion of you, you’re doing it wrong.

So, really, the moral of my story is enjoy now. Now will never come again, and if you spend now worrying about then, when then comes, no doubt you will be worrying about the next then. Don’t get lazy, keep pushing forward, keep doing what you love, keep drawing, building, creating, writing, reading, traveling etc. If you’re not doing what you love, then you have simply not thought hard enough about how to get yourself there. In Australia, there is no excuse, everything you could possibly need is at your fingertips. Go out and get it. Quit complaining.

Btw, as of right now, I have:

  • 7.17 days;
  • 172.10 hours;
  • 10,326 minutes; or
  • 619,560 seconds left until I am no longer an engineer.

In one and a half weeks from now my life will be entirely different.

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A Depressing Undertaking

In ideal circumstances, it is now 2 months from the day I go to Falls Creek (the snow). There is a good chance this will not happen, but in any case whatever my next step is, it will likely either be somewhere distant or on the way to somewhere distant. So I must be prepared. For those of you that are reading my posts, you will know that being prepared involves getting rid of all of my stuff. Besides perhaps a small selection of things that I will leave with loved ones.

For the remainder of today and all of tomorrow I will be photographing and listing every single book, CD and DVD I own, love and have left, for sale. Those that don’t sell I will be giving away for free. Be it to anyone that wants them or a charity store. Most likely the remaining books will go to the Melbourne Central book exchange shelf.

I wish to see more of this world, how that happens I don’t yet know and I will likely always remain uncertain about what comes next. The biggest step will be to get to the next place. The first place. And to start learning how to live with less.

The life I have been leading has now left me empty, depressed and wanting for more. But more it seems, is less. More is to enjoy the moment, to find myself in good company and in laughter. To leave behind the office and the seemingly endless professional repetition. I no longer have any desire to strive for a promotion, or a pay rise. These things are now meaningless to me. As of this June, I will no longer work jobs I do not enjoy. I will make sure that I am either somewhere I want to be, or working towards somewhere I want to be. I am the only person in control of my future. I want no handouts. I will make myself.

So for now. It is time to start taking photographs, weighing books and listing things for sale. Once I have started getting a decent amount of things listed I will place some links here.

Sigh*

What do I really want?

It seems there are so many good answers to the question ‘what do you really want?’

Some may say they want a nice house with no mortgage. Others, a fancy car. Many want a beautiful and loving wife with a family to suit. But what is the one thing, that most significant overarching achievement, that would truly bring satisfaction into your life? Is it a million dollars?

For me, it freedom of choice. Something we all already have to a lesser degree than my ultimate goal. I want to have the freedom to decide, after I wake up in the morning, what I do with my day, on any day, all year round, for the rest of my life without any stresses. I want to decide whether I go to work…. or not. I want to have the freedom to pack up, at any time, and go wherever I want. Tomorrow, if I want to go to New York City and walk the perimeter of Central Park, I would book a plane ticket and just go do it. Why not? YOLO right?

To many, this dream might seem so far out of reach that it’s simply not realistic. To me, this seems readily achievable, so much so that I’m already preparing for it to happen.

The first thing that needed to happen, was that I needed to focus. How am I going to make this happen? Really think about this. Consult google (seriously) and ask yourself, of all your ideas, which ones are reasonable? Which ones might just work? My current list of answers is getting so long I’m struggling to pick which I’m going to try first.

The second thing is to get to work. Get going, start learning, be the best, work and work hard. Don’t stop and don’t let a hurdle bring you down.

The third thing. Be prepared for success. Don’t be afraid and be prepared to win. Know what you will do when you do win. Because anyone that believes they can, that strives for it and that doesn’t give up, will win. Soon it will be my turn.

My focus has been clear for quite some time now. My ideas are vast and realistic, however I have found not achievable in my current lifestyle. I find it kind of ironic that I have made the decision to quit my well paid engineering career in order to pursue my goals. Counterintuitive right? Well, not really. My greatest asset is me. In my skills, my education and my time. The most important thing for me now, is to get out of the stressful professional job, start living a life with more laughter, more people and more time to make my dreams a reality. So screw the wage, I’m about to make my wildest dreams come true.

Starting Over

From being so far behind, to getting closer and closer to being back at the starting line. My motivation is returning. In torrents. I am the only person in control of my future and I am not satisfied with being average. I am not satisfied with just getting by.

What has been stopping me? Me. Only me. Nobody can tell me what I can or cannot do because they are not me. They do not know me and they do not know what I will achieve. I have failed now so many times. Lost and lost again, been laughed at and mocked. But at least I have tried. I have not settled with the option of slaving away for a boss until I am 65, to then settle for living in relative poverty. I have learnt far too much to allow that to happen. That will not be my life. I have fallen on my face, taken the hits, allowed myself to get trampled on and listened to the voices that have told me my dreams are ridiculous. They are not. My dreams are real. My dreams are possible and I will achieve them. I will not be average. I will fall and fail, as many times as necessary until I get to where I want to be.

I have been stagnant now for far too long. It’s time I got back in the game. No more piss farting around and pretending. My dream is real. My ideas will work. Just because they have not worked yet simply means that I have not worked hard enough at them yet. I want to be great and I am prepared to work for it. I will be great.

Fear. Fear stops us. Fear has halted me and I have found too many ways to find temporary release from it. I have feared and felt the anxiety of failure. I have written about it and allowed it to consume me. Fear of failure is akin to telling myself that I am not prepared to even try. Fear is pathetic. If success was so easy and failure was optional, than why are more people not successful. Why are so many people slaving away. I believe my dreams will happen for me and I believe I deserve it.

It’s 3:30 am. I’m not going back to sleep. I have work to do. Tomorrow, I get back in to the library. The next time I fall over, I will not stay down at all. I will get straight back up.

Failure

Sleep didn’t come tonight. Some days are good and some days are bad. Some days are a mixture of both. This world has too many ways of defining someone as a failure, of keeping someone down and hammering in to them that they are not now, and never will be, good enough.

I find myself looking into the mirror a lot lately, asking myself ‘how did I get here?’ and ‘who have I become?’, when the truth is I know. I am an incredibly driven man, the overachiever, the one that people come to with questions. But these traits are irrelevant and useless when we loose touch with our passions, when we push so far forward in the wrong direction. The longer I remained an engineer, the more removed from what my real passions are I became, the deeper I fell into a depression that I am still struggling with and am not yet free from. Truth is, no matter how hard I think about it, I’m no longer sure where my real passions lay. I know I am in love with mathematics and the sciences. But there used to be more than that. What was it? The hunt is on.

I have faced some serious hurdles now. Woe is me right? Wrong. We all face our hurdles, some more serious than others. It is how we deal with them that defines us. I have dealt with mine in various ways. Some extremely well, leaving me with a sense of great pride, and others extremely poorly, so poorly in fact that I am lucky (and grateful) to be alive. I’m behind the ball now, still struggling back to the starting line. Though this time I am truly educated, truly prepared for what life might throw at me. I think it is likely that my greatest struggles are now behind me. We can never know what the future will hold, I could be struck by lightning today and it could all be over. We are not the masters of our own lives and we are not in control, we just think we are, and so we try our best to drive and steer around the obstacles not knowing that the engines about to blow. It is the best we can do.

Through everything, I know I am not a failure. Even though people laugh when I tell them my story and my dreams and goals, I am not a failure. My life is not going to follow a conventional path, but it will be an extraordinary one. Though I secretly hope I do, it seems unlikely I will ever marry or have kids, but this does not make me a failure. My mistakes and my shortcomings do not make me a failure. Because I am getting better, I am on the mend, and though anxious and frightened, I am prepared for anything. I know what I need to change, I know what I need to stay away from, I know what I need to do in order to be successful in my own eyes, and it is closer than anyone believes.

Live was not meant to be easy. Life was not meant to be anything. It just is. So we live, learn, fall down, fail, trip up, fall down again, get trampled on, laughed at, mocked, but then we get back up. I will keep getting back up. I will not submit to a life of just ‘getting by’ or just ‘surviving’. I will keep getting up until I am exactly where I want to be and then I might ‘lay down’ instead. Soon now, I will turn around confidently and say that I am happy, that I am where I want to be.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas Edison

What is success?

What is it that is really important in life? What is success?

Perhaps like me you have had a privileged childhood. I went to a public school in Australia doing very well in my final two years. At the time, as young kids, we were pressured in to believing that our performance at school would directly effect our ability to become successful in the future. All of high school became nothing more than a race to the highest possible final score for fear that otherwise we would be doomed to fail forever. The threat of not getting in to University loomed over our heads as if it were our direct path through the gates of hell.

I got the good grade, and took my express ticket to University excitedly, graduating 5 years later (with a gap year for travel) with a degree in Engineering with Honors. According to the ideals of my educators I was on the fast track to success, the golden child.

Straight out of University I got the Job. Immediately getting paid in excess of anything I had hoped for. 3 months later, pay rise. 9 months later, another pay rise and promotion. A year later, another pay rise and a merger which saw me take on a much larger role within a much bigger organisation. Three months ago, another offer for a much more sophisticated, senior and technical position. Great. Right? So why did I just resign?

If I could go back, I would not change a thing. I have gained invaluable experience and am more prepared than ever to now take on my life in the way that I deem it to be successful. It just so happens that my idea of success is not spending the majority of my life pushing around fancy paper from behind a desk.

Success is not defined by anyone but yourself. To me, success is a life of happiness, a life of experience and adventure, a life that can never (in my case at least) be achieved whilst holding down a full time career. Success to me is also (in part) in wealth. Though, contrary to what we are taught to believe, wealth is not found by working for an employer. True wealth is found in ideas, in believing that you have the ability to achieve whatever you want and then having the guts to go after it.

I only hope that I can help as many people as possible realise that you really can do/be whatever you want in life. Start now. Today. If you wait for your current distractions to end, others will just take their place. Take risks, jump in. When you fail, learn and try again. Keep trying again.

Any one of us can do anything. As long as you believe it.