Saturday, 25 June 2011

"Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you'd rather have been talking." Doug Larson

I was inspired to write a blog on people in my personal life whose words and stories have impacted, influenced or inspired me (3 very good I’s). I love talking and listening to people when they have the time. I really do believe that everyone has a story with some sort of lesson. Even though the lessons may be overstated, cliche, or something I already knew, it's nice having living proof or an example sitting right in front of me. It's just so much more inspiring and real. I’ve been fortunate to be able to hear the advice and stories of some very intelligent and amazing people and would like to share a couple of them.

Yesterday, I had a very interesting day. I am currently shadowing my optometrist, as it is a career I would like to pursue. It’s really great hearing the patients’ reactions when they can finally see clearly. That’s probably my favourite part, and the reason I want to pursue it. 

Anyway, we talked about our lives basically. He’s a very accomplished, interesting and extremely intelligent man.  He is not only an optometrist, but an eye surgeon as well, among other things. He told me of his life in university and his love for reading.  He said if school ever feels like work, that’s not good. So very true.  One thing I definitely realized in university is that I did very well in the classes I am genuinely interested in without trying too hard, but had to “work harder” at the ones that bored me and didn’t do as well. I guess the lesson is to really find out what it is that you have a passion for. Also, if it’s something you need to do in order to get where you want, start liking it. Easier said than done, but it can still be done. He also said to reach for the top. In this case, he was referring to medical school.  However, his advice applies to anyone else regardless. No matter what you want, the goal should always be to aim as high as you could.  Not as high as you think you “maybe…possibly… with a lot of hard work” could or as high as you have to just to get by, but as high as you really could: 100%.

One person who has greatly influenced me personally is my grade 11/12 religion and philosophy teacher.  This was not a conventional teacher at all. I loved his classes though. He made us think for ourselves, argue, stand up for what we believe in.  He made me truly think about my beliefs; I actually re-considered the existence of God in that class. Main point: in our lives, we’ll hear things constantly from others and may be inclined to believe them, but it’s much wiser to do the research and try to think for ourselves before coming to a conclusion about anything. I live by the rule of always being critical of what I read or hear for it may not be the truth. On top of this, he also sees my potential and believes in me and I have a certain respect for people who do so (I think they’re very smart haha). Honestly, I wish everyone has or had a person like that in their lives. It should not be to validate your own abilities but for peace of mind and that extra push in tough times. 

I could probably list ten more people, but the final one I will write about is one whose story somewhat surprised me.  It was the pastor who guided my family for years. He told me that he was once a drunk, who constantly got into fights at bars.  He had also lived in an abusive home and in places that weren’t sanitary; on cold concrete floors with rats crawling around.  At one point he thought his life was over. It was hard to believe all of this, as I looked into the face of a kind man who, since then, had completed numerous years of education, now gave marriage counseling to couples, owned his own church and had a beautiful, happy and successful family.  It just proved to me that no matter where you come from or what your past is, you can always make a brighter present and future for yourself with some faith, strength and motivation. This is why it annoys me to hear people use their rough childhood or past as an excuse to not move forward. It’s one of the lamest excuses I’ve heard.

Have an awesome day!

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