Are you doing what you’ve always wanted? Are you following in the footsteps of a relative and doing what they did? Are you doing a job that someone said you’d be good at? If the answer to either of the last 2 questions is “yes”, it’s possible you may be living someone else’s dream.
When I was in Year 10 of high school, I had a number of opportunities to do work experience. I can’t remember how, but one of those work experience opportunities was with a physiotherapist, and I loved every minute of it!
So, I structured my Years 11 and 12 subjects to qualify me for entry into Physiotherapy studies at university. None of the Australian physiotherapy schools would take me back then, due to my total blindness. So I enrolled in the North London School of Physiotherapy in the UK, a school specially designed to train blind physiotherapists.
It’s a long and complicated story, which I won’t go into here, but after 4 months at the school, I was advised to return to Australia and study something more academic. I remember sitting, broken hearted, in my Aunt’s lounge room in England, and asking her what I should do. I had been so focused on becoming a physiotherapist, that I had no other ideas about what to do with the rest of my life. My Aunt said: “You’ve got a good brain, why don’t you study law?” I didn’t know the first thing about lawyers, or what they did, but I returned to Australia and obtained a combined Commerce Law degree.
Fortunately, I enjoyed studying, and working in the legal profession. In fact, I worked as a Government lawyer for 17, mostly happy, years.
However, while I didn’t realise this at the time, this wasn’t my dream. Like many other people, I got up every day and went to work, and enjoyed what I did. But I always envied those people I would see on TV who were following their passion in some sort of business. They would say things like: “I work 18 hours a day, but I love it so much, it doesn’t feel like work”, “It’s what gets me up in the morning” and “At last, I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do”. I would sigh and think to my self, I don’t feel like that about my work. It’s just a job.
It wasn’t until I took a redundancy and started my own business as a John C Maxwell trainer and coach, that I discovered my passion for self-development and coaching. It really does get me out of bed in the morning! My days just disappear, and I don’t know where the time has gone, as I’m having so much fun.
My dear Aunt has always wanted her family to have, what she would call, “good jobs”. So she guided me to be a lawyer, one of my cousins to be a doctor, and another cousin to be a teacher. I can’t speak for my cousins, who seem very happy in their professions. but I can speak for myself and say that being a lawyer wasn’t my dream, but my Aunts. Now I am following my dream, and I can certainly tell the difference!
Are you living your dream, or have you adopted someone else’s dream and made it fit? Please tell me in the comments section, or if you prefer, contact me directly.