Today I was thinking about my undergraduate graduation ceremony at Simon Fraser University (many, many years ago!) and was reflecting on how I did not listen to someone who could have had a profound impact on my young life and career.
While high school is only a distant memory, there are a few things I remember. I recall that I was an alright student. I was not a bad kid, not an athlete, not a musician, not popular…overall, not involved. I did have the regular experiences where I did well in some classes and not so well in others. Unfortunately, I also had the experience that many share and that is also about being bullied…and that will be a future story. Fortunately, I was able to get through it.
In grade 12, I was trying to figure out my fate and path. I went to the school counsellor and the person looked at my marks and made an assumption and statement that perhaps I was not going to do well in post-secondary and that maybe I should consider other options. As mentioned, I was not terrible but my math might pull me down. I had to make decisions and part of it was to at least put an application to a school so it was to Capilano College (now university) and see what might happen. Surprisingly, I got accepted! I went forward and found that I did well in some course and challenged in others but I had decent enough marks to transfer to SFU. I got to SFU and again, I did well in some courses and challenged in others. Bit of a roller coaster of a ride at times but I did graduate and earned my BBA with a double major in business and political science…sitting at graduation ,I am sorry but that counsellor was wrong. Years later, I embarked in other education adventures and did quite well…I guess you were even wrong there too. At 45 years old, I started to climb the difficult peak of doing a masters and conquered!…sorry, you were very wrong! Now I teach university level courses to students…I am sorry but I am glad I did not listen to you at all.
Don’t get me wrong, it was not an easy path and I don’t think the school counsellor was being mean…just not too supportive. I think that what I had on my side was that I took the knowledge of the classroom and what I bring is the deeper wisdom piece. Knowledge only gets you so far but wisdom is the application of knowledge…I was great at this part and visioning how to apply wisdom. I just was not that great at some exams and knowledge. Years later I found that wisdom is what will carry you far in life.
I get asked why I take so much time to help students and young professionals. I guess because I had someone who was in an arena of influence who could have shaped my future not believe in me. I want to be a champion and an enabler who will be there on your journey and make sure you know that you can succeed and if I have anything to say about it…you will! It can be and will be a difficult journey but you will do it! I did it and it was because I choose not to listen to someone. Pull those people who believe in you very close so you hear their voice very loud and clear and not the whispers of discontent by those who may not believe in you.
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