I just wanted to come online to share something in a hope that it’ll resonate with at least one of you… A few years ago, I was working for a local newspaper, covering Entertainment news. Now, for those of you who don’t know, I’m a journalist. I majored in journalism and still do it as a freelance now…
Anyway, so I was working there, on an internship, and met a teenager who was on work experience. He was just starting out and was telling me about his passion for journalism – but also how his parents don’t believe it’s the right career for him… They told him he’d be better off being a doctor (as it’s a culture thing).
Now, of course – if he, himself, wants to be a doctor, he should. But, there’s no point him playing out his family’s goals because ultimately, as cruel and harsh as it sounds, it’s his life…
Imagine if this teenager grows up being a doctor just because it’s what his family thought was best for him… Of course, saving lives is a massive thing, and a very commendable thing, but – it’s not really what he wants to be doing.
Yes, our parents and families believe in us and want what’s best for us. I’m sure his family were telling him to be a doctor because it’s a more financially stable job and one with less competitiveness (in terms of work). However, if you’re someone who’s talented, works hard, and puts the effort in, you will succeed regardless.
I told him a piece of advice which might have sounded bad to begin with, but it honestly was meant in good gest… I told him not to live his life for his family, but to live it for himself.
At the end of the day, he’s the only one going to be looking back on his life… When the day of judgement happens, or when we have that flash before our eyes… He’s going to be seeing his family’s goals, and not his own. He’ll be forever wondering what-if. He’ll grow old never knowing where his talent for writing could’ve taken him. His family, unbeknownst to them (how much he wants to be a journalist) I’m sure, would not want that.
Ultimately, our families want us to be happy and successful. They’re realists. They try to keep us grounded. It’s not that they don’t believe in us, it’s just – they want to shield us from disappointment or pain. But, at the same time, they really sometimes don’t understand how much we want something, because the need to protect us blinds them…
I will never forget his reaction to what I told him. He said: “wow! No one has ever said this to me before… I never thought like this. I’m going to talk to them, and try to help them understand.” I didn’t think he’d act on it, if I’m honest… A lot of the time people are too scared to confront people, and aren’t able to speak up for fear they’d be letting them down.
Well, I got an email from him recently. He is studying journalism at University (on his final year) and has got a placement at a newspaper.
This is proof that if you put your mind to something, no matter how huge, your determination and your willingness to achieve it along with your dedication to the craft will no doubt get you there.
If you never take anything from me, that’s fine. Just, live your life for you but respectfully understand that parents are just trying to do their jobs. Luckily, I was blessed with parents who would never force (even though that’s a very strong word) me into anything, I was always taught to go after what I want and that’s the attitude I’ll instil in my young. It’s very important.
Always support someone’s aspirations and help them reach it. Never tell them they can’t, even if you mean well and are just doing it to protect them. At the end of the day, they’ll be paying their own bills one day, and they’d prefer to pay them off with a salary they earned by doing something they love and not one they were persuaded to do.
Never, ever give up. Always have aspirations, always have goals. Go above and beyond. Be proud of all that you’ve achieved, and never stop.