Hello Everyone! How was the past week like for you?
Towards the end of my previous post (My Takeaway from N.A.C 2014), I have briefly mentioned listing down some of the things you desire to achieve in life as a simple Start; basically the life that you would deem to be the Perfect Life for you 😀
How was that going for you? If you have not done so, I urge you to do so now! That is because after you have communicated with yourself by writing down the components which would make up your Dream Life, it would be the Start of an amazing and exciting journey that you most probably wouldn’t want to miss a day 😀
I am mostly (mostly because I am human so I would have my doubts once in a while haha) living my days like that now. I am currently in a job which is not my dream career, but it doesn’t matter. I am still happy because I know that I am working step by step towards my goals. And I also know that every thing which has happened in my life is my greatest teacher. Sounds cliché I know, but something has happened which made me a strong believer in this. And we shall leave that for another day 😀
I have mentioned a lot on passions and dreams and goals in my previous post. But what if you have absolutely no idea as to what to do with your life? What if you, after having torn your hair out, have come to the conclusion that you neither have any passion nor any dream? You might be thinking: OMG I have no passion, no dream, no goal! Am I lesser as a person?
No! Certainly not!
Fret not people, fret not! Not all of us are lucky to be someone who knew right from the start of their lives who/ what they want to be in the future. And not everyone’s dreams and passions have to be “great” and “noble”. I have a friend whose dream is to be a loving wife and a caring mother. I think that is one awesome dream, isn’t it?
I myself have come a long way to discovering my passions in life. And they certainly do not come easily to me like a snap of my fingers. In fact, they took me more than ten years.
My long self-discovery journey began when I was perhaps six or seven years old. Yep, you read me right; I was that young. I have always wanted to be in the media for as long as I could remember. Watching TV was my favourite pastime when I was a kid. I was fascinated by the seemingly exciting and glamourous world in that little black box.
I watched Sharon Au on variety shows (City Beat was my then top favourite), and I wanted to be a TV host. I remember I would walk around the house, mumbling to myself, introducing imaginary stuff like I was a TV host interviewing people and their new products.
Then it came a chance when a kids channel was looking for a kiddo TV host. I was elated! I went through the photo album and spend a long afternoon picking my best full body picture and writing my “resume” letter to introduce myself to the producer.
I have sent my cute photo and kiddish letter with high hopes and dreams. But they had ended up like small pebbles sinking into the big ocean.
Wait, I do not remember if they have sent me a notification letter of rejection. Regardless, I wasn’t selected, haha.
But it was OK. I was a kid full of impossible dreams and hopes.
Teacher, lawyer, TV host, TV announcer, doctor, entrepreneur, writer, air stewardess, counselor… my dreams were always changing. My future was full of possibilities.
The time came when I really gave a serious thought to my future was when I was 14 years old. I was being pulled into the English Drama Club as my school’s CCA by a friend.
I have never thought of doing anything related to acting. I never thought that I could act, too (yes, I can HAHA). I remember I used to loathe going to my CCA on every Wednesday. I thought that those two hours were torturous. But somehow, I got deeply involved. When I was in Secondary 2, I got selected to participate in a Drama competition held by the National Library Board. There were five of us. We adopted the Wizard of Oz, me being the Wizard and the Wicked Witch of the East at the same time. It was such a fun experience! We came in second place amongst 49 other schools. It was awesome.
I started to enjoy acting. And I realized I can act! I started to dream of being an actress. I was very fortunate to have a very supportive mother. She listened to all my impossible ever-changing dream-talks and supported me whole-heartedly. When I was 17, I went for an audition at Mediacorp, and got a minor role in a Channel 8 TV drama, A Promise for Tomorrow, alongside with Rui En and Qi Yuwui. Guess what? I was acting as a retard! 😀 Well… I was supposed to be auditioning for a student role. Instead, I was selected to act as a… very innocent girl.
I had fake bunny teeth and cottoned-fat body! And that hair, that hair! It had negatively affected me greatly during that three months period when I was supposed to keep that retarded hairstyle. I even suspected that I was very close to having mild depression at that time. That, is another story to be shared in near future 😀
Well, I thought this could be the beginning of my acting career but that too, was like a slightly bigger pebble just causing ripples on the water… and then nothing more.
Subsequently, I went for a talent scout acting competition and a DJ hunt, both to no avail. I even joined Jack Neo’s (a famous local director) talent nurturing program… and that too, was one of the many pebbles.
I didn’t allow myself to think of alternatives besides being in the showbiz. Perhaps it was every young girl’s dream to want to be an entertainer, but it was indeed a very real dream to me. And yet, I hadn’t tried with all my might. Fear of failure and embarrassment had gotten the better of me. I should have just tried with all I have! Instead, I withheld just because I didn’t wish to be seen as trying too hard and yet possibly fail *slap my forehead*.
Gradually, reality sets in (or so I think). I have always been taught that in Singapore, there is no room for artistic dreams and goals. Everyone works hard to get either a diploma or a bachelor degree. Then they would get themselves a good and steady job, get married and have kids; basically slogging through their entire lives until they get old and die. All without knowing what they had lived for, right until the moment when they kicked the bucket.
This is not the life that I want.
I graduated with a Diploma in Business Administration from the Singapore Polytechnic. It was not a diploma which I like and want. I started my full-time permanent job when I was 20 years old. I have spent a very long time thinking of what I was going to do with my Life and my career path in the future.
My friends around me started on their part-time bachelor courses. Some of them simply wanted to have a bachelor degree just so they could earn slightly more money and get a better job and not because they love the forte in which they are taking up.
No, I do not want a life like that. And so I struggled with me, myself and I.
Sometimes I wondered: why can’t I be simpler?
Why can’t I just be contented with a random job which gives me my monthly paychecks and be done with?
Why am I thinking so darn hard just so that I can really be in a job which I really love and enjoy doing?
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I have always liked helping people in any ways and I love interacting with people. Basically, I love talking HAHA. So, I have been in the field of customer service for as long as I can remember. From my school vacation days as a retail assistant to being a customer service executive now, I cannot imagine a job which requires me to communicate with tons of paperwork and nothing else.
Should my conversation go, “Hello Minutes, don’t you think there is no life-meaning to use my time creating you?”
Or, “Hello Statistics, do you think you can save me the trouble by plotting your own graphs?”
I don’t want to spend my precious time on things I do not enjoy!
I love interacting with real people from different walks of lives. People who would confide in you even though it was a pure professional transaction. Of course, it can be real demoralizing and tiring at times. Gradually, I got really tired of being in the customer service line of work. But where can I go and what can I do! I know I would not live a life like that forever, but I don’t know which the direction to my Lifelong Happiness and Satisfaction is.
One thing I am proud of myself is that I never, ever stop thinking on what I want to achieve in my life. I have already spent more than ten years thinking, and I never give up. To give up exploring all the possibilities is as good as giving up on me and my entire life of happiness. And I want to be happy doing the things I do!
So, I should be the last person to give up on myself! In fact, I should forbid me from giving up on Me. That is because I am the most important person in my world, and I should be living my best life, nothing lesser than that. It is only by being happy that I would be able to make other people happy too 😀 I want me and all the people around me to be happy!
Just when I thought that I might find my dream or passion only when I reach 80 years old… tada! I came across a newspaper advertisement on an open house seminar talk held by this school on Positive Psychology and Psychotherapy.
Out of curiosity, I registered for the talk. And it was one of the many best decisions I have ever made in my life. Seriously. This looks like what I have always been looking for!
At The School of Positive Psychology, I listened to the director, Stephen’s presentation on positive living and helping others and I was awestruck.
THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN LOOKING FOR! I was literally screaming in my head.
I am known to listen to family and friends and colleagues, always easily putting myself in their shoes, and give some really sound advices (no kidding). And I always feel a sense of satisfaction when I see that I am able to help my loved ones resolve their issues. It was always an awesome feeling that I want to do it forever.
And what would be a better job than to earn money from doing the things that I want to do forever?
But my self-discovery journey did not stop here.
After attending the talk, I wanted to be a psychotherapist. Now, that is a niche field in Singapore. I have no background, no experience, I don’t know how the heck I am going to do it and there is no one around me who has the experiences and the knowledge to guide me. I thought that by taking up the Diploma in Psychotherapy with the school is an awesome start to my lifelong career. I was so, so excited and full of hope for my future.
I was 21 years old when I started the part-time courses. I finished the program within 2 years. It could be faster, but I needed to have a Professional Diploma in Psychotherapy before I could practice on my own. And I needed to be at least 25 years old before I could enroll in the Professional Diploma course.
But when I finally reached the age of 25, I simply couldn’t bring myself to be enrolled in this Professional Diploma course. I was this close to doing what I want to do, and yet I did not take action. Why? I was confused with myself.
But I knew for sure, one of the reasons which had stopped me was due to my fear of walking down this “unpopular” path. Being a psychotherapist is definitely not mainstream in Singapore. I was worried and afraid of what would happen if I continued down this road. I shuddered to think about the obstacles I would face. What if I fail? What if I was not cut out to do this?
Regardless of how much I studied, it was still a Diploma. It wasn’t a bachelor degree. In Singapore, paper qualification is very important. Almost everyone judges you by the educational level you had attained.
And so, I enrolled myself into UniSIM’s (a local private university designed for working adults) Bachelor in English Communication with Psychology.
See the element of psychology even when I thought I have given up on being a psychotherapist? HAHA.
Anyway, it didn’t last even for a term! Haha, yes! I totally ditched school and withdraw from this bachelor program after one month. I simply couldn’t stand spending my time on something which I wasn’t passionate enough. And no no no, I wasn’t a rich girl, it was all my hard-earned money, but I am a strong believer in Everything Happens For A Reason. This is a lesson earned, albeit an expensive one. I would rather waste that one term of money than to force myself to completing the bachelor studies unhappily wasting even more money and precious time on it!
It brought me back to my “core”.
I even went back to The School of Positive Psychology and had a small chat with Stephen again. I am so thankful for that talk, because he has pointed out a flaw in me which I did not realize.
He told me that life is never a straight path. It is a winding road in which you can never know what would be there waiting until you turn around at the corner. You can only continue walking with faith. You could come up with a hundred and thousand of possible obstacles and tried to come up with a hundred and thousand of solutions, but you would never really know until you walk the path and turn to see for yourself what is in there for you.
In short, I had feared. I do still fear, at times. But I am slowly learning to overcome my fears one by one, all by just to keep on going.
It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” ~ Confucius
I think a lot of people nowadays have one similar trait which is potentially a great suicidal problem.
They do not communicate with themselves. This is a dangerous way of living your life because you would most likely be living in a life which you do not like!
When I turned 25 years old, I was very, very disappointed with myself. I was so upset. I looked back on the past 5 years of my life, and realized that I have been living my days and weeks and months and years doing nothing. I know I have dreams that I wanted to live and fulfill, but all I did was just to toy with the ideas in my mind and not act on them!
I job-hopped twice during this period, and it was simply from one loveless job to another same hell-hole. What was I doing! I was at my prime; I was (still am) young and supposedly energetic, and yet I allowed myself to be trapped by my laziness to work hard towards my Dream Life and by my fear of moving out of my comfort zone.
These two factors combined are a sure deadly combination.
And so I did a few Q&A sessions with myself:
- Why is it that I do not continue my journey down the path of becoming a psychotherapist?
- What is/ are holding me back to move on further in my life?
- How exactly does my Perfect Life look like?
After much self-probing, I finally had the courage to admit the truth which I believed I had been trying to kid myself into thinking otherwise:
That being a psychotherapist is not what I really wanted.
Just when I thought I found my possible lifelong career! But I had refused to admit that this is what I really felt. That is because I did not want to continue searching. I want to be able to settle down on one idea and build on it wholeheartedly.
But the heart is one which you cannot succeed in lying to.
I had realized that my vision of being a psychotherapist differs from what I really learned and felt when I was studying it. It is still all about helping other people, but not by the method which I would enjoy using.
It took me great length of pain to rethink about what I wanted.
Finally, it came to me almost after a year: I would be a Life Coach instead 🙂
Being a psychotherapist, I would be dealing with negative people day-in and day-out. And I want to steer away from handling negative people and their emotions because these are mostly who I was dealing with and what I was doing right now in my job.
I want to get away from it (them).
Also, I am fairly an empathetic person who is very sensitive to other people’s feelings and circumstances. I can imagine I would be greatly affected by my clients if I were to be a psychotherapist.
But being a coach is different! Even though they may be a more demanding crowd because they approach you not because they have issues and problems in life but because they are looking at improving themselves as a person, they are possibly happier people 😀
One of the tricks to being happy is to surround yourself with happy people.
So! I am actively working towards one of my goals now, which is to become a Life Coach 🙂 I am currently taking up a Diploma in Positive Psychology, because aiding people in living a more positive life and attaining happiness with their very own hands is my ultimate goal in being a Life Coach 😀
It is going to be a challenging road because being a coach is even further away from the mainstream in Singapore as compared to being a psychotherapist!
Of course I have my worries! I am scared! But I don’t give a damn to my fears and worries anymore! I am the master of my own life and I will not allow negativity to stray me away from doing what love! I am sick of complaining about my life! I want to live a life where I would be full of praises for it!
OK, those were some screaming happening in my head.
So come on, people! You know what you want to do with your life and in your life! It is just a matter of being utterly honest and transparent with yourself!
If I can be honest with myself, you can, too!
That is the purpose of this blog. I am recording my journey to achieving the goals and living the dreams. Let’s do it together 😀
Dream big and believe in yourself, because the power lies within you~