Re-inventing the Wheel

By Shailen Lakhani - Last update


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By Ciar n McMahon

A personal account of re-inventing an entire career and the benefits of doing so.

Sometimes, people find themselves in a position where are earning a few pounds and getting by. When we look closer, however, there is something within them that is quietly unsettled. This tiny voice of unrest is not obvious in their laughter or in their everyday actions but something that creeps back to them in their calmest or quietest moments. Perhaps if they are honest with themselves, they would turn around and take up something that they have wanted to do for years!

There is always a way to develop those interests. This is my story about how I listened to that voice and changed my career overnight, (well, over three years actually), and moved on to greater happiness and contentment

The night before the Leaving Cert, I found myself with no study done and wondering why I had to have a career anyway. In the old days, people just went out and picked apples and killed mammoths. Yeah, whatever happened to picking apples

I had dreamed (cue ripple dissolve) of doing architecture where I would be a consultant making decisions on projects worth millions of pounds and barely having to do any work at all! If I got that course they would see within minutes, or at least by the first week, that I was an absolute prodigy!

The reality (cue end ripple dissolve) was very different.

I only got a few passes, certainly not enough to get into architecture. But I did get one offer – Buildings Maintenance Technology. Hmmm . it had a certain ring to it – if you said it backwards. I accepted the course knowing that my genius would be acknowledged in the first 20 seconds. They would realise a terrible mistake had been made and I would be transferred to the architectural degree course immediately. That didn’t happen and I came out of the course two years later with an Honours Certificate in Buildings Maintenance Technology (thanks to the studious company I kept) and I was away. Onwards and upwards, all that was left was the next mountain to climb, a degree in architecture!

The following September, I got a place at Waterford RTC and, on the strength of my qualification, into 2nd Year Architectural Technology. Right into the detail of industrial buildings and brickwork all the way! Was what I had prayed for Two weeks into the course I had drawn enough bricks to last me a prison sentence and only a year or two to go before another transfer to five years of architecture. But there was one thing that I had not planned on – I HATED IT!

At the end of that year when the last drawings were due in the next morning, twenty hours work, six hours to go, I cracked. I threw the pencil against the wall so hard that it stuck and I went for a cycle up a mountain to think. It had taken me three years to get that far and I was miserable. The questions came to me as I sat there,

“Is there something buried deep down in this deep dark soul of yours that would make you happy and do you know what you have always wanted to do ” Then the answer came, “No”.

That was at 5 in the morning. I saw the sun come up, the deadline pass and came down from the mountain relieved. I thanked God for letting this cup pass, went home and heard that we had all got a two week extension. AAAaaaarrrrggggghhhhh!

I scraped a pass in the end and vowed to never pick up a pencil again. I would sooner be the best bag-packer in the business than ever do architecture again.

I walked away and began a pursuit in search of the thing that I loved. What followed was a whole lot of soul searching and finally the thought came to me. It was something that I had always thought of without even knowing that I could study it.

Right, I knew what it was. I was going to do Philosophy (and Theology for good measure).

I studied the stuff for four years and discovered that there were more people With similar thoughts to me than I had ever realised. Some of them had been dead for hundreds of years but it didn’t matter! I was finally doing something that I loved. I was closer than I ever had been before to what I really wanted to do.

What, you may ask then, is the meaning of life

Here’s my short version: Follow your heart and use your head to get there.

That’s what it is all about. You must find what interests you most. Otherwise your spirit suffers. The degree allowed me to enter Journalism and, through my interest in Web Design, I found myself here at Nightcourses. com. Not bad eh

So,

Imagine yourself doing something completely different.
What kind of things do you see yourself doing
Is there a big happy smile on your face
Is this something that you have always wanted to do

Take my advice – go and do it!


Shailen Lakhani

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