Whilst playing squash this morning, my opponent and I got into an in-depth conversation regarding schooling and the choices we had made in life.
A pretty in-depth conversation, for two guys who had just played a very competitive game at 7am on a Wednesday morning, before work!
I think it all stemmed from slight exhaustion, followed by the fact he is a teacher and I have recently changed careers myself.
The question posed was ‘what would you change if you could change anything’
The Immediate response was nothing, as if things hadn’t happened the way they did, then we wouldn’t be where we are today. And I wouldn’t change my family for anything!
However if you could guarantee the same final outcome, well there’s a thought-provoking question!
- Concentrated more at school
- I was always told that if I applied myself then I could achieve anything. The problem was that I was never interested in something long enough to fully apply myself. I wonder if knowing what I know now, I’d manage school in a better way and concentrate more – honestly probably not!
- Learn a foreign language
- The same response as above really, however I just simply wasn’t interested when I was younger. The number of times I’ve met people from other countries, and we’ve always conversed in English, it just seems a little unfair. It’s simply something I took for granted on my travels, never did we find travelling harder than in Central America, when we didn’t even have a slight grip of the Spanish language and they also didn’t know any English. I feel that if we had known even a few sentences, we would’ve benefited explanatory from the experience.
- Learnt a trade
- This may seem a little controversial, but I didn’t enjoy university. I know it’s supposed to be the best times of your life, but I was still getting to grips with who I was, who I wanted to be what I wanted to do (I still don’t know that one). I chose a course that had no relevance to the outside world, and didn’t apply myself to the full extent of my supposed ability! Don’t get me wrong, I have some great memories of University, but I also house some regrets. Looking back it may have been better for me to learn a trade such as building, plumping or even electrics. Something practical I could’ve taken into the world. Interestingly though I’ll never truly know if employers looked at my University course and grades, or just the fact I went to University! For that reason I’ll never know if it was the right choice.
- Enjoy my own company
- This is a really interesting one. For many years I felt like I needed other people around me, I needed people to like me and I needed to be accepted. What I didn’t realise that this need was extremely detrimental to relationships I already had. It wasn’t until the age of 26 where I got to grips with this, and no lie, it changed my outlook on life. Being comfortable with who you are and enjoying your own company brings its huge rewards.
- Travelled more
- A hugely generalised statement as I was already extremely lucky to travel to over 10 countries by the age of 15, including South Africa, America and Israel. However my wanderlust didn’t really take shape until I was mid-to-late twenties. I would’ve liked to have seen even more of the world, especially some of those lesser frequented locations. In reality however, even if I had travelled more, I’d still desire to travel even more.
- Given Something back
- I’ll expand on this subject in a further post, but it would’ve been a great experience to give something back to the world. Maybe help build a school for kids in Africa, or help someone off the street in London, how about providing a safe environment for orphaned kids in India?
Some of you may be screaming ‘it’s never too late’, and I agree in some respects. However if I am honest with myself, I’ll never be a plumber or return to school. However some things you can change or work on at least – such as yourself, your outlook on life and your understanding of yourself.