I sit gazing out of the window whilst contemplating how to begin my next post, the rain falls from the sky relinquishing the heavy burden of the lingering menacing black clouds above. The droplets of water cascade down the window pane and then it hits me, everything serves a purpose. The rain provides sustenance, not just for us but for every living organism on this planet, nothing would grow without the aid of water. The trees take in carbon dioxide and emits oxygen enabling us to breathe the quality of air that our bodies require. nothing, if you will, happens simply by chance but, quite the opposite, everything is designed and happens for a purpose. Simply put, everything is interlinked.
What does this then mean for our personal growth? How does this relate to the experiences we have and the situations we find ourselves in?
If, as I have said, everything serves a purpose then, our very actions, experiences and interactions will all serve that purpose, a purpose to enable us to improve and to lead us towards the path we should be following. I have, at various parts of my development, heard others question how they can identify if they are on the correct path, as well as other connotations of the same theme. Even though I was finding out about myself and questioning what I would perceive as fulfilment, I felt inadequate to even begin to answer those questions.
Having gone through the trials and tribulations by jumping from one office to another, purely for the allure of extra money and then making the conscious choice to move towards the realisation of attaining a level of true enjoyment, and feeling proud of my work, the latter surpasses any materialistic gain. Thereby, now feeling that I can offer one way of looking for this elusive path.
Acknowledgment and realisation
I feel lucky in that my personality has enabled me to question my actions and this maybe the reason I felt that something was missing, and by questioning whether I was truly happy with my career options, automatically leading me to finding out more about myself, what I enjoyed, the type of person I want to be, How do I want to be perceived, pretty much understanding my emotional and physiological response to the here and now.
One such example can be identified through sitting behind a desk turning paper over, this did not provide the satisfaction I craved . I then realised I was living for the weekend and despising the onset of Monday mornings. However, this period of my life was not without benefit as I had learnt how to communicate effectively with different people.
Recognising and seizing opportunities
Once I had identified the problem, opportunities can present themselves in many different ways by taking action in response to these opportunities, gradually the situation I found myself in began to change for the better.
After realising that there was a gap in my quest for fulfilment an opportunity presented itself, giving a fencing demonstration in a junior school assembly. This then led to a breakfast club and for me this was a very big learning opportunity, considering up to this point I had never given any type of demonstration or talk to any kind of group. Therefore, I really felt outside of my comfort zone and the experience itself empowered me, the sense of achievement having delivered a successful demonstration spurred me on to challenge myself further.
Go with the flow and continue to learn
By simply seizing this little opportunity it had opened up a door to understanding myself further, learning new areas of myself which lay dormant. Without realising, I was shown how I could help others and that sense of fulfilment was being recognised.
The after school clubs grew and I had also accepted the opportunity to deliver sessions during school time as well as taking full advantage of the change for life scheme. I then decided to take the next step, and that was to leave a secure office job and focus solely on delivering sports in schools. With each session I delivered and, managing myself as a now self employed person there was plenty of opportunity for learning and for personal growth.
Everything was positive and the enjoyment surpassed anything I was experiencing previously, unfortunately disaster struck due to the Government’s decision surrounding cut backs. Schools were unable to fund the sporting sessions and it was now down to me to find the finance through funding avenues. At this point it would have been easy for me to perceive this as a bad omen or, something negative. However, looking back this was an opportunity to reassess my situation identifying any further gaps in what I was wanting to achieve. I still felt that there was something missing, the sessions I delivered lacked meaning and this served as a catalyst to find hidden depths in what I was attempting to acheive. I found that fencing and other non main stream sports which the schools were not delivering were listed as official G.C.S.E activities. I began to contact high schools offering fencing as an alternative to other sports for their syllabus and thus, I began to work with young people who were struggling to obtain a pass mark for their G.C.S.E PE syllabus. The course would last six weeks which allowed me to see their progression, achieve results and provide an environment where they could experience something new, build their confidence and feel a sense of achievement. However, the obstacles were mounting creating increasing work in generating leads for further sessions.
Act on instinct, first impulses are usually the correct ones
I accepted a cleaning a job as a response to the schools informing me that there was not enough budget to continue. My first reaction was that I had taken a step back and I was not sure what to do next. I gradually realised however, that this cleaning job provided me with the space to think and It was at this point I realised that I could study youth work at university. As I contemplated this I received a positive feeling and, the more I thought about the course the more compelled I was to apply. It felt right, it felt as though this was the next step I had to take and deep down, I knew that if I had not taken this opportunity I would have regretted it.
Thoughts and reflections
As reflected in my first blog, at the time of writing I have completed my first year on a Youth and Community Work course, I can say with determination that this is the best option I have made. All the previous experiences have prepared and led me to this point, if I had not taken that opportunity to deliver the fencing demonstration at the Junior school I doubt that I would be in this position now.
Fighting against the odds and if those odds feel overwhelming or impossible to conquer then, this may be a sign that you are following the wrong path. Leave it, failing is not always a sign of weakness but it might be showing you that better opportunities await you some where else. At the end of the day each and everyone of us are trying to find our way through this life and thus, release yourself of those failures and retain what you have learnt, this is what makes you stronger, wiser and more interesting.
So, to round this up, I guess I’m leading to this point. Take all the opportunities that are presented to you and, if it feels right put everything you have in to it. Even if it fails, there is a reason for this and it just might be that the first couple of steps are preparing you for an opportunity that awaits you.