Last week I was invited back to my old high school to present at a Careers Expo aimed at Year 9-12 students. I remember prior to the day trying to put together the decisions I had made in order to get me to the point of where I am now and initially focused heavily on the academic pathways which I have chosen to take. However, as time went on and I pondered on it further I realised that the only messaging that I needed to provide to these young women was based around one theme, and one alone; put quite simply, always follow your heart.
It seems that in life people never fail to provide you their opinion on things, whether it’s warranted or you want it or not. Everyone seems to be full of life advice, and it usually seems to be of an altruistic and objective nature as they state that the lessons they’ve learnt in life dictate the pursuit of a certain pathway for you. Although, I’ve started to realise that all of this advice isn’t objective at all; it’s actually quite the opposite and highly subjective in its entirety.
Each and every one of us, when providing any kind of advice will always base this on our own experiences. In some circumstances we’ll draw on the positives and tout the life changing outcomes that they have resulted in. For others, we will be tainted by our indecision or inaction to follow that path, choose that career or lifestyle or be influenced against our will by that person who was once a significant part of our lives. We each bring a level of our own subconscious and past into every piece of advice that we dish out, whether we realise it or not.
I could easily have stood there that day and told those girls that money isn’t the be all and end all. That most who pursue careers due to their incessant search for wealth, influence and power are so often tainted by the experience that they most likely abandon the pursuit altogether. I could have lectured them on the need to serve humanity as a whole and not ourselves or our own selfish and materialistic desires. But the thing is, those are all of my beliefs and present themselves as a verbal packaging of my own biases, life experiences and journeys that I have taken.
As I looked into the eyes of those young, motivated women who sat before me it seemed more important to tell them to look within themselves, into their own hearts and follow whatever it was calling them to do. I stood in front of those girls and advised them to listen to the inner workings of their minds, their hearts and their souls. I urged them to travel and traverse this wonderful world and live every experience that they could to then make up their own minds about their futures. I encouraged them to back themselves and their abilities in order to understand that anything in this world is open to the possibility of it, as long as there is belief, commitment and drive to consistently take it forward.
For ultimately, life is a pursuit that is inherently individual and personalised in its nature and for those of us that understand this, we realise that the key to it all is not to be found outside of ourselves but instead within our own hearts.