WANDER by Lyall

December 5, 2008

Do what makes you happy. Always. But more importantly, do what you think will make you happier in the long run. Lately, I’ve thought very hard about this, in a crucial time of my life, and spoken to a few people who have wandered through up to a quarter of a century going against what is, for me, the only way of living.

All of these people regret a good portion of their lives and their choices. But what’s more intriguing, is that it’s not actually their fault. Mostly, they listen to the wrong people, mainly teachers and superiors who claim to be behind them, and you I’m sure, helping them do what they want to do, but in actual fact have their own agendas. However, more misfortune lies in the fact that they haven’t had the right people to listen to either.

Where do our thoughts come from? If it was from ourselves entirely, we’d never need anything from anyone, or anywhere. Our thoughts are elaborations of what we’ve heard, seen and experienced from others and our decisions come from the same place.

So, how would you know to do what makes you happy without people giving you that essential advice?

A close relation of mine never went to University. He wanted to, and his younger brother did. But he listened to the wrong people: “Get a real job, earn money, earn respect,” and he recently said to me,

“I should have gone, there are people coming into my company at the same level as me and above, fresh out of Uni. It’s taken me 20 years to work to this position.”

University is not for everyone, but it would have made him happy then and happier now. The contrasting natures of his brother and him now are clear enough to prove this. It’s a given who is in the higher of spirits as they approach mid-life.

But, more relevant examples to us are my generation of friends who have chosen certain subjects, certain career paths therefore, on the advice of their ‘mentors’ and not on the advice of their nature and passions- a self admitted mistake they’ve often disclosed.

Many of their creative, expressive minds are focused on Business Management, Bio-chemistry or something else reminiscent of watching paint dry- and they do nothing but moan to me. I’m currently watching musical talent, artistic talent and personal qualities going down the toilet and it is hurtful to see.

I remember my sixth form tutor saying to many times: “You must do four A-Level subjects Lyall, no University will take you with three”. I said bollocks to her then and I’ll say complete bollocks to her now, as I write for an online journalism module in my second year, with substantial work-experience and future links under my belt.

I wouldn’t have been happy sacrificing valuable concentration on my preferred subjects to please her or anyone, especially doing a science to “broaden my range of expertise” as the wise lady put it. Id rather have jabbed a pen in my eye.

So if this is not proof enough, then ask me for more by all means because I’ve never been more determined about anything than to stop people making mistakes that make them miserable. Whether a first time acquaintance or important friend I will eternally shed the same counseling. There is no point being unhappy for the sake of other people. As selfish as some may think; if you don’t look after yourself, nobody is going to do it for you.

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