From Desperation to Inspiration
About 3 years ago, right after my high school graduation, I was lost. Not in the woods, not in the mall, but even worse, I was lost in life. Although I was enthusiastic to lead a successful life with a bright future; as a fresh graduate with diverse interests, I had no idea what to major in. There was a constant battle between my artistic side, dragging me towards journalism and my scientific side, dragging me towards mathematics. For the record, I even applied to a business school and changed major twice before taking that step back. When the university registrar asked me what I was going to major in, my response was;” Well, I'm good at math; I'm passionate about journalism; and I want to become a businesswoman”. He said, “Choose one ”. I always felt like I should invent a new major that would fit my diverse Gemini personality. But little did I know that what had to be invented was not a major but a future. And long story short, I didn't know how to predict my future. The only thing that helped me back then was the quote that kept echoing in my ears, “The best way to predict your future is to invent it”. From my personal experience, I've learnt that inventing your future means accepting failure, accepting diversity and becoming your own role model. To begin with, ever since from first grade, we have been taught by our English teachers that the antonym of success is failure. But the truth is that success is independent from the amount of failure. For instance, Abraham Lincoln, the prominent 16th president of the US, has actually failed more times than we can count, whether it's losing in business, enduring a mental breakdown, losing both nomination and denomination … But didn't he become successful at the end of the day? Of course, he did! What was pushing me away from majoring in Math was the fear of failure, but the truth is that failure doesn't matter if “one falls seven times but stands up eight”. Even JK Rowling, the first billionaire writer, the author of Harry Potter once highlighted the importance of failure in her life, she said, “Failure in life is inevitable, you can't live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not live at all, in which case, you fail by default” Secondly, there is no single rule in life which states that we should merely have one passion and devote our entire life to it. Just because I'm majoring in math, doesn't mean that I should become a mathematician. We all know Mr. Bean, right? But little do we know that behind this clumsy comedian, there is actually a genius who has a Master's degree in engineering from Oxford University. And is he an engineer now? Absolutely not! So change of direction in life is inexorable. After all, it's the different spices that make delicious. Finally, in order to succeed we all need motivation from our role models. It may be Angelina Julie for an inspiration-seeker actress or Gibran Khalil Gibran for an amateur Lebanese writer. But that doesn't mean that we should imitate their footsteps, but create our own. We should become our own idols. When I was going to major in math, everyone kept telling me the world doesn't need that since there are already plenty of math teachers. But as Dr.Howard Thurman once said: “We shouldn't ask for what the world needs. We should do whatever makes us feel alive. Since the only thing that the world needs is people who have come out alive”. So ‘Inventing your future' for me means accepting both failure and diversity and drawing your own adventure story, using your own set of colorful crayons. Let it be full of roller coasters. Let it be full of ups and downs, even a change of direction is fine. But don't forget to be authentic and creative. Let's take that brush, and draw our sparkling futures. Shall we?