Inspiring You To Do Your Thing

It’s been a wild ride the past 4 days in Bangkok, hell the past 3 months traveling.  Today’s post isn’t going to be about the past 3 months and what milestones I’ve achieved (hello 100 posts!).  Today’s post is going to be about Lia, my first official fan.

 

Lia was searching for some sports apparel online when she typed in Nike’s slogan, “Just Do It”.  It just so happens that I have the same blog post title and apparently I have been ranking on google for that search term.  So she found my blog and realised that I was in Indonesia.  She also saw that I’m a Couchsurfer.  So she jumped on Couchsurfing Hangouts and saw that I was in Bandung (her home city).  She then went a step further and sent me a message asking to meet up and we met the next day over some food.

 

 

Let me tell you the odds of that happening.  Very slim.  Firstly, the fact that my blog was ranking for her on Google is somewhat of a miracle as I checked and I am nowhere near close to the top of the rankings, not even in images!  Then, I had not even published that I was in Bandung.  Not on the blog, not on Facebook, not on Instagram and not even on my profile on Couchsurfing!  I happened to check out who was on Hangouts only once and she found me.  Then, for her to have the courage to send me a message is another thing.  There must have been something in my writing that truly resonated with her as she doesn’t seem the type to hunt down people off the internet.

 

Her story is a common one but doesn’t mean it’s no less stressful or important.  Lia is twenty in her second year of university studying Medical Laboratory Technology.  This means that she’s in a laboratory every day doing sciency stuff.  She can’t talk as it may contaminate the specimen.  So you can imagine if you’re not really passionate about it, it can be quite boring.  She doesn’t like it and instead, she likes sport.

 

Now you can imagine what I’d say to her and you’d be totally wrong.  Ordinarily, if it were a 20-year-old in Australia or America or any other Western country I’d say to transfer your credits into another discipline.  However, she’s Indonesian.  Her father is the one that is paying for her to do university and he is also the one that suggested to study Medical Laboratory Technology.  Suprise, surprise.

 

So there raises a dilemma, quit and do what she’s interested in or continue and finish the degree.  She can’t exactly quit as the going rate for full-time unskilled work is $300 (AUD) per month, hardly enough to pay for university.  And if she were to work in the field there’s a good chance she’ll hate it.

 

So instead I provided a third option, failing to talk with her parents about her situation, she should start building up her network in sport and sports science.  Join various clubs and societies and volunteer to help out whilst studying at university.  Hopefully before or when she finishes university she would already have a job in an area that she likes.

 

You see, it doesn’t really matter what you study, as long as you study and graduate.  Any Arts student would know this.  You studied classical literature, congratulations you’re now a social media marketer.  You studied metaphysics, congratulations you’re now a hotel concierge.  It is especially important to graduate and get the paper.  You see the certificate opens the doors to the world.  It is often a visa requirement to have finished university when applying to work abroad.

 

So if your only option is to study Medical Laboratory Technology then study Medical Laboratory Technology even if you dislike it but make everything else enjoyable.  Join the sports clubs, go to the gym, get a social life.  If you spend hours on end looking at microbes, put on a podcast and go to a different world.  Get inspired by peoples stories and don’t let your current situation let you down.

 

I’ll finish the post on this note.  When I graduated from university I went to Malaysia for a holiday.  I met some girls that were teaching English in Korea.  They said it was an easy job with some decent money and that I should do it.  I thanked them said that I wanted to return to Australia to get a marketing job, as I had studied marketing in university.  I got the first job that was offered to me 6 weeks after searching and I hated it.  There were only 5 people in the office, it was a two-bit operation and all I did was sit on my ass creating “content”.  I hated my job and as I communicated what I did to my friends they said, “So what?  What did you expect?  I sit on my ass all day too.  The reason why you study is so that you don’t have to work outside”.

 

After that stark realization and boredom at work, I started applying to go teach in Korea.  I figured, if the next 40 years of my working life are to be spent sitting down and looking at a computer I may as well do it in a different environment.  And boy, was it different.  A totally different job in a totally different country.  I had a blast meeting Koreans and people from all around the world.

 

That is the story of how I became an English teacher.

 

What about you?  Are you stuck doing something you don’t like?  Do you have an exit strategy?  Are you doing something totally different to what you studied?  Lia will be reading this so put your comments down below and catch me on Instagram.  If you want to get in contact with me don’t be afraid to leave a comment or send me a private email at info@cutthenegative.com.  

 

One final point to Lia.  You are a courageous person and very brave to find me and I hope I’ve inspired you to keep at it and at the same time do what you love.  It takes a lot of bravery for a Muslim girl to reach out to somebody they don’t even know and I’m glad you did and I’m glad to have you as my first official fan.  I am sure you will do well and I hope the contact I gave you helps you out.  Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need any help.

5 Comments

  • Nuraini

    11 September, 2017

    I think it depends on whether you really hate something or if you just like something better. Probably cut the cord if the first because it would erode you.

    But otherwise – then I have my two cents as Jason knows. I did environmental engineering even though I wanted to do environmental science as a compromise to my mother. Parents in Asia, because we are largely left to ourselves to make a living and do not have a benefit system and state this and that, worry the most about their kids being unable to support themselves. And that is a basic survival floor you need to get to and can’t take for granted in many parts of the world, before you can even think of luxuries like what you like.

    That said, you can always see what you can do to prep for future moves.

    A few examples for some perspective. I did engineering first but I did science as a Masters degree. I got my first job because of the engineering one, which I hated. But I didn’t waste it – I learned a lot of valuable skills I still use today because I didn’t let my dislike for the job deter me from learning. Then I found an opportunity to move closer to what I liked and took it. Then because I also didn’t waste that opportunity, I was practically invited to the job that I do like and is quite fulfilling and lucrative – using that second degree that I thought I’d never use. Then because I didn’t waste that opportunity either, now I get to do less of that, and get given spare time to do my own thing so now I do two things that I like. It also turned out that what I liked about the work isn’t so much the science part but the part where I’m teaching and helping protect people and bringing better things into this region.

    So what I’m saying is, you don’t have to pick exactly the perfect thing in university. Hardly anyone does what they studied in school. But on the other hand you probably will use the fundamentals in some way. In Lia’s case, discipline, self-control, method attention, perhaps. What you choose just has to make enough sense for your situation and leave you with enough space so you can see what you can do to make it better and where else you can go.

    You don’t always have to make something you like into your job. You can like many things. Sometimes your job that isn’t perfect is one thing, but through the workplace or your colleagues you get the opportunity to do what you like on the side as a hobby or a parallel gig. Sometimes you discover that actually the thing you really want about ‘your’ field isn’t the obvious one, but something more subtle that you can draw out of many things. There’s no one answer and no one job to aim for.

    And if I am speaking to a fellow Muslim, if you set your intention right for why it is you want to do what you like, it will happen and it will happen in the way that is best suited to you and your highest purpose. Every step has pieces you can use to get to the next one. The less you waste each one the better you are able to exploit opportunities when they do come. But you have to be open to being flexible, patient, and smart (ikhtiar).

    Reply
    • Lia

      11 September, 2017

      thanks for sharing your experience with me. Currently research in Indonesia states that 87% of students choose the wrong majors :). And of this writing I’m more convinced that the wrong major is not the end of everything, cause there is nothing in vain in this life including the knowledge that I get in this major, I believe it will be a plus when I continue my education later.

      Reply
    • Jason

      17 September, 2017

      Thanks Nuraini for sharing such a detailed comment. I think your perspective will ring closer to home for Lia as you have more in common. Keep up the comments, I read every comment and even though I may not reply it is still noticed. Cheers

      Reply
  • Lia

    11 September, 2017

    Thanks jason for writing this article, actually my meeting with jason is very unique, cause I read this blog when the year 2016, but I didn’t read it again for several months and I read this blog again about one month ago and in one of these blog posts he talked about couchsurfing then from here we met.

    Btw, now I’ve done this as it should be, and the more days I learn to love this major, and I find what’s been making me saturate, but I’m trying to make it fun. Yeah, i rejoined the sports group that for the last six months I didn’t join them cause of the busy lecture at the time, a few days a week after college, I immediately joined them to increase endorphin hormone haha, I’m convinced that seeking experience and expanding friendship make me forget for a moment this problem as well as add my skills in interest and talent. Now I realize that getting out of college and looking for another major is not an answer, and the more days I learn that I have to finish what I started

    Reply
    • Jason

      17 September, 2017

      Wow! There you go. The plot thickens! I’m glad you have changed your attitude. Keep it up!

      Reply

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