Roger Cowdrey - International Business Consultant. Writer & Motivational Speaker
My Blog

There are always alternatives!

For me the pleasures of an exercise session on the beach before starting work at my own pace and in my own office,and then finishing in time to jump into an inviting swimming pool before evening drinks seems a long way away from the trials and stresses of the young.

For while I enjoy contentment and flexibility I know that there are countless young people out there who are revising for exams, taking exams, worrying about results and worrying about whether they will be able to continue along their pre-determined pathway.

I saw a quote recently that said that they wished they were born eighty years old with all of that experience and that life went in reverse back to eighteen. While it may have been said in jest, there is a lot of truth in that statement.

For at eighteen I too was in the same place as so many of those young people, albeit not stressing quite so much as I probably ought to have done. Because back then we were all expected to go to college and university and then get a proper job for life.

Of course, in reality there was no job for life and the pathways of life do not run in straight lines. What I did discover was that the road has many junctions and pathways off of the main highway. While the road ahead appeared to look pretty straight and safe, those off had a feel of adventure, risk and a little danger.

However, that main road that looked so safe turned out to be a dead end for so many people when they got over the hill and the adventurous routes that I chose to tread turned into much more enjoyable and rewarding routes that took me to places I could never have imagined at eighteen.

For the record, at eighteen I imagined myself in the front of a classroom for my whole working life, probably in my home town of Bournemouth. At the time computer studies didn't even exist. However, by following routes that led me to a computer company, a business support company and ultimately a role as an independent consultant, I now have the sort of life I described at the start.

Now I am not decrying examinations or all forms of education. However, my message to those young people that are sweating it out in revision rooms and examination halls, is stop thinking that this is a toll booth on the road to life that you must get through.

Recognise that the thing that makes our life different from other animals is its unpredictability. Higher education is just another bus on a maze of roads of life that may get you to a destination or that may lead you to a dead end. And like all buses, there will be another one through in a while with some surprising but exciting destination.

If you are taking examinations then good luck, but don't imagine the world will end if you don;t get the results you expect or that the path will be strewn with roses if you do!

And now I must finish this blog as that swimming pool in Turkey, well away from my home town of Bournemouth, beckons at the end of my working day.

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