Nothing’s impossible

Nothing's Impossible

What are you trying to achieve with your life? Anything? Nothing?

If you haven’t figured it out, no problem. Take your time. Explore the world. Keep doing you.

If you’re spinning in all different directions, well, take a moment to stop yourself before motion sickness causes you to vomit all over your chest and floor.

I remember many years ago, I was in high school, I had absolutely no vision for my life or my future. I’d wake up, pack a basic lunch, then start walking to a place I dreaded going every Monday to Friday.

High school sucked.

I spent almost all my time between classes in the library. Books were my best friends. I didn’t talk to anyone. And, quite honestly, I think this had its own hidden benefits which I just didn’t see at the time.

Anyway, I hated high school.

I was kind of bullied by some kids in class for being the quiet one. In a grade 12 English class, there was a teacher who would humiliate me weekly for not participating in group discussions and refusing to join group projects.

“Class,” began the Nazi English teacher from my high school, “we have a new assignment that requires you to be in groups. Yes, groups. Now, I know some of you might not want to be in groups, but, it must be done. So, if you don’t have friends, find friends, use a bit of money, and bribe someone to be a friend.”

The class erupted with laughter. I didn’t.

As the semester went on, other kids in the class would participate in this teacher’s “humor” which only made me further withdrawn and isolated at the school.

Find something meaningful and focus on it.

I was blessed.

One of my teacher’s in high school had a positive approach to interacting with their students. He taught history. And, because of his style and approach to learning, I took every single one of his history classes, even when I didn’t have to.

I was working on a group assignment alone. In all my classes, I did almost all group work alone. I think I was suffering from social anxieties which, the reason for, I’ll explain some other time.

Luckily, my history teacher didn’t have a problem and I didn’t mind doing all the extra work myself. I was fascinated with how the world was and the perspective from people long before our time.

“Jef,” my Nazi-teaching history teacher began, “what are you going to do when you finish high school?”

I remained silent (I was clueless).

“Well, you’re doing good in this class. How are you grades in other classes?”

“About the same.”

“That’s good! So, any ideas for what you’ll do next?”

“Not sure. Get a job. Work?”

“What about university? There are plenty of opportunities out there. Why not find one and chase it?”

That conversation was a turning point for my life. Before this, my future was a black abyss of nothingness. After this, my history teacher arranged a meeting with an academic adviser and it opened my mind to numerous paths and opportunities for my life.

Nothing’s impossible.

My high school days are long over.

Since then, I have graduated from University with a BSc. in Honours Biomedical Sciences. Hitchhiked the western half of Canada. Cycled across the Eastern half of Canada. Conquered most of SE Asia with a bicycle. Started a small English service in Japan. And, currently, operate a Digital Marketing Agency from everywhere in the world.

I achieved these things because I gave my life direction, goals to work toward, and dreams to chase.

If you’re fortunate, you’ll have family, or friends, or teachers to guide you along the way. However, in the end, it’s up to you to do the hard work to get you to the places you want to be.

And, where are the places you want to be? What are the things you should be doing with your life?

I can’t answer that. That’s for you to find for yourself.

The only thing I can do is to remind you that, nothing’s impossible! Whatever you want to achieve, you likely can. How you achieve it? That’s for you to explore.

Jef van de Graaf
Canadian Copywriter & World Traveler
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