I wish I had that kind of commitment


Me at 18. Where did all the hair go???

I consider myself to be an ordinary person who has his share of life’s ups and downs. I was (am still am)  a loner for as long as I can remember.

As a 7 year old child, my idea of a good day was to find a corner somewhere with some comic books or a spy and crime novels. I experienced life though fiction and fairy tales and even then had dreamt of an ideal world. When I was 14 my parents sent me away to a boarding school called Wellingborough School in the UK. It was a strange and surreal experience to suddenly find myself as the odd one out (as if I wasn’t already the odd one).  I have to admit (maybe to the surprise to my friends from school who happens to read this post) that I was severely unhappy in my first few years there. I went even further into the world I created in my head.

School wasn’t all bad and after a few years I began to settle down and made some really great friends there.

After school came Uni and even after a dismal performance at A-Levels, I managed to get a place to read law at the University of Buckingham. I call those years at Uni the Dark Years as it was during my time there that I ‘lost’ my way so to speak. I was financially desperate and constantly living in fear of being out on the streets with no place to go. I got into some bad habits then and that coupled with some family tragedy caused me to be kicked out of Uni. To support myself I worked as a store boy in a ladies shoe shop in DH Evans in London.

I was broke with no degree, my personal life was in shambles and I honestly don’t even know what I would be doing the next day.

Me after completing the 21.1km half marathon time trial..

Believe it or not, all that changed upon a choice.

And that choice was to accept the fact that I am in charge of my life whether I like it or not. I had to get a grip on my life. I had to stop the blame game (I blamed my parents a lot for my situation) and  start doing a better job of the one thing I can control- which was ME.

The cost of not doing that would be too frightening to mention.

I managed to secure funding to continue my education. The university agreed to take me back and I worked and studied as if my life depended on it (because it did). I got through with a Honours Degree in Law, came back to Malaysia and found work as an in house lawyer. Though life still had lots of tragedies in store for me (which I will write about later), I find myself being able to get through a lot of pain and heartache.

You see, from that moment on, I decided that nobody was going to tell me what I can or cannot do (most of all me) and that decision has stuck with me until now and perhaps for the rest of my life.

I share this story as a way to reflect back on what people think of me now. I have been called an ‘Extreme’ person, a ‘Tough’ person, someone who doesn’t know moderation, even pushy and intrusive.

Me as a photographer

I can sense people get uneasy around me and I can see the look of fear when I start talking to people. It’s not my intention to make people afraid to talk to mea and I have tried different ways in order to make sure people are more comfortable when I’m around but it doesn’t seem to be working.

What do I think of myself? Well. I think of myself as a person who has great difficulty in committing to things. Not because of some fear of failure or wanting to run away but because when I commit myself, it comes with it the idea that I will do whatever it takes to get it done (I wrote about my take on commitment in an earlier posting which expresses the same ideas). And I actually get things done. Sometimes I get in my way and start messing things up or start looking for drama (I’m lucky life has creative ways to slap you silly so that you realise these things).

If the idea that having a desire to do whatever it takes to achieve one’s objective is extreme or tough then I readily accept those labels. I am extreme when it comes to achieving something and I do crazy things to get it done. And when it comes to being pushy and intrusive? If it helps people be who they can be and do what they are capable of doing, then I want to be the pushiest person around.

It’s that concept of ‘whatever it takes’ that has made me what I am today and many people have expressed admiration and inspiration at the results I’m getting and yet I am puzzled why people don’t take that admiration and inspiration as a way to motivate them for their own success in their results.

After conducting my ‘motivational’ training. The flip chart says,
‘Do what you love and love what you do’..

Some one wrote on my Facebook page recently that he wishes he had that kind of commitment.

How do I respond to that?

For me it all starts with a choice. Without that choice, commitment will not come. What is that choice? It’s the choice of responsibility which says that I am in charge of my life whether I like it or not. So I better do a good job at it. One day I’ll will run out of people to blame or excuses to make. Have a dream and make it big. Understand no one else can give it to you. The commitment is not to that dream. The commitment is to do whatever it takes to achieve that dream.

I still live in my ideal world. A world where everybody goes after their dreams. A world where people help each other out. A world where we celebrate what makes us the same instead of discriminating what makes us different.

I know that my blog talks a lot about triathlons and running and all that fun stuff (fun for me anyway). It doesn’t have to be about the triathlon. It just has to be something you desire in your life. Your dreams, hopes and aspirations. I’ll continue in my efforts to demonstrate that,

If I can do it, so can you….

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