“Doubt if you must, it’s something I have grown accustom to. If people don’t doubt you it means you’re not pushing the boundaries, not daring to do something that can’t be done. The moment people stop doubting you it’s not because you won them over but rather because you lost yourself.”
From the start people will doubt you and your aspirations. In an attempt to clip your wings all types of methods will be used; no matter what you must resist the barraged of attacks. At the end of high-school after 4 years of planning to become a psychologist I discovered the world of economics. My plan for the next 10 years was scratched in 10 minutes as I frantically scrambled through my research to determine the prerequisites of my new dream.
The Chinese could not have built a greater wall than what stood between me and economics.
The hurdles added up to around 2 years of more schooling. I scurried over to my high school academic advisor to devise a master plan in which my dream would become a reality way sooner. Little did I know, she would doubt me.
“Shaaz, why are you trying? Just give up on this goal of yours. You can’t do this it’s just too much for you. Stop and settle for what you have; you would probably need 3 years of schooling to get the prerequisites. There is no way this can be done.”
Some great Academic Advice?
So I picked up the pieces of my shattered goal from the floor and made a quick exit. After some consulting with my family and other sources (you can smell my sheer determination at this point, never give up), the solution was found!
Take that Risk
I had a meeting with the department of economics at Carleton which produced a a risky choice. I could take a harder version of grade 12 calculus at Carleton (some hybrid version which means more in-depth/challenging) and voila I would be majoring in economics at University of Ottawa. However, the chance to waste money, time, rejecting job offers and failing was high as I had zero experience with math at that level.
Of course I took the class.
Long days, long nights and no summer with lots of stress. On average 5-6 hours of studying a day everyday period.
Raw brute force.
Determination worked as I finished in the top 10% percent of the class with a 79%. Proved a good amount of people wrong but more importantly proved to myself I could live out my dream, no matter how tall those walls were.
Now I am only 7 months away from my degree in international economics and development with a minor in business administration. I have 3 years of government work experience. I have the privilege to be the VP Finance of the University of Ottawa’s Tennis League and the VP Academic the University of Ottawa’s Economic Student Association. Furthermore, I been lucky enough to embark on a 20 day economic delegation to China and Malaysia as a Trade Ambassador.
This message is not about me or my life but rather about the powers of doubt itself.
Keep pushing the boundaries and doing what’s not possible time and time again.
So for those people please continue to doubt me and MTG.
It only means good things are coming our way.
Update: Since this article, Mindthis has reached 100 000 readers from around the world (over 150 countries to be precise). A team of young professionals living “gap minding lives” have made the the Mindthis dream a reality.
Our journey is now beginning as we expect the doubts to only grow stronger alongside our successes.