Every now and then I have to pinch myself to remind me this is all real. When I was in primary (elementary) school, much to the chagrin of my father, a brilliant engineer, I always came in the last three in the class. My poor grades guaranteed me a place in a trade course when I made it to high school. Having always been good with my hands my grades improved, and I was consistently placed in the top five of the class.
This left me believing I wasn’t all that bright when it came to book learning, but over time my forays into life and academia began to prove my former assessment, and those of my former schoolteachers, to be off base. I began rising to the top in leadership roles, enjoying learning and getting good grades.
After serving in the Royal Australian Navy, and twelve years as a cop, including a stint as a Police Prosecutor, I gravitated towards the law. My entry into tertiary education was to enrol in a double degree in Law and Economics, but before I completed my first year I realised I had spent enough time down in the gutter dealing with criminals. My real interest was in Chiropractic, so I applied and was accepted to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic in the United States, and this was my game-changer.
Obtaining a Doctorate in 1978, I have never really stopped studying and learning. Now at age 83 years, with 43 years of clinical practice behind me, I am hanging in for my 90th birthday before I even consider retirement … a scary word in my book.
Somewhere along the way I took up writing and am currently in the middle of my eighth book. My genera is non-fiction. I tried writing a novel and it was finished in three chapters. I simply do not have the necessary skill to stretch it out using subplots.
So, what happened when I was at school? With a confirmed IQ of around 140, I now realise I was bored, and while they sort of tried, my teachers simply did not engage me. My trouble was I wanted to know what was beyond that hill, and how the stars stayed suspended in space, instead of concentrating on the lesson at hand. A dreamer, a space cadet.
It is said, all’s well that ends well. I’ve been to the other side of many hills in many countries, and I have allowed my mind to soar to the far reaches of the universe. I don’t have a bucket list … I’ve already been there and done it.
A word of encouragement if I may. Whoever you are, or who you think you are, never sell yourself short. Most of us have a great deal more talent than we give ourselves credit for, so dig down deep inside where the real you is waiting for your call.
Set yourself challenges, and don’t settle for climbing the smallest hill. Pick the biggest, and don’t quit before you get to the top. The view will amaze you.