When a book finds you

On the weekend, thanks to a recent eBay purchase, Mr.5 & I took a trip over the Westgate to Williamstown.  We both loved it there, so we’re going back later this week – on the train, of course (next time, I’ll take some pics).

Williamstown is about 5km from the city, but when you’re in the old part of Williamstown you feel 500km away.  Behind Nelson Place is particularly gorgeous – big wide streets, picturesque cottages, stunning Federations.  Old corner pubs with the paint peeling off.

But I digress.  Because this post is in fact about a book.  Warning – it may start getting a little corny from here on in.

Recently, I noticed this book in our local bookshop’s window:

Now I am not the biggest fan of self-help/psychology books.  I find they can be a little corny..and I sort of like to help myself, thank you very much.  But as I’ve been at a crossroads career-wise, this book’s title caught my eye.  Rarely do I buy brand new books; I’m a second-hand bookshop & library kind of girl.  However, I went in and read the back cover.  Sounded interesting.  Then I saw the price – $27.95.  Hmmm, not so interesting after all!

As Mr.5 and I wandered down the street in Williamstown, we passed a bookshop that sold second-hand and ‘imperfect’ new books.  Yes, you know what I saw staring back at me from the window display.  It was that book again, haunting me!  Brand new, albeit a little black mark, for $10.

I’ll just up the corny ante here and say that of course, the book was meant for me.

I’m about a third of a way through reading it and it really resonates with me.  It’s mainly about how most of us end up doing what we should do, to get a job.  That at school we often don’t get to fully explore our natural talents and preferred interests (that applies to kids today, too).  Then later on in the workplace, we can easily become pigeon-holed in a field what we may be good at, but that we don’t really enjoy.  Over time, we lose sight of what we really wanted to do.

It also discusses different forms of intelligence, as opposed to the purely academic, results-based intelligence that forms the basis of standard school curriculums.  Personally I was always good at art and english, but in my senior years was steered towards maths and science, because it’d help me get into Uni, to then get a ‘proper’ career.

Ironically when I had a taste of Uni, I couldn’t sit through lectures.  I couldn’t learn that way.  I remember sitting in one lecture hall looking around and thinking, how can people sit and listen like this, take it all in and not go nuts?  I hated it.  I discovered I learnt best by doing, and switched over to course with a strong practical component.  Then getting a full-time apprenticeship and switching to part-time study was even better – it meant more learning on the job, and less in a classroom.

But my formal learning’s done, and so my thoughts turn to Mr.5.  He’s definitely a ‘doer’ and a visual learner, with a love for art and design – constructing amazing things out of blocks and Lego.  Will he be academic?  I don’t know, but I don’t want him to be constrained by a school system that focuses heavily on traditional grades and Naplan tests.  He starts school next year, so we’ll see how he goes.  I guess it’s all about finding the balance between academic requirements and exploration of his own interests.  We’ll certainly be encouraging the latter just as much!

Anyhow, a great little book, with lots of food for thought. 🙂

How about you – did your education lead you to what you love?  What’s your passion in life?  Is it your job, or perhaps still a pipedream?   

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5 responses to “When a book finds you

  1. I enjoyed that post as I do your blog. Glad you got the book and it resonated with you. Do you have interesting school options for Mr. 5? I studied bio and economics in uni. always wished I did something else, but didn’t have the guts to risk the change and not so obvious secure career. Never did anything with my studies in the end. Anyways, I also hope I can help give my children the freedom and confidence to do something “different” if that is what they want.

  2. Somehow, this idea, of not going according to society’s neat little system, makes me smile and breathe easy. I won’t say, I’m one of the lot, but I’d like to be. Maybe when I finish my studies; yes, that would be a good time to pursue other interests vigorously. Right now, giving Mom a heart attack won’t really sit well with anyone.

    Must check out the book though.

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