This year has been rather interesting for me.
I’ve had suddenly a slew of invitations to speak and share.
Talk about when it rains, it pours!
This Friday afternoon (30 November), I will be speaking to the students of the Social Sciences School at Universiti Sains Malaysia during their Industry and Community Advisory Panel (ICAP) Programme.
The gist is, they want me to share on my successes and failures and how I managed to make the most of my Communication and later Linguistics degrees in work and business.
Here’s What’s Funny
Do you know that I am not even from the School of Social Sciences?
I graduated from the School of Communication and furthered my studies at the School of Humanities.
What I do know is this – it does pay to have a foundation that can easily help you get to good careers.
My language skill has always been my best bet. I honed that skill way before I entered university. I started getting into books at 9 years old. I was a shy child.
But I have a tenacity that sometimes amazes me. I also tend to push myself and ask “What if?” and of late “What’s the worst that could happen?”
If it’s not a life-and-death situation, I might as well give it a go. I might end up learning something new and useful! (That is why I am learning how to write Chinese. Not easy but I persist!)
The Power of 10,000
I paid those dues with more than 10,000 hours of practice (read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “The Outliers” and you will see what I mean by 10,000 hours).
I’ve written all sorts of weird stuff as a child; I remember copying questions and answers from the “Tell Me Why” series of kids’ books as a 6 year old kid.
I wrote essays.
I wrote short stories.
I typed out poems on my second-hand typewriter, a gift to humour me from my Godmother.
Writing goes hand in hand with reading. I am glad I love reading.
I read everything.
Even labels on cans.
It’s In My DNA
Even when I was quaking in fear of public speaking, I entered my school’s debate team.
In university, I took creative writing as an elective subject. Plus I took Journalism when all my course mates went for more glamorous majors like Broadcasting and PR. To me, I just wanted to write. It didn’t matter what.
This ability to write has really defined me and my life.
I’ve always worked with words. I have always, in a way, told stories. Could be clients’ stories, could be mine.
So I guess success isn’t something that happens overnight like mushrooms growing after a bout of tropical rain.
Success is about one step at a time, slowly but surely. It means working on something you deeply love.
I can’t imagine not writing.
Stay tuned as I will let you know what happens on Friday.
I am excited!