When I was 17 year old, I’ve made some plans. During the time, I was so naive and ambitious. As an overview, the plans that I made was generally related to what career that I shall choose and when I’ll get married. Until today I still don’t understand why I was so keen about this two things, probably it relates to the bigger picture on attempting to achieve stability and prosperity? I strongly believe that your career and to whom you get married will determine the convenience of your life in the future. Without further ado, let’s see what about my current life that would shock my 17 year old me (2000) the most.
- I am an engineer. When I was 17 I always wanted to be an engineer.
I was enrolled in one of the most prestigious university in Malaysia (University of Malaya) in Mechanical Engineering programme. Finished on time (2006) with a fairly good CGPA (hint: 3 point something), and even started working as an engineer before I finished my final semester.
- I have Doctor as a title. When I was 17, I was torn, whether to become a Doctor or an Engineer
Since I was not that ultra-genius, I can’t become a medical doctor. After 2 years of working as an engineer (2008), I decided to enrol in PhD programme in Mechanical Engineering and obtained my PhD in 2011. I guess having the title itself soothe the 17 year old me.
- I got married at the age of 25 (2008). When I was 17, I was planning to get married at 27.
I put a target of 10 years later to get married. But I found my true love earlier than that and we got married two years earlier than I was planning. Both myself and my wife ventured out to finish our PhD afterwards.
- Perfect family setup (wife, kid, own a house, car and motorbike) by 32 (2015). I was planning to complete all this by 36.
I am very thankful that everything went well, despite of the challenges. I guess when you get married to the right person, most of what you planned will be expedited through discussions, working towards the target and sticking with your ambitions.
- Jobs that I love. When I was 17, I anticipated that it would be hard to find job stability since in 1998, Malaysia was struck by economic downturn (Remember George Soros?).
I love my job. I love being in university while at the same time retaining my status as an engineer in the society.
Moral of the story, be brave, dream big and have fun. Failures and success come and go. My SPM was not even that great. There will be many people smarter than you as you go through in your adventure. But be positive and be soulful in whatever you are doing. You’ll be surprised how remarkable things turn out.