Conversations Can Change Your Life
Conversations were the currency of my childhood so always present, but I truly learnt this lesson when I was at university. There was an exchange programme that allowed us to spend our 3rd year in another university somewhere around Europe. This meant the degree would take 4 years rather than 3 and our classmates who didn’t go on the programme would have finished up by the time we got back. There was therefore some grieving around the fact that we would no longer get to study together.
Anyone interested had to apply by the middle of the 2nd year. One day a couple of months after the deadline for applications, I was at home studying when a friend called over and basically said “Dude, we have to study together in our final year.” When I regretfully countered that I would love to go but that it was a little late now, he just said “Go to the professor running the programme and tell him that you would truly love to go and see what happens.” After that conversation, it truly felt like I had fresh options – which in truth I did and I didn’t. I did, because the conversation with the professor was now an option, and yet I didn’t, because the deadline had closed months previously.
Seeing as I am telling you this story, you have no doubt guessed that I did go to the professor, bared my soul and ultimately got a place. A number of those who had applied dropped out and I got offered the last spot. As a result, I spent an amazing year at college in Switzerland, met my future wife and the whole trajectory of my life was changed.
All of this from one conversation that gave me the impression that I had different options. That is the power of continually reassessing possibilities — one moment of insight, one conversation, one chance meeting can open doors you never even realised were there.