Would you believe that my 4 year old daughter transformed my life style? It is still hard to believe but those 6 little sweet words struck me hard in my head.
“Dad you are never at home”
But before, I tell you my story, I want to let you in to why I am writing it in the first place. I keep hearing these stupid excuses all the time and it really frustrates me.
“It’s too late, my life is ruined”
“I won’t be able to succeed”
“My life is doomed”
“Oh you were lucky, I don’t have luck”
I keep telling my friends, colleagues and the people around me that “Nothing is Impossible in life”. Here is what I think and a firm believer of:
“If you have the will power to succeed, then you can achieve anything in life”
Ok let’s get to my story now.
The story goes back to 2002; this is when my transformation started. But I will go back a bit further to how I was and what happened next. It will make you understand why it was so important to change the life I was living.
In 1989, while I was working in my country Bangladesh for the French Electricity Company, I was offered to work at the head office in France.
I jumped on the opportunity and was enjoying the new life style in France. I had a nice pay, company accommodation and 4 return trips a year back to Bangladesh. What could someone ask for more!
Unfortunately, this happiness lasted only for 5 years until Dec 1994, when I was made redundant. The life had to continue, my wife joined me in France from Bangladesh in January 1995, and being unemployed, you can imagine how difficult it was to live a decent life.
I did not lose hope. I decided to take up the 1st job that came my way. In Aug 95, I finally managed to get a job as a barman in a big restaurant but the salary was minimum wage. But what the heck! At least I had money coming in.
After 3 months, I got a chance to become a waiter. This post was interesting as my salary was based on the percentage of Sales value and the extra was the tips you made. In some months it could amount to 30% – 40% of your basic salary. Money was good so was life.
We had our 1st daughter in October 1998. I was filled with joy and excitement. My daughter meant everything to me. Things started getting better for me. In 2000, we bought our 1st property, a 2 bedroom apartment. Before that we were living in a 1 bedroom apartment and now it was time to get to a bigger space for my daughter.
My job as a waiter continued in the restaurant. I was doing night shift. My day would start at 3pm and would end at 1am in the morning. I came back home at 2 am and slept till 9am in the morning. My day off was Monday and Tuesday.
Until now, I am sure you are saying when did my 4 year old daughter transform my life! Patience my friend, I am about to reveal to you right now!
It started in April 2002, my daughter was hardly 4 years old and started schooling as in France the children start pre-school at the age of 3.
So what happened?
Well, as I worked night shift and had holidays on Monday and Tuesday, I hardly saw my daughter. I was at home while she was at school.
Then one day, she looked into my eyes and asked the question “Dad, why are you never at home”. Tears ran down my eyes. I hugged her and said that I was sorry because I had to go to work. How could you make a 3 year old understand what work is?
Later, I started thinking. I said to myself
What am I doing?
What life am I leading that I can’t even give some time to my daughter?
What was the point of working and earning money if I can’t share the joy with my family?
Since that day, I became restless, deep in my thoughts, I was cursing myself. I need to change; I have to find a way to get back to a normal life.
The only way out of the restaurant life and odd working time was to rehabilitate myself. So I decided to take up further education. But if I go back to college then that means I won’t be able to work and that means no food for the family. So what do I do!
I kept researching for student scholarships for adults. After a month’s extensive search, I found the ideal course for me. But there was huge competition for the scholarship. “Heck, if you don’t try then you will not know if you will succeed”. Taking action and trying was more important than anything else.
So I took the entrance exam. Guess what! To my surprise, I was selected. Well, here is a start of a new life!
So for the next 1 year, I went through an intensive training course. The course and my salary for a year were fully subsidized by the scholarship. I worked hard. I was determined to succeed.
In May 2003, I achieved my Professional Qualification as an Accounting Technician and in September 2003, I was employed by the Practice where I did my 3 month internship.
Now, I enjoy my evenings and week-ends with my daughter and I see her growing up each day.
So what is the moral of this story?
I am a firm believer of these words “Where there is a will, there is a way”. If you really want to succeed in life then you have to ask for it. Nobody will give it to you in a silver plate. I was desperate to change my life and I have succeeded. Guess what my age was then. I was 37 when I took up my studies. So the age should not be a barrier or excuse.
I did not stop there. In 2006, at the age of 41, I moved to Ireland to get higher degree in Accounting and now I enjoy a better career achievement, respect and money.
There is no end to learning. In 2009, I took an interest in internet marketing. Well, the current economic conditions make you look for additional income and so did I.
I have built up a few websites around the passion I enjoy sharing with others “computers” and “cooking”. They are growing gradually. I am not yet an internet success but I am getting there with baby steps.
Success comes by sharing and I want to help as many people as I can through my stories and experience.
We all need a bit of guidance, a tap on the back and a lot of encouragement. I have learned from others and would love to pass it on to you.
I hope my story will inspire you and motivate you to take action. You know it is never too late.