When I was nine-years-old, I sat in the kitchen of my childhood home, looking at smoked-wood paintings of Indigenous leaders that hung above our dining table. These paintings were created by a friend dear to my mother who had fallen terribly ill with Cancer is the later years of her life. This woman, a beautiful leader and kind spirit, would be a generous contributor to the building of my character. However, growing up I had not realized this fact.
Upon a visit to her Saskatchewan home, she showed me a collection of artwork that she had been working on. As a child in awe, I explained that one day I wanted to be as talented an artist as she was. Unfortunately, I did not know how to become that person. In response, warmed by my childhood admiration, she looked to me and said,
“You can be anything in this life with what you know.”
As our conversation grew and my childhood years blossomed into those of young womanhood, I carried her words with me. I realize now that she was sharing with me a few different philosophies.
1. Knowledge is power.
The more you know, the more you are able to do. It is that simple.
2. Practise makes perfect.
Obviously, to perfect any skill it takes time and dedication. Additionally, the more you practise something, the easier it will become. Eventually, you will have a collection of tools that allow you to achieve what you aspire.
3. You can be anything in this life.
Often the most difficult concept for people to grasp is the fact that you actually can be anything you want. Yes, of course, there will be boundaries and setbacks, laced with systematic discrepancies. However, every roadblock is being met by you. Whether you believe it or not, the road you have taken has made you a skilled driver. All that’s left is time, patience, and determination to fuel the tank. You are 100% capable of carrying all of those things. You just need to choose to do so.
4. If you don’t know something, learn it.
The pursuit of knowledge and experience contributes to a full life. New knowledge inspires new ideas, creative and academic alike. The result is literally a world of perspectives and mindsets that shape and challenge your own. You may be amazed to learn how someone’s thoughts completely oppose yours, which is inspiring in the pursuit of self-realization.
As I have grown, her words have become the forefront for most of my endeavours. In fact, there haven’t been many meaningful pursuits in recent years that I felt unequipped to handle. Of course, this has no residue of claim in being a genius. Instead, I am asserting the idea that openness to learn new skills and to listen to different ideas means that you can find your purpose in the big picture because you actually see the full-frame.
So, be open to new ideas, adaptive to change, and eager to learn how to be the person you wish to become. Remember, you can do anything with what you know.