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Follow Your Dreams

My first ever boyfriend was Johnny Marr (guitarist with the Smiths and now one of the most respected musicians in his field). He introduced me to music (as well as a few other things!) in my teens. His passion was infectious and his love of lyrics, their meaning and the powerful effect they can have, stays with me today.

His passion fuelled him and fired him up. He found ways to succeed rather than excuses as to why he couldn’t succeed. At the age of 12, he taught himself to play guitar (to my knowledge he’s never had a professional lesson in his life) and, more importantly, he had a DREAM.

My Mum was a secretary at the secondary school that Johnny was at. She clearly remembers typing a report from one of his teachers. It said – Johnny Marr- hugely intelligent and capable but his only wish is to be a Pop Star. (that’s what they were called in the 70’s). And that’s exactly what he did. He started off playing local gigs and word soon spread of his incredible talent. It was his pairing with Morrissey (another guy with a huge dream) that led to the creation of the The Smiths who were and still are regarded as one of the most unique and iconic bands of all time. And the morale of the story –‘ Be careful of what you wish for…

Another story from my childhood. I have two cousins whom I’m very close to. They are now in their late 40’s. This is their story.

They both went to the same primary school and had the same upbringing. The older one was and still is very academically clever. He went to grammar school and then onto to Uni to study Physics. He was told he was one of the cleverest boys they’d ever had on the course.

He didn’t have a dream and now works for Rotherham council in the recycling Department.

His younger brother didn’t do so well at school. His talents lay elsewhere and he was more creative – a talent not always recognised in the school system. He left school with fewer qualifications but with a DREAM. It was simple- he had a creative mind and he wanted to create commercials for T.V.

Against his parents wishes, he enrolled on a course in advertising which he funded himself. (This was in the days when we didn’t have student loans available to us!) The course reinforced his talent and passion. However, when he left, there were few job opportunities in the industry. This didn’t deter him and he worked for free for a number of years to prove his worth. In his last placement, the Company reluctantly said they had to let him go as there were no job vacancies. A week later, they called him to say that they couldn’t possibly lose such talent and offered him his first paid job. The rest is history. He’s gone on to win countless awards for his work, has been creative director of many Advertising Agencies, has one of the ‘funnest’ jobs you can have and gets very well paid for it!! WHY? Because he followed his dream, he didn’t give up and it paid off.


About the author, Sheila Cox Lousada:

The coach, and a trained Young Happy Minds facilitator, has worked with teenagers and young people for many years. We are delighted that she joined our first ever YHM Training Course, as she brings a lot of wisdom and knowledge to the team. Growing up, Sheila did well at school but struggled emotionally until she found positive psychology. Her role as a parent has given her a sound view of what works and what doesn't work in education and subsequently, life, and how 'following your dreams' is often the best course of action to achive a happy and successful life. She previously worked in the corporate world, but has now for several years worked with teenagers, and is also involved in a parent coaching business which helps guide Mums and Dads through parenthood in a positive and resourceful way.

Btw, watch her TEDx talk about emotional well-being and teenagers here.

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