The Knowledge

Enjoy the present, and let it contribute to your future self…

Buying a house, my definition of success at that time, was seemingly impossible with my personal income.

Having a roof over your head is arguably the biggest and most intentional purchase you can opt for in life, but even after the most consolidated efforts, my income was still too weak to get on the property ladder.

What did that say about my life? I was frustrated, I hated the limitation, I was stuck.

I wanted to do something radical, but not rash (I have made plenty of those decisions since leaving university).  My friend’s father was a cabbie and briefly introduced me to this thing called “The Knowledge”.  The main message I got was, work the hours I want, get the income required for a mortgage, bob’s your uncle.

In a society riddled with overnight results; quick finance, crash diet plans, Insta-famous.  I sought a different path, the longer less glamorous route, with a drop out rate of 80% and an average 4 years of studying, I had begun the Knowledge.

I’d work Monday – Saturday, 9-6 at my full time retail job, I’d head straight to London straight from work, grabbing a petrol station sandwich for dinner, I’d get back at 1am most mornings, returning to work 8 hours later and repeat the process again.

The Knowledge was a marathon, it had no value until I was over the finish line. Once you’re in it, your time and space is condensed to studying, important dates in your calendar are replaced by the countdown to your next appearance (exam).  A multitude of sacrifices have been essential in getting me to where I am today, some I’m proud of, others an arguably unhealthy sacrifice (relationships, health), that I can’t wait to get back on top of.

Aside from London, what did studying The Knowledge teach me about myself?

Life is filled with too many instant gratification pleasures; Facebook, TV, even food.  Now there is nothing inherently wrong with these things (the latter of course being essential for living).  It’s when we discard intentionality that we have a problem. I’ve learnt to be mindful, if something is too rich or pleasurable without much input, then I can be very certain that it is a detractor to my long term goals, I always question; “Does this short term action align with my long term goal?”

Don’t be afraid to go against the norm.  I really mean this, I’d have friends and colleagues outright call me nuts for waking up at 2am/3am to drive round London.  Break your goals down, is there a better way of achieving them? Change your recipe, what is stopping you from achieving your 5/10 year goal today?

Since leaving school I’ve taken so many paths to achieve, achieve what?  Success?  What is success?  A degree? A high paying job? or being able to do what you enjoy?  Don’t be afraid to let your definitions change over time*, I learnt that there’s no shame working the minimum wage or even for less if you are pursuing your true passion!

On 30th December 2014, I started The Knowledge at Manor House, no clue of my whereabouts or where I would be going.  Just under 3 years later, I’ve got a coveted green badge around my neck driving one of the most iconic vehicles in the world.

The biggest benefit of my journey is being able to work on my terms, I am bound only to my allowance of time.  Time is the most valuable commodity we possess. I want to question why we work, and why society is geared to a system whereby we work for the sake of, rather than questioning how much we truly need to work.

Follow your passion, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise, build your own future or you’ll end up helping someone else build theirs.

This victory isn’t my destination, in fact if anything it has created a bigger catalyst to grow and expand. I can’t wait for the next journey, will keep you all updated on the direction I take.

For anyone embarking on a lengthy journey, I leave you with these two quotes that powered me through my daily drudgery.

“Do not be fearful of a goal because of the time it takes, the time will pass anyway.”

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now.”

Much love

Tom

 

*My new found definition of success isn’t a house, in fact quite the opposite.  My vision of success is to remove non-essential liabilities from my life.  I don’t want to be bound to a payment for 30 years, finance on a car I don’t technically own.  I want to allow myself the best platform to grow and I believe removing these kinds of ties will enable me to live the most intentional and “successful” life.

Love

2016 dating – More choice, less decisions

I can sometimes be a bit indecisive; especially when it comes to food.  It’s something I consciously try improve upon (but surely to consciously decide better is in itself a juxtapose?).  I think this comes down to the fact that I am solely responsible for the enjoyment of the sandwich or item I am to choose.  Layered bread with filler ultimately is as is, I am the one that gives it relevance by my interpretation of the appearance, smell, taste and other sensations it gives off.

Now for women… I’m less picky.

Hold your manifesting thoughts, let them fizzle away and hear me out.

I do not pre-judge anyone. We as human beings have such complicated lives, containing intertwining narratives, even read our own story can be so difficult to interpret, understanding what we have done and how we came to be in this present moment.  Applied to strangers there is a beautiful word; “Sonder”, and that is to merely observe this phenomenon, unable to fathom the plethora of emotions a passer by may or may not be experiencing.

We should not pre-judge anyone. With potential partners it is an open palette, we can accept that we do not know what to expect, even if we already have expectations and that is what makes dating so exciting.  It is a familiar looking and inviting sandwich, yet its contents, its flavour and sensations are completely unknown, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves that we do know.

This is exactly what is wrong with Tinder, and arguably its user base.  We are browsing the same bread menu, praying that a brioche bun appears so we can use our special super like button.  But Tinder does not limit the number of potential matches, we theoretically have an infinitive amount of swipes.   The self inflicted faux pas, greed.

Matches accumulate, as do messages.  The layout and nature of Tinder allows for users to collect these, a dating Pokemon Go?  Why should an app specifically for dating, an area to meet the “special someone” or “the one”, encourage an ever growing palette of matches?  Love at first sight? or love by “eeenie, meanie, miney mo?”

My final and conclusive reason to why app dating is flawed, the salutary swipe.  I often ask myself when it comes to meeting a potential partner; “if I want to find someone like me, where would she be? out on the pull? indoors on the swipe?”  Neither of those options.

The Tinder swipe is comparable to the Facebook/Twitter scroll; we don’t know the true objective of the scroll, it gives a level of pleasure, it is to some respect infinite, but most importantly of all… it does not promote meaningful life observations, the ultimate premise to dating.

Love at first sight, finding the courage to speak to someone who has that potential spark,  that rushing feeling that you may miss this critical moment that can change your life forever.  We all have our own fears, excitements and anxieties that naturally take hold when we are confronted by these situations… that is the moment, the moment that matters, the moment that makes you feel alive, the moment that can change everything.

You cannot swipe that moment, stop being greedy, put the phone down, observe life and see the beauty that exists in everybody.

 

 

 

The Knowledge

The final few runs

So within the the next 2 weeks I will have completed the infamous blue books.

I obtained the blue book with all 320 runs in August 2014, it went from drawer to drawer, including a 3 month stint in the bottom drawer within the room I rented in Whitechapel whilst I was working in the square mile. (Flat – Tilney St, E1.  Office – Barnards Inn, Fetter Lane EC4 for those like me that get the tingly feeling inside when someone mentions anything contained with the 6 mile radius)

It was such a shame that I didn’t begin the blue book until I relocated back home, January 2015, 50 miles from the Charing Cross purview.  The first runs and attempts were feeble, done in car in daytime, getting to approximately 20 before losing track and motivation.  Talk of Uber, driverless cars, and other non impacting reasons not to undertake this mission.

I’m not too sure how I came back from this lull period, all I can say now is that I’m glad that I did.  Every day my knowledge grows stronger, my life is minimised to focus on the goal that lies ahead, its a transformation that I am grateful for and I believe I can apply to any future challenge or ambition that may arise later in life.

The first steps are always the hardest, when you know hardly any street names and have so many new areas to encounter, there’s no reference or point to pin yourself back to, its frustrating to not even know which direction you are facing, no matter how confident your internal compass is.  The tip I now know… take it in piece by piece, slowly… it is a puzzle, you can only work with the pieces you have.  Put it away for a few days, pull it back out and add to those pieces.

Set and meet small goals, the bigger goals will then achieve themselves.

I can’t wait to share my progression with you, thank you for reading, I leave you with this photo of myself on Southgate Road (not even the rain can deter my knowledge spirits).

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The Knowledge

Why Study the Knowledge?

My decision to study The Knowledge of London wasn’t a definitive and sudden thought bubble, merely a collection of opinions and personal aims that steered me towards the enduring study.

One of these was whilst working as an interim sales representative for a large TV/AV brand, I stayed with a friend who lived nearer to one of the stores I had been scheduled to visit.  My travel, time and accommodation wasn’t compensated for, and during my overnight stay I had the pleasure to speak with my friend’s father; a London Black Cab driver.

“You should look into becoming a Cabbie, isn’t it a lot of work having to travel around for a basic sales job?”

I didn’t initially give it much thought, career curveballs are thrown by; friends, family and colleagues all the time, it just went into the mental drawer of other job possibilities.

I’m not sure how it stuck, but it one of the many components that has lead me to the position of study I am in today.

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