A Hallway with a Thousand Doors

A Hallway with a Thousand Doors

I was struggling to sleep last night so I began to think as usual

I knew someone who had put his all into a particular thing and things didn’t work out

He was distraught

He was feeling as though there was no point trying anymore

I don’t know how many other things he had tried before this particular thing

Or if that was the only thing he had ever really tried so hard to get

But I knew this particular let down had affected him severely

Suddenly an image came to my mind

I thought about a hallway with a thousand doors

I think sometimes life can be like a hallway with a thousand doors – more like uncountable doors but “A Hallway with a Thousand Doors” is a better title than “A Hallway with uncountable doors” so let’s just leave it.

I imagined life like a poorly lit hallway with a thousand doors

Poorly lit because you can only see the first door or at best the first few doors while you are standing at the entrance of the hallway

And it is only as you move down the hallway that the other doors unravel – i.e. the more you move the clearer you see the next few doors and so on.

Its not just poorly lit, sometimes its poorly labelled or sparsely labelled

Let’s focus on “sparsely labelled” for the purpose of this write up

Delving into poor labelling will open up another can of worms

So yes, sparsely labelled in the sense that some doors are labelled describing what’s behind them and others are not

What happens is; we walk into that hallway and we know there are a bunch of doors. But we can only see the first few doors due to the poor lighting

We see those doors and we are lucky to find ones that are properly labelled telling us exactly what is behind them

The easy ones are things like school. For instance, a door labelled, “University Degree in Computer Science and Data Analytics, this programme lasts 3 years”.

With this door you sort of know what you get apart from the tricky bits of how you actually do at school which determines if you finish in the 3 years, or if you spend some more time due to failed papers, an evil lecturer or other acts of God. 

But overall, you know what you are getting.

Let’s assume you are a young individual just out of secondary school / high school and your ideal next step is a university degree.

You walk up to the University Degree door with a degree you find most interesting and you start to tug at it.

Did you think all the doors were going to open smoothly?

Obviously not.

Actually, that’s another angle. But I don’t want to delve into the explanation of how the door might open smoothly for some and might not for others. But of course, that’s how it works.

So yes, you start to tug at the University Degree door.

Tugging represents passing your School Leaving certificate Exams, getting admission into the university of your choice, getting the money or your parents getting the money to pay the university fees, and all the other bits and bobs.

Let’s imagine the door has as many locks as there are things that need to be completed in order for you to begin at university. So, for each criterion you meet, you unlock one of the door locks and so on and so forth.

Sticking to the University Degree door, you unlock the locks for passing exams and getting admissions but the deadline for getting the fees passes and you or your parents are unable to get the money and so that lock remains jammed. That’s it, you cannot get through that door in the natural sense of things.

The individual now has a choice;

Choice 1: to fall at the foot of that door and weep for years that their inability to get in that particular door at that particular time means that their life is over and so they never bother to get up and try again (remember, this door can be anything – university degree is just an example).


Choice 2: To move to the next possible door which can also be anything.

They can decide to keep moving down the hallway searching for doors they know they will easily meet the criteria to unlock, or decide to open a door that is not labelled and enjoy the surprise, or decide to open a door they know they would have to fight tooth and nail to get through, or decide to open any door at all. The array of doors are there for the taking.

Sometimes not all doors will be accessible by everyone.

Some people might have an advantage over others.

But there is a guarantee that in that hallway of a thousand doors, there is a door for everyone

It is the level of perseverance, luck, skill, or whatever, that will determine if you get through any of the doors.

You just have to keep trying.

I am sure by now you get where I am going with this.

Write soon x.

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