‘The only real boundaries are the ones
you decide to create for yourself’
What would I tell my 18-year-old self? It would be
just one simple thing: keep doing what you’re doing.
Explore what you need to explore. Run with it –
don’t fear what others will say, all those failures and
attempts are just as important as the successes. Losing
is winning. You must be able to lose in order to gain
ground, to know the ground that you can build on.
Trust your instincts. Your gut instincts are the best
tools you can ever be equipped with, and will tell you a
lot more than anyone else can (assuming you’re willing
to listen to anyone at that age). They will carry you
through when you think you are lost.
The reality you need to understand is that everything
changes. No matter who you think you want to be, just
follow your heart, for it knows the way to go. It reads
the maps that our eyes cannot see.
Looking back now, I see I had much to do on radical
self-expression. At 18 I wanted so badly to create, but
lacked the language and the means to express the
things I could feel.
I would tell my younger self: ultimately there is a
reason for your existence here – to raise consciousness.
When you’re young it tends to represent itself as anti-establishment, because there seems to be no other way
to change things for the better.
When you are at university they tell you you’ll be
nothing if you don’t do what they say – to meet the
needs of industry, to engineer what employers require.
But don’t be misled by those in authority, for they are
Explore the world, meet its challenges and appreciate
everyone you meet. Learn from them in order to step
up to the next level.
Give everything, be free, lose yourself in this world,
for it has all the answers right where you least expect
them to be. It’s the most potent form of self-love,
because the more you give to the world, the more it
Finally, believe in the magic inside yourself, for that
is what is real. Light the way so others can see. That
magic will carry you anywhere – the world will become
small, boundaries will dissolve and you will come to
realise the only real boundaries are the ones you decide
to create for yourself.
l Christopher Boots heads his own architectural
lighting design practice in Melbourne