I want to give thanks to this article for inspiring my writing today.
Sitting in my cubical, sipping on the lukewarm coffee this morning I can certainly feel that I have aged. Though not physically, nor in my appearance, you can still find hints of baby fat betraying the image I carry. In my mind I am already in my late 20s, still dumb but wiser and distant to who I was in University. Odd, because I graduated last summer. The older me now consider responsibilities in all life choices and perhaps spend too much time thinking about the future then he should.
Today I want to write about adult education; our journey to answer the question “What am I suppose to do with my life.”
I am sure many experience great difficulty in answering THE question. Even in discussing what we hope to do towards finding this so called “purpose” can be challenging. For the recent graduates, this challenge comes from the discomfort in stepping away from the structured learning environment: In university we are taught to expect tests and exams, and know more or less the scope and outline. Post graduation we can see that “real” life is more chaotic; we do not know when and where we will be tested or the conditions to pass these test, thus we are always in constant preparation.
Certainly, there are attempts to make this chaos a little more organized. I believe that most 20 year olds are looking for a school of thoughts to help them answer the fulfillment question above. Whether this be religion, for those who find god after university, career or entrepreneurship, self-help, meditation, these are all programs to structure learning.
With that said, telling you where and why chaos and orderliness exists does nothing to bring us any closer towards fulfillment; it is the understanding of them that will. Indeed, it is the qualities that help you identify chaos and order that will help you move forward. These are two qualities a graduate of higher education should posses: Curiosity and Intelligence. Curiosity to help identify the factors that influence our life and the intelligence understand them.
As it has been said, those who do not understand themselves are forever prisoners to the forces unseen.
Here are a few examples of what I have identified and how I understood them:
1) I have a high tolerance for Chaos, as in I do not need a define structure to learn and strive. But the down side is that I only know how to live chaotically. I am a jack of all trades and a master of none. I have started applying some structure and focus to my learning.
2) I am forever a student and never a teacher. I always seek knowledge but I have no threshold to when I will feel fulfilled. I have began to set end goals.
3) In this chaos, I have identified the factor of suffering. Suffering defined by sacrifices that I have made as well as external factors that influence my behavior/mood. Understanding suffering means understanding my inner and external reactions. I learned to use suffering as a guide towards resolution.
4) I feel fulfillment in creating things. Perhaps it is an artistic nature. I identified that the fear of judgment and certain inherited mindsets were inhibiting me from doing what I like to do. Thus Courage and motivations are two traits I am cultivating as part of “adult education.”
In the words of David Foster Wallace, the real value of education and so called learning to think is not in acquiring more knowledge, but learning to manage what we think about. To cut this long story short, the trueness to Adult education is accepting the challenge to move forward.
“The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.”