Each and every day we are given the opportunity to make decisions— some more important than others. We deviate decisions based on how we feel, the risk of them, and how each decision can benefit us. When decisions come at a great cost— money, time, resources— we examine closer the potential return, the potential benefit, and the potential lost.
Life consists of ups and downs, victories and losses, opportunities and failures— experiences that allow growth. They shape demeanor, build personalities, and create character. However, one circumstance battles the accumulation of it all, mistakes.
We’re human; mistakes happen. Sometimes we let down ourselves; sometimes we let down the people around us; sometimes we let down the people whom admire us. But, more than anything, mistakes do not define us, our actions afterward do. Unfortunately inevitable, once occurred, mistakes give us the responsibility to respond and the opportunity to learn from it. Forgive and forget; own up to mistakes. We don’t plan for them, and that sense of sheer unexpectedness, catching you off balance, unveils your true colors.
Handle it maturely. Take responsibility. Learn from it. Shape your future…
It’s 7:35AM. Hardly awake, semi-coherent, and mildly flustered, I sit in a class that pertains nothing to my major, interests, or wellbeing, yet is essential to take to fulfill my general education requirements. I paid over $1,000 to sit in this class at 7:30AM three times a week over the course of the next four months. The book alone cost $230, and the teacher proclaims spending at least 8 hours a week, outside of class, on book problems, readings, and independent research. With the minimal amount of curiosity and the utmost amount of frustration, I ask myself, “why am I here?”
Sure one can argue: it’s a beneficial cross-discipline, it is informational, you need to do it, etc., but honestly, what does this class offer me, the business economics undergrad striving to establish my future while managing my ever-raging, high-minded ambition for success? I despise learning about genetic patterns and anthropological theory (sorry if you take offense) while my mind focuses on perfecting the skills of success and investing time in practical work that beneficially shapes my future. I concentrate on what interests me, what I want to do, and who I want to become– all the rest remains somewhat obsolete in that discretion– now tell me, “why am I here?”
As a student of formal education, I question its effectiveness for utilization down the road. Here to get educated nonetheless, what are we truly being taught? Theoretical, trivial knowledge? Or the skills and habits that lay the framework for a sophisticated, bright future? Some teachers understand the importance of expressing to students why they should be here, and the “useful” knowledge they should retain, yet the vast majority of professors adhere to a system and its standards, teaching in the liberal arts fashion, never addressing the relevant: what to look for in life, what to do, where to go, how to act, etc. I remain mindful of the professional occupations requiring intensive schooling and independent research– I applaud it– but for the remaining 97% percent of us, our time, money, and dedication is better spent indulging in the art of success in our relative personal and professional lives, through means of experience and focused learning by books and mentors, rather than memorizing and regurgitating facts to get an A in a course that places me closer to receiving a piece of paper that claims I’m “educated.”
Invest in success; invest in your future. Focus on the applicable. Get it?
Ever find yourself lacking attention in a conversation, lecture, video, or reading? Fluctuating like a volatile market or the emotions of a 15-year-old girl in high school, the degree of focus pertaining to a matter either captivates with the utmost attention, truly indulging us, or leaves us contemplating everything else surrounding us.
Remember the last time someone or something enlightened you, grasping your attention in such a sheer, absolute manner? Fathom the possibilities if you could control that focus at will. Paramount focus, not only to our greatest passions, but in the affairs of socialization, learning, and the daily business of life, allows immense opportunistic circumstances when applied.
Focus on your job; focus on school; focus on your project; focus on your relationships; focus on your future. There are different remedies for different levels of growth, but whatever the essence, focus in any direction is critical and crucial to progress.
Live in the moment– that’s where life happens. An experience nonetheless, but what if you relive the moment a second time? Analyzing, writing about, or explaining gives the opportunity to undergo that moment again– in retrospect– sometimes proving more beneficial than before.
We learn from our decisions and the experiences that result. Exhilarating at the time, some of the moments never receive a second thought. We live in the moment, captivated by the immediate illusion in front of us, but if we take the extra second to reflect, you see the light for what it truly is. From a retrospective perspective you truly grow and mature. Take the accumulation of the high and low points of my life…
High points accompanied by confidence, satisfaction, cheers, and congratulations rebalance the disappointments of low points consisting of shame, defeat, malevolence, and demoralization, living each instance emotionally and thoroughly. Yet, in retrospect, I see the history of me and how I’ve progressed. I see the moments of prevalence; I see the moments of vanquish. Every happening that challenged my ability to either stay hopeful or stay humble, when analyzed in retrospect, tell me who I am. How did I get there? How did I act? How did I grow from thereon? Did I learn from it? Did I mature from it?
“A retrospective perspective grants you the ability to learn once again from preceding experiences– through this vantage you see what was meant to be seen.”