Curiosity and learning (#073)

The two things I wish I could do more of.

Day events:

  • Good talk session with the team about my career and what to do.
  • Another great day of conversing with JB (xx).
  • A great gym session (my body felt sore and this is a great feeling).

The grateful section:

  • Grateful for a great summer so far and looking forward to more.
  • Grateful for my functional body. I keep repeating this one, but every time I go to the gym or play badminton, my safe havens, I'm just reminded how lucky I am to even be able to do those activities. Some people simply can't and I don't want myself to forget this.
  • Grateful for all the artists out there making great music. I'm currently listening to some mellow songs and it just makes the mood that much better.

Thought of the day:

If there's one thing, just one, that I am glad I was able to realize about myself over the last 10 years is that I am a very very curious individual.

The consequence of this curiosity is that I sometimes sense this immense feeling of wanting to learn.

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that, for myself, there's nothing greater than pure curiosity and true learning.

If there's one thing I want to continue doing throughout my whole life, it's these two things.

However, knowing this, there's always a deep wave of sadness that engulfs me when I think too much about it.

The first reason is that life, as we know it, is not geared towards curiosity and true learning or, at least, not in North America.

As early as when we start school, probably in elementary school, we already start getting trained, not to be curious and to learn, but to do.

The way we are tested with exams. Most exams are not created to test our understanding and thus, if we learned correctly or not, these exams are meant to test whether or not we know how to spit out the right answer.

It doesn't matter if we understand the underlying principles or if we got it by pure luck.

There might have been a time where I was truly curious about learning whatever subject I was learning at the time, but I very very quickly started to catch on on how to survive.

Forget about actually understanding what I'm doing.

Just copy, memorize and extrapolate in order to get the right answers at the exam.

Why? Because that was the ultimate goal.

The goal was not to learn, the goal was to get the best grades possible regardless of how we got there.

Even cheaters, I personally never cheated (or maybe I did in elementary school or something), but I don't even condone their actions. They were simply doing whatever they could in order to get good grades.

Don't blame the cheaters, blame the system. If the system was geared towards true learning, no one would cheat. You can't cheat knowledge. You either know & understand it or you don't.

And this same reality is continues throughout elementary school, high school, cegep and university. Heck, it even continues after school throughout the rest of our lives.

Indeed, when you're looking for a job, how maybe employers truly put their employees learning as a priority? None.

They want do-ers. They want people who already know how to do the job and almost put the responsibility on the employee to try and learn how their own.

I understand though, businesses need to generate money and the value needed to generate money is usually not found in people who are learning.

I also know that we have our parts to play in learning. There are people who learn a great amount in any job they are in and some people do not learn anything (or barely).

The second reason that I'm sad about this realization is that life is finite.

In the best case, I'll eventually die of old age at 82 (average life expectancy in Canada, but I hope I can reach 100 or maybe I don't even want to live that long, anyway hahaha) and I'll have had a total of ~70 years to be curious and learn.

Which to me, I don't think is enough.

If possible, I'd like to be able to live multiple lives in order to dive deeply in as many subjects as much as possible, but alas, this is simply not possible.

I used to think that my main problem was that I wasn't passionate or curious about anything.

I remember thinking to myself that I must have a problem because nothing seemed really appealing to me.

I couldn't have been more wrong.

It's actually the opposite. I'm simply interested and curious about too many things and do not have enough time to explore each of them in the depth that I would like.

And the crazy thing is that, for the things that I have explored more deeply than the average person, I realized that the more you learn about something, the more you realize that there's so much more to learn than what you initially thought.

It's fascinating, but again, makes me a bit sad.

On top of all this, there's the problem of living and being a contributor to society.

The saying "jack of all trades, master of none" is one thrown around all the time and I used to agree with it all the time.

Except now, I realized that there's a missing condition to this and it's time.

This applies to us humans because we have a finite time on this earth, but a jack of all trades could eventually be a master of all, if given enough time.

"Jack of all trades, master of all." I like the sound of that.

I'm not someone who's known for complaining, but this whole text is me complaining about this.

I just find it simply unfortunate and can't seem to be able to come up with a solution.

Whenever I think of pure learning and following my curiosity, I can feel a small fire being lit up inside of me only to be extinguish by the reality of life.


But even so, I do encourage myself and all of us actually to try and pursue our curiosity as much as possible.

I will thus leave you with a quote followed by a great scene from a tv series that I enjoyed called Ted Lasso:

Quote: "Be Curious, Not Judgemental"


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