Pursue Joy

“Joy is a form of resilience.” I will repeat, “Joy is a form of resilience.“How so?Many consider joy as this frivolous emotion. One can even say that it is unimportant and should not be given a time of the day. But is it really?

Joy Vs Happiness

As a culture, we have been obsessed in pursuing happiness. (Happiness comes from the inside but that is another matter to talk about)But actually, what we should do is pursue joy.Happiness is an emotion pertaining to that you feel over a long period of time. So, for example, let’s say, I’m a student and when I say, “I’m happy right now.” What that means is that I feel happy about yesterday and the days before that. It doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t awful moments but over time, I feel good overall about what happened.On the other hand, joy pertains to right now. It’s the feeling when you want to jump up and down or giggle or laugh because of a joke. And this is why pursuing joy is much more important that pursuing happiness. Because joy is what’s happening around us everytime. Writing this blog makes me feel joy. And in retrospect, when all of these joyful moment add up, I can say that I am happy with how I live. So maybe, we are only happy in retrospect. Hence, it is why pursuing joy is more important that pursuing happiness

Why is Joy Important?

Going back to my first sentence, “Joy is a form of resilience.” is from designer and author Ingrid Fetell Lee.And she explained why in a blog post. First off, she wrote that we tend off to put off joy. For example, “Oh! I wil work full head-on for 9 hours and then I’ll watch a movie.” We see joy as a reward for our hardwork. But actually, Lee suggests that we should incorporate joy into our daily lives. Basically, joy is a tool that we can use to cope up with stress.She explained further,”Small moments of joy help the cardiovascular system recover from stress. When we feel stressed, our bodies floor with chemicals like cortisol and epinephrine which raise our heart rate and blood pressure, keep us alert and focused, and help us respond to the chalelnges at hand. This is an adaptive response to stress, and it works well when it’s temporary. If stress becomes chronic, on the other hand, this places strain on the body and can lead to exhaustion and illness. But when we experience joy, such as watching something funny, taking a little while to become absorbed in play, or spending time in nature, it gives our bodies a break from this stress response, enabling us to recover.“Thus, joy is not frivolous. It’s actually important for our body, especially our mental health.

Small Moments of Joy

Knowing this information, I had to apply it. Assignments and academic readings are piling up but I’m ‘stealing ‘ some time just to be.I acknowledge that I am more than my academics. And the life that I want to live is not something that is in the direction of academics, hence, I go my own path.One thing that I do and probably my most favorite apart from writing is soaking energy from the sun.Around 3 pm- 4pm, I get up, after being huddled for hours on my desk, and go in our porch.Without having to go outside, the sun direction is right there at the gate and that is where I can get energy from the sun.Honestly, one of the highlights of my day. And I am reminded of what Andy Grammer wrote in his song Keep Your Head Up:The glow that the sun gets
Right around sunset
Helps me realize
That this is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine.
Oh, you turn out fine.
Fine, oh, you turn out fine.Whether I failed during the day or experienced something terrible, the sun’s gonna be there. Always. And its gonna be there until I die. Whatever I am worrying about it is gonna be fine. It will pass. Other things that I do during the day to feel joy is listening to my favorite music, showering after a long day, watching korean variety shows, and reading a great book that will keep me immersed for hours. And not to mention, there are tons of other things that unexpectedly show up during my day that brought me joy. Like a few days ago, I discovered a website that has a very interesting UI on its homepage, and just the other day, I finally owned a copy of a book that I’ve been waiting for MONTHSS!!! Basically, pursuing joy is me telling myself that I will not succumb to being a machine and taking care of myself. In addition, joyful things that unexpectedly came my way are a reminder that life is full of miracles and casual magics. I also believe that what I put out in the world, that is what I get back. And these miracles are what I get back.

Why would I spend time thinking about someone who doesn’t even love me?

When I read this from James Clear’s newsletter, I was stunned. First, I’ll share it to all:

Actress Viola Davis on handling criticism:

“I don’t have any time to stay up all night worrying about what someone who doesn’t love me has to say about me.”

Source: Viola Davis’ Battle with Low Self-Esteem

And for someone who has extremely low self-esteem, this is just what I needed to hear, not to mention that I really love Viola Davis in How to Get Away with Murder.

In class, we are asked to present our work individually and actually seeing my classmates’ works, I started to overthink. And here comes the worst part, I started comparing.

Comparing is good only if its on a realistic level. For example, I’m someone who is just a beginner in composing music, I barely have an experience and it is extremely unhealthy if I compare my work to Mozart’s or Beethoven’s who have decades and decades of experience. Hence, if I compared my works to them, I’ll probably not continue pursuing songwriting at all because I’ll end up thinking, “My works will never be like them anyways.”

For me, comparing is good if it gets you to do better. Let’s say I admire a work of my classmate and its not necessarily on a level of “Worldwide Popular” but it gets me thinking that, ‘Oh. I can’t do that yet but I can do that once I learned what I needed to learn.’ Basically, the bar is not that high. Hence, it makes it realistically achievable given that I spent time learning and practicing.

Anyways, going back to where I said that we will present our work individually, I did not have the courage to volunteer to present my work (BUT the good thing is that I can still present next meeting) because I was so afraid of what my classmates would think of.

BUT (capitalize for emphasis)

Good thing, classes ended earlier and hence, I snapped out of ruminating.

I remember that THIS is my life. I am here, not to impress anyone with what I can do, but for me. FOR ME.

Yes, there is a possibility that they may think of not really good things about my work BUT that is outside of my control.

I get to say what I can and cannot do.

Presenting my work and having the opportunity to hear constructive criticisms from my professor is what I wanted to do. And what other people may think should not be an impediment nor even a factor whether I should change my decision.

What my inner soul wants me to do is to learn, to hear comments about my work from my professor. And that is what I’m gonna do.

I should not even waste a second of my time here on Earth, dimming my light just so I would not destroy my self-made image to other people. There is no self-image. I’m just me.

So, I’m grateful to actress Viola Davis for her perspective. It helped me remember on what is the significant. Though, it’s not easy to change perspectives. I will always remember that every day is a new day to do my best.

Today, I would not have written this if I had the courage to present nor would I have this realizations. So, either way, I choose to be joyful and to understand my decisions.

Have a great day.

Art as means to an end

Recently, I heard of graphic designer Craig Oldham’s work, ‘May They Never Be Deemed Low-Skilled Again’. This work is in response to the UK government’s hypocrisy during the past few months.

Source: Craig Oldham via My Modern Met

Written in small letters on the poster are the following:

“In February 2020, Home Secretary, Priti Patel labelled any person working under £25k per year “Low Skilled” or “Unskilled”. Only one month later, struggling with the COVID-19 crisis, that same government labelled them ‘Key Workers’, realizing just how important they really are. These workers haven’t just become key to society, they always have, and will continue to be, Key Workers. And long may that term live on.”

Honestly, in times like this, I find it really interesting on how designers find a way to stay “relevant”. What I mean by relevant is that they seek and devise ways on how they could use their skills in giving light to the people who are left behind.

When we are in crisis, we can’t just “not care” about what is happening because before we even become our professions, we are first human.

In an interview with My Modern Met, Craig Oldham shared, ” I have always believed that graphic design is a means and not an end—that it has a part to play, but it’s not necessarily the primary, or a driving factor in things like this. But I do care a lot about people, and this is an idea about people really. And about respect for everyone regardless of their occupation because we are all interconnected and equal—and equally important.”

I appreciate how he added that each of us are equally important regardless of what our job is. Honestly, our government need to learn so much from him. During this pandemic, our government acts like the millions of people who have lost their jobs this pandemic are just merely obstacles to success and growth of this country. Basically, they treat them as data. They try to dumb it down and say, “Oh good thing only *insert millions* people lost their jobs, it could have been worse.” Oh yes. It could have been but that’s not the point. And that should not be what you are saying in front of the Filipino people who barely even have the ability to make ends meet.

Going back, Craig Oldham continued, “Rather than a rightly positive message about staying at home, or being kind to each other, all of which are great messages, I felt it still important to stick up for those countless unknown workers who don’t have the relative luxury of being at home safe with family. They are really important people.

YES!! IMPORTANT!!

Also, can I just mention that in our country, most of the people working directly with a lot of people, like security guards, cashiers, nurses, waiters, garbage collectors, etc, are just earning minimum wages (sometimes, not) and it saddens me that they are risking their health and yet they are not paid well.

And lastly, he states about how design is a tool for good, even if others may rule it out as something frivolous, “Because we have a responsibility to our society. Designers, particularly Graphic Designers, can often lament and be frustrated at what they perceive as a lack of awareness or appreciation for what design is and can do. Well, for me, the answer to that is to prove it, and to engage your talents and time in causes and concerns which can make a meaningful impact on society and the world beyond what we have to do commercially to earn a living.

He concludes, ” I also believe that beyond design, beyond any occupation any of us do, we are first people belonging to a society and we have a duty of care to each other to make sure that society is fair and just, so we should be involved in campaigns and causes in which we believe could achieve this—design or not.”

After learning about his project, it gave me so much hope. Honestly, this quarantine I noticed that a lot of people turned to art, movies, music, and books a lot. This speaks so much that art may not literally be a tool to “save the world” but it is what we live for. Ending with a quote from Dead Poets Society:

Image result for dead poets society quotes | Movie quotes, Pretty words,  Words

Surprise!

“Joy has a way of showing up when we least expect it. As we move through the stream of daily life, tiny moments can capture our attention and turn our thoughts in a joyful direction. These moments can be especially powerful in times of stress or sadness.” – Ingrid Fetell Lee

So, I was just reading articles on designer Ingrid Fetell Lee’s blog when I clicked a hyperlink that led me to this website:

Then, I moved my mouse a little while reading the title page then, I was surprised to found out that a few words were “washed” away.

It put me out of “calm” mode. I was back to my kid-like self wherein I began to notice something novel and I want to see where it ends. And after “washing” away the letters. This is what remained:

Oh gosh. Something that brought me joy at that moment.

Designer Ingrid Fetell Lee wrote about surprise and how it can improve your mood throughout the day in her book, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness,

“Surprise has a vital purpose: to quickly redirect our attention. It acts like a warning bell for the brain, alerting us to a gap between what’s happening in front of us and what we had anticipated. In stable, predictable situations, the parts of the brain that attend to our environment slip into a kind of background mode. Our awareness of our immediate surroundings recedes while our conscious mind thinks through a problem, carries on a conversation, or daydreams. But an unexpected noise or tap on the shoulder brings the mind and senses into a state of sudden vigilance.” wrote Lee, “the increased alertness and arousal of the surprise response can also prepare us to take advantage of joys that come from out of the blue: serendipitous events (e.g., Ryan Gosling shooting a movie down the street), unlikely windfalls (ooh, free ice cream!), or changing circumstances (say, an early spring) that could influence our happiness for the better.”

She explains, “While these moments of joy might seem fleeting, they can have lasting effects because they help to promote upward spirals of positive emotions. Joyful surprises bring our attention away from ourselves and back out into the world, prompting us to approach and engage. They incite curiosity, spur exploration, and increase the chances we’ll interact with others in ways that keep the positive vibes flowing.”

Though in time of my discovery of that website, I wasn’t sad or anything but just merely reading articles when suddenly I discovered something out of the ordinary.

What joy I felt when I began to realize how great I felt in being surprised. And surprises are great especially when you are having a bad day.

It pulls your mind out of cruise control and heightens your focus on the surroundings around you. In times of overthinking-ness and anxiousness, surprises keeps you out of ruminating. And hence, I’m always on a look out for them.

I realized that when I started actively and consciously choosing joy, joyful things starts coming out of my view more often.

A while ago, while I was looking up the sky. A bird landed on the roof below me and then the bird flew in my direction that I started closing the window immediately because it may be go and be trapped inside our room (thank goodness, it did not). Thankfully, it went in an another direction. Then, I just chuckled at how I reacted.

I cannot control what life will give me but I can control in how I perceive them. There are more surprising things out there and I’m on a mission to find more of them!

Looking Up The Sky

Studies have concluded that looking up the sky can make you feel “small” and that is not a bad thing. It actually gives you perspective- that you are just this tiny thing in the universe who will be dead in the next century or so hence, most of the thing we worry about are unimportant in the face of death anyway. So, we should just live life.

In the book, Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, author and designer Ingrid Fetell Lee wrote about a study about people feeling “small” beside a grand landscape like a mountain, rock formation, grand architectural building, or anything that makes them look up,

“In a study led by researcher Yang Bai, tourists at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco and Yosemite National Park were asked to draw pictures of themselves. When the researchers compared the resulting drawings, they found that people drew themselves as much smaller when immersed in the grandeur of Yosemite than in the hubbub of San Francisco. This study offers a striking illustration of the experience many people have in moments of awe: the feeling of being “small or insignificant.” Keltner calls this phenomenon the small self, and while it may sound unpleasant, in fact for most people it comes with a euphoric feeling of resonance and oneness with other beings. People in this state often say that they feel the presence of a higher power and that day-to-day concerns recede from their attention.

Well, that is also why churches need to be big because it represents God (and of course for practicality reasons too- seating capacity, to store valuable artifacts, etc.).

That is exactly why when you are having a bad day or bad mood, take a break and look up the sky for a few minutes. A lot of research studies concluded that looking up or even going up is correlated to joy.

Look up in the sky. It will not solve your problems, however, it will make you feel joy and feeling joy is important to your overall well-being. It takes you away from your concerns but to just be in this present moment right now.

Another thing, looking up gets you to daydream. And daydreaming is one of the ways to get your brain into default mode network (DMN) and this is great especially if you are brainstorming, or looking for solutions to a problem.

Journalist Celestee Headlee writes about DMN in her book Do Nothing,

” The default mode network, or DMN, becomes active when we allow our minds to wander. When the DMN is engaged, it works on our memories, putting past events into context and making moral evaluations about things that have happened. It also imagines the future, tries to understand the emotions of others, and reflects on our own emotions and decisions. The default network is crucial for empathy, for self-reflection, and for Theory of Mind, the ability to imagine what others may be thinking. Allowing our brains to switch into default mode is crucial for our well-being. That’s the source of much of our creativity and innovation, since the brain actively reshuffles the puzzle pieces of our memories and emotions when it’s not directed to solve a problem or complete a task.”

Right now, I given myself a few days to brainstorm ideas before starting my research paper for a proposed corporate tower design. A while ago morning, while I was looking up the sky, I got another idea for what I should put in my design. This is another moment that proves why daydreaming and taking a break is important.

Things are starting to pile up as school days passed by, and this is where taking a break needs to be a constant conscious decision. There are days wherein taking a break can make me feel guilty but no. Preventing myself from overworking and overdoing is significant than anything.

I hope you are doing well and remember to take breaks every now and then. Look up.

Choose joy

March 14, 2020 almost seven months ago… I wrote this entry on my journal:

“Know that sometimes things will not go your way even if you do your best, and regardless of whether you deserved it or not.

Do not confuse your aspirations with how the universe should turn out. “– Jonas Salzgeber

Everything really happens for a reason. Lately, I have been thinking of what would happen if I applied to the Interior Design program instead of Archi. I am 101% sure that I would not pass the exam for ID and would not have been considered. I would probably be in a pre-med program and would be bored as hell.

BUT I am here in a situation I never actually dreamed of but I am happy to be here. Yes, I still have thoughts of wanting to apply again at Minerva [a university abroad in which I applied twice and got rejected twice too] (I guess I will always feel like that bcoz its my dream school).

BUT I know that maybe it really is not my path now (maybe in my next life lol). God put me in this journey on this day and the days onward for I have a purpose to fill. If I got in to Minerva, the first time around, would I have met the amazing community of MakeSense? Will I learn how to sketch, draw, color, and render? Will I have known Likhaan, Tita Rosie, & other crafters? Will I be able to explore the museums in our country? Will I be able to [learn how to] crochet? Will I be able to help the ppl that I am surrounded with every single day?

It might not seem obvious to others but for me, I take time to see how I am making a difference in the specific place I am in. Whether its just buying something at a local store or helping someone w/ the directions or just simply riding the public transpo, in a way, I am thinking that I am helping to others. I was meant to be here because I have to do this or buy that.

So I do not like get so worked up because I did not get in twice but rather I am happy thay because this is how the universe should turn out. I did my best but it really is not for me (now). I am very very grateful of this journey I am taking on. I hope to meet more people, to connect, to learn, and to always remember to be in the present.”

I have the habit of re-reading my past journals because it makes me remember that where I am right now is something that my past self worked hard to get to and that this is something I wanted and I should not take it for granted.

I love how seven months ago, I choose to look at the silver lining of what’s happening. So far (or maybe, ever), I am grateful that I did not make it because I am having a lot of fun today and all the previous days that passed or… maybe its because I just consciously choose joy.

Regardless of what will happen, I will choose joy and I hope I will always will.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.

Advice to my younger self

Whenever I interview someone, I always ask them this question: What is your advice to your younger self?

The way they answer this questions says so much about themselves and how they had lived their life through the years.

And its amazing how your answer to this question varies from time to time and I would like to do one as well. In the future, I, myself, will look back and read this and remember what I value during this day.

• Continue doing your hobbies and follow your interests. Never mind what society tells you what you should do. You are better off and more alive when you choose to do something that you want and this is your life. You decide what to do.

• Just create. Not for the sake of the possible outcomes but for the joy of it. Like what Kurt Vonnegut said, just by doing something, you have experienced becoming and have made your soul grow. So just create.

• Do not reject yourself. Believe in yourself. Yes, you may be anxious, scared, or inexperienced but while you are feeling these things, continue to do. You will feel much much better in retrospect knowing that you have not constrained yourself inside the castle of excuses.

• Lastly, small things and steps do matter. You might feel overwhelmed about starting something so big but just start. You can do anything you set out to do. Also, have faith and be human.

What’s yours?

We move forward because we have faith.

Paulo Coelho:
None of us know what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have faith.

This is my 100th post (yay!). My creative journey started last April and six months later, I made it alive enough to write my 100th post. Reading the book Creative Confidence by Tom Kelley and David Kelley made me start my creative journey.

When I started, I remember how I was terrified that I might not have anything to write in the next few weeks, that I would have a flock of people hating me for how bad my writing is, etc.

But this is just me overthinking and people are busy worrying about their own lives.

A few things that I got from Creative Confidence that I kept reading everyday as I journey the last 7 months until now:

  1. “Doubts in one’s creative ability can be cured by guiding people through a series of small successes. And the experience can have a powerful effect on the rest of their lives.”
  2. “The real value of creativity doesn’t emerge until you are brave enough to act on those ideas.”
  3. “That combination of thought and action defines creative confidence: the ability to come up with new ideas and the courage to try them.”
  4. “When you open your mind to the possibility that your capabilities are unlimited and unknown, you already have your running shoes on and are ready to race forward.
  5. “Albert Bandura used the process of guided mastery—a series of small successes—to help people gain courage and overcome deep-seated phobias.”
  6. “Facing failure to wipe away the fear.”
  7. “A subtle excuse lies in the idea of “trying”. It’s as if today is for attempts, and the real action will happen at some vague future moment. To achieve your goal, to topple the barriers that stand in your way, you have to be focused on getting it done now.”
  8. “If you want to make something great, you need to start making.”
  9. “It’s hard to be “best” right away, so commit to rapid and continuous improvements.”
  10. “All the overplanning, all the procrastinating, all the talking are signs that we are afraid, that we just don’t feel ready. You want everything to be “just right” before you commit further or share something with others. That tendency leads us to wait rather than to act.”

The sentences aforementioned are all from the book and I read them daily. When I have an idea for an article, I write it, never minding whether I “ran out” of anything to write. I just write. And then, before I knew it, I’m writing more than what I intended.

I committed to only one post weekly and then, suddenly it became, whenever I wanted. I post two to three times weekly, sometimes even more.

During those early times, I was able to get through even if I barely had any ideas, even if I fear of a lot of things because I had faith. I trust my intuition that by doing what I wanted to do, I will not regret my decision.

And boy, I did not. Words flow faster right now and I’m posting daily (wow). I read a lot than I ever had and write a lot. From sharing my personal experiences, I ventured to writing about design, prisons, books, movies, etc. Just by starting my creative journey and doing what I love, in spite of the thoughts that I’m not ready or experienced enough, my future seemed so unpredictable. And that thought is amazing!!

Because of following my curiosities, I now have a life that’s full of magic everyday. I do not know what will happen the next day and I do not intend to think about it because I’m living for today.

I’m barely seven months in this journey and I have already loved so many things. It’s just mindblowing how there are always things out there or here in the internet in which you will love like a book, architecture, movie, show, article, a person, or a song. I intend to keep writing about them as much as I could.

Lastly, thank you for reading. I hope you’re well as well as the people you love. just like I am, you are in your own journey too. I hope you are living your best life. Whatever you are currently doing or planning, as long as you really want it, you will be able to do it. Believe in yourself. Do what you can at this moment right now. Do that everyday, and I promise, you are in a journey to the unknown.

You cannot predict how smart or skilled a person can be.

In the book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, psychologist Carol Dweck wrote,

“Benjamin Bloom, an eminent educational researcher studied 120 outstanding achievers. They were conert pianists, sculptors, Olympic swimmers, world-class tennis players, mathematicians, and research neurologists.

Most were not that remarkable as children and didn’t show clear talent before their training begain in earnest. Even by early adolescence, you usually couldn’t predict their future accomplishment from their current ability. Only their continued motivation and commitment, along with their network of support, took them to the top.

Bloom concludes, “After forty years of intensive research on school learning in the US as well as a broad, my major conclusion is: What any person in the world can learn, almost all person can learn, if provided with the appropriate prior and current conditions of learning.“”

And in connection with this, do you know that Ted Geisel aka Dr. Seuss (author of many children’s books like The Lorax) was voted by his classmates as the “person least likely to succeed” among their class? Because he was never the studious type. He would rather watch a movie, go to the zoo, or just draw. (Basically, he followed his interests and hobbies.) And this is why using a compass (with your interests and hobbies leading the way) is important instead of a map.

Also, this proves that you can’t predict what a person may become in the future. Aside from “not to be judgemental to anyone” message of this post, having the knowledge that you cannot predict anyone’s future, is good for ourselves.

We do not know what will happen and that thought alone is exciting! We may have mediocre work right now but given enough time, we may produce something great occasionally. But ultimately, its all about just loving what you do and being excited to where it just takes you. So just start. It doesn’t matter if you failed, what is important is you had fun doing it. As author Srivinas Rao wrote in The Art of Being Unmistakable, “We often do not know where stories end, where unpaved roads lead, and who we’ll become along the way. Therefore, you just have to start.”

Use a compass instead of a map

In an episode of Workman (one of my favorite Korean variety shows), they went to a daycare and through that episode, I found out that they rearranged their education system for kindergarteners.

They adapted child-centered education wherein children are free to do and follow their curiosities in the daycare. They can play an instrument, play with toys available in the classroom, they could read a book, etc. Also, I don’t feel that “classroom” is even the right term for their space because it doesn’t look like a classroom at all.

This overall system promotes creativity as well as it builds up this confidence within the kid. In here, teachers do not say “sit still” or “behave”. Rather they encourage them to follow their desires and whatever they found interesting. They aren’t taught to score well during exams or be the best among the block. They promote communal activities (playing games with the whole class) and just being.

Honestly, even I think that kids as young as them should not take exams as soon as they have to go to school/daycare. They are too young to just sit still and I think the best thing that a school can instill in a child is to love learning. As they grow older and started taking exams, they will remember that how you do in a exam is not related to how much you learned.

I hope this could be applied to higher education as well. Personally, I am interested in psychology, biology, history, and journalism. I am currently in architecture program and I hope that there would be ways in which I could take up courses from other programs. Unfortunately, that does not exist yet lol

What I found interesting among a lot of master designers is that they integrates various subjects into their work. Some have took courses from other programs (ex. Steve Jobs), there are others who took up science programs but shifted to a design-related program, etc. Basically, they have knowledge on other subjects and that’s how they are able to design what they are designing right now.

In connection to everything I read, a few months ago this is what I started practicing: I used my hobbies, interests, and desires as my compass and disregarded the “map.” The map is pertaining to the pre-ordained life that society expects me to follow.

Since then, I never felt guilty of not following “the map”, I went my own path, following my inner soul. I read about psychology a lot, I read essays about creativity, I read novels, I read fiction and non-fiction, I write, etc. Anything that I found interesting or what I am curious in, I just follow it. And I never felt so happy and satisfied. Everyday I will learn something new. Gosh. If there is just any option to design my own curriculum, I would. And I would design it in a way that is filled with courses that I am interested in.

Srivinas Rao, author of The Art of Being Unmistakable, wrote about kindergartens and using a compass,

Kindergarten classrooms are utter chaos and true genius at the same time. The potential to discover a calling is available every single day. Then something happens. Somebody decided that you might stray too far off the beaten path, and gives you a map. They decide what is important for your future and these decisions become the destinations on the map.

….However, if I want to do interesting work, take risks, and see what I am really made of, I have to be willing to use a compass instead of a map.

Promoting self-learning and using a compass, allows each and everyone of us to just be ourselves. This is what I missed the most during summer breaks, it is when I just learn things without having to be graded for it.

And if you have been reading my previous posts, I mentioned this quote a few times now but it is amazing how each and every time I wrote this quote, I have something new to add. This is basically how curiosity starts, it starts as a small idea and over time as you search and search, you would have a lot of things related to it already and this is just basically it. This means that I am following my compasses very well.

Here is the quote from Austin Kleon:

“The lives of great thinkers teach us that learning is the verb of life. The trick to lifelong learning is to exercise your curiousity as much as you can and to let it guide you where it wants to go. To pay attention to what you pay attention to. To not worry too much about where things are going to lead. To learn for learning’s sake, not because it’s going to get you something, necessarily, but because you have faith that the things that interest you will help you become who you need to be.

Your interest and your desire and your instincts are your compass. They show you the way.

It’s a hard things to internalize, but once you do, it’s one of the most powerful things. It sets you free.”