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Don't Let Schooling Interfere With Your Education
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John had a high-powered job, a fancy title, and all the trappings of success. One day, while taking a break at a park, he watched children playing carelessly. That moment made him question: was he really living or just existing?
Hustle culture is everywhere.
Our feeds celebrate those working non-stop, pushing limits, chasing the next big thing.
But what if we've got it wrong?
Mark Twain once said,
“Don't let schooling interfere with your education.”
By the same token:
Don't let non-stop work interfere with real, meaningful living.
Take Sara, for example.
She was achievement-driven, always moving. Yet, it was a simple act of painting on a relaxed Sunday that showed her another side of life - one without endpoints.
It's not about diminishing ambition.
It's about understanding the importance of balance.
Here's a way to look at activities:
Telek - focused on goals and outcomes.
Atelic - existing in the present, no fixed endpoint.
Society often values the telek. But there's immense value in the atelic as well.
Reflect on Satya Nadella.
Beyond steering Microsoft, he credits reading diverse literature for broadening his perspective and enriching his leadership style.
Or take Malala Yousafzai.
While globally recognized for her activism, she often speaks about the joys of simple student life and the grounding it provides her.
Life isn't just about the big achievements.
It's also about those moments that allow us to simply exist, without striving.
Achievement is important.
But it's not everything.
Aristotle talked about eudaimonia - the idea of flourishing. That doesn't come from just achievements, but also from moments of stillness and reflection.
We're more than just our achievements.
But often, society's narrative doesn't reflect that.
Your worth isn't just in what you produce.
You have intrinsic value, regardless of your output.
In our quest for more, it's crucial to find moments to just be. That means embracing both telek and atelic activities in our lives.
Success isn't just about reaching peaks. It's also about how you navigate the journey and take in the sights along the way.