Chasing an Education

Jobs are harder to find,

Degrees are rapidly decreasing in value,

Graduates struggle to make ends meet.

So, is there any purpose in pursuing an education?

Well, I believe that it truly depends.

In my case, I pursue an education because I am fascinated in the subject. I am curious about learning the inner workings of Biology and reaching a level whereby I am able to truly understand the complexities of Life.

I did not enrol into a university so that I can get a job in the future but because of the deep interest I have in the subject and I think that that should be the reason why we pursue an education.

At the end of the day, I believe that our intention matters because ultimately, you have to weigh the pros and the cons of getting an education. Is it worth it to spend thousands of dollars on an education that does not promise you a stable career after or would you rather spend that money to build something for yourself?

Sometimes, we make a decision to enter university because it seemed to be the right path to take but have we ever pondered if it is truly beneficial for us in the first place?

Stop letting that herd mentality affect you but find and truly understand the reason you’re chasing an education.

Degrees aren’t everything.

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Life: A Puzzle

Life is like a puzzle where its pieces are not given but discovered.

One has to search for those pieces as they flow through life, matching them, connecting them, fixing them together.

Together, those pieces form a picture of our lives.

Sometimes, we would not realise that a piece was staring us in the face, a piece that would be left undiscovered.

A few pieces could be missing, a few pieces could be lost, the imperfections of every person’s life.

But like a puzzle, there is a limit before a picture becomes incomprehensible, be aware.

 

You Live Your Life

In the previous era, getting a corporate job was the thing, people flocked to apply for them and the same thing is happening today where now, being an entrepreneur is the cool thing and all of us are falling for it.

With the countless number of articles out there with the common theme of telling you to quit your job and live life, we might be swayed that that might be the true meaning of life. It might be because we are desperate. We want to know whether we are truly living life like we are supposed to and whether we are maximising life to its full potential. We fall victim to many of these articles and their promises because many of us fail to realise that there is no ONE true meaning of life.

Let’s get this straight, everybody has their own meaning for life. There is no ONE meaning which applies to everyone. Each is different and unique to the person. Each person has their own set of criteria on what would make their lives meaningful and it is up to the person to discover it for themselves. An example would be, some people like to explore and travel all over the globe from continent to continent while others prefer the comforts of their own home with books to read. Both have different sets of criteria on what makes their lives meaningful and as long as they fulfilled them, they will be content.

Therefore, there are some rules that we might want to remind ourselves from time to time:

  1. Do What You Love
    If you love your job, keep it. There is no need for you to quit a job that you love dearly especially if it is one of the things that gives you a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
  2. Do What Makes You Happy
    Having a meaningful life is all about the inner pleasures of your mind and your body. If you love to chill and enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, go ahead and find a way to do it. If you love the adrenaline rush that comes with highly risky and dangerous activities, do it all the same.
  3. The Meaning of Life is Personal to Us All
    Viktor E. Frankl in his famous book, “Man’s Search for Meaning” once said,

    “Life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks constantly set for each individual.”

    It means that each person has their own set of problems that they have to deal with and thus, makes each of their lives unique. Therefore, no one meaning of life can fulfill and solve the different problems that every individual faces.

The Human Struggle

The Human Struggle

 

All of us struggle. No matter where you are in life, no matter how rich, how successful or how educated you are, all of us struggle one way or another.

There are many different types of struggle in life. We have the struggle to survive, to put in effort into doing work, though some might be hard and laborious, just to get money for food, we have the struggle to be successful, to put in the effort to do well in school and we have the struggle to love, to put in effort into maintaining a strong relationship that would last, just to name a few.

However, I am sure all of us agree that we hate the struggle. We hate to constantly put in the effort and pushing ourselves through the pain, instead, we prefer a calm and peaceful life. Therefore, some of us struggle to get out of struggle, we work hard to get enough money to live comfortably, we do whatever we can so that we can live a struggle-less life but it is futile. Why? Life would be quite meaningless without the struggle.

Have you ever thought about the meaning of life? Have you ever wondered why do we even exist at all? I’m pretty sure these questions have crossed all of our minds whether we are a theist or an atheist because it is fundamental to understanding our existence. However, is there ever an ultimate meaning for life? In his famous book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’, Viktor E. Frankl said that,

“What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of a person’s life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.”

This is where the importance of struggle comes in. When we struggle, at that moment in time, we are focused on getting past that pain, to overcome that adversity that we are facing. We understand that it is a temporary phase in our lives and so we work hard in persevering through it. An example would be struggling to overcome the death of a loved one. It is painful at that moment in time and you would feel hopeless but this struggle gives you meaning in life. How? Viktor E. Frankl put it aptly referring to a patient who had lost his wife, “such a suffering (overcoming death of a loved one) has been spared her, and it was you who have spared her this suffering – to be sure, at the price that now you have to survive and mourn her.”

Instead of feeling depressed at the loss of a loved one, one could find meaning in it that he had made a sacrifice to put the burden of loss on himself instead of on his loved one. Such is the meaning of sacrifice, he had changed his perspective to find his suffering meaningful.

Suffering and the struggle to overcome it is never a pleasant experience, however, Man should not be concerned with gaining pleasure or to avoid pain but to see a meaning in his life. We need to know that struggling is a part of life and even through struggle can we find meaning.

To end, there is a quote from Viktor E. Frankl’s book, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ that I would love to share,

“Ultimately, Man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each Man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

 

The Meaning of Life

It is amazing what life can throw at us. When it seemed that we have reached the highest point in our lives, something tragic happens, like a death of a loved one or the loss of a career. To some, it might mean that that is the end for them for they will no longer have a purpose to their lives. They no longer have something to look forward to, something that gives their lives meaning. In their despair, some might resort to suicide or self-harm whereas some might experience depression or an emotional breakdown. They could no longer cope with the emotional burden that befalls them. However, the good news is that these people are not beyond help.

“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

– Nietzsche

The ‘why’ of these people have been lost and therefore, they no longer have the ability to pick themselves up and cope with the troubles of life. These people are to be given reasons to live. It is not easy to give someone a reason to live for they have to find that reason on their own. It has to be something that excites them and pushes them forward, something that will do even if they are not paid for it.

However, what is important is that all of us need to know that suffering is the part and parcel of life. Suffering will happen to everybody as long as someone is living. There is no such thing as someone living without suffering. Suffering can take many forms from being burdened by debt, a failed business or even in an extreme case, wrongfully accused of a crime. Great leaders and successful people have all experienced suffering one way or another but the important thing is that they persevere and bounced back stronger than before. Viktor E. Frankl in his book, ‘A Man’s Search for Meaning’ discussed the idea that suffering is defined by our own perspective and if we were to change our perspective, suffering can instead be a platform for us to grow and benefit from. I quote from ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl,

“… emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.”

Once we understand why we are suffering and change our perspective of suffering from being a negative thing to a positive one can we begin to grow.

I have come into contact with people who were suicidal and most of the time they felt hopeless and as if life is against them. They felt that whatever they do, life will always have a way to worsen their current condition. However, all of us should instead treat life as an opportunity and a challenge. I quote from ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ by Viktor E. Frankl,

“One could make victory of those experiences, turning life into an inner triumph, or one could ignore the challenge and simply vegetate…”

Sometimes, it becomes hard to accept the fact that life is a challenge and it is true that some will not take it positively but know that life these challenges are just life’s way of testing us. There will always be someone looking down on us be it God or whoever you believe in, in our difficult times and they will not expect us to disappoint them by giving up.

It is never easy to deal with depression and the thoughts of suicide but know that it is never the end. Life has so much more for you and if you do not stay around, you will not find it out.

There was a video that I had watched recently about the high suicide rates amongst firefighters and a fiancee of a deceased said that killing yourself is like grabbing a rifle and shoot everyone you love. It is a selfish act that will hurt everyone around you.

Life might throw some seemingly improbable challenges but learn to deal with it the right way and know that you can always overcome it.

Life is not meaningless for, in the words of Viktor E. Frankl,

“Life ultimately means taking responsibility to find the right answer to its problems and to fulfill the tasks constantly set for each individual.”