From the day our parents leave us to make it through the first day in school, we get started on a journey. We move from class to class, to high school, to undergraduate school, and to graduate school. Some may even opt to go further to get a doctoral degree.
But a question remains: do we necessarily get wiser?
If I had to speak with experience, then the education system I was brought up in hardly made me reflect about the most important aspects of my own life: my level of self-knowledge, how I could improve relationships with people I care about, and what sort of work would give me a sense of meaning in my life.
If you are like most people, you’ll progress through the ranks and yet be largely unaware of what you are like and what you want from life. Although these are vague questions, my experience as a constant reflector of my own life tells me that starting somewhere and making it a continual habit can do wonders to the way we approach life and the choices and decisions we make.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that we will be void of any mistakes in the course of our life. But when we begin the journey of self-awareness, we will start looking within more often. This means relating more with others by way of finding parts of ourselves in them, listening instead of always talking, not hesitating to ask instead of almost always assuming, and often questioning oneself first rather than blaming others all the time.
Questioning oneself about the seemingly ‘important yet difficult to ascertain’ elements of our lives may make us uncomfortable at first, but it becomes a worthy investment of our time, energy, and effort over the long run. All of us yearn for a meaningful life that aligns with who we are and what we want. For such a big ask, it is only appropriate that we begin the journey of reflecting on the ‘what, why, and how’ from today itself.