I am beginning to see more and more that education is, really, learning about oneself. Generally, it seems we are seeking information about our environment, but that is really just another form of yourself, because you can’t separate yourself from it. Additionally, you can’t run away from yourself. What you “get” out of life is up to you, and the only thing that drives your action is your desires. Therefore, the most important studying a person can do is of oneself.
Many times, we are constantly trying to escape from our present situation. We do this in a number of ways: drugs, alcohol, and getting wrapped up in both forethought and afterthought are a few that come to mind. In no way am I saying that you should never drink (if you are of age), or that drugs can’t be useful; however, attaching to the pleasure of them as a way of escape, instead of medicinal and communal usage, is a sure fire way to end your life quickly, or drudgingly, and never see the beauty of each moment. Sure, some moments are more exciting than others, and some moments are extremely difficult to accept and live through. But what goes up must come down, and if there weren’t any bad days how would you know a good day? Therefore, paying attention to what you see as “good and bad” allows you to appreciate what actually gives you joy in life. So don’t run away from the “bad,” or “boring,” embrace them; and know what will eventually follow. Have you ever seen a rainbow without rain?
The experiences that will equate your life are up to you. How could you know you love to play music, or sing, or paint, if you never try? And how could you expect to express yourself well through any medium, such as the ones I just mentioned, without practice and discipline? You can’t. But, through constancy, and over time, you will find your voice, or your swagger, and it will be unique. Of course, it should have hints of your role models, or gurus, but, somehow, no snowflake is ever the same, and
THAT IS BEAUTIFUL.
Additionally, you have to live for yourself. Your desires are the only thing that will fuel your action, or karma. If you have no energy, feel lifeless, or simply don’t see the point in waking up in the morning, it’s because you have nothing to live for! You are living for some thing outside yourself and your place in the world. I felt this way for a significant amount of time in college. Everyone – parents, grandparents, peers – tells you what is important and what you need, but if it doesn’t sit with you and get you out of bed in the morning, then it’s not what you need! We are organisms – beautiful and marvelous organisms – and that means we have to look out for ourselves first.
Study yourself, sit with yourself, ask, “What’s it all for? Do I want this? Or do I think I need this?” What do I need? What do I want? What do I want?” You may notice a surge in energy after some practice with this; but, then, you may notice a deflation when you think, “Oh, I could never. I’m just little old me. I couldn’t be that. That would take years. They have been at it for years.” Then what the hell are you waiting for? Become yourself now, live with yourself now, and begin doing what you want now.
So again, study yourself; in both the bad times and the good times; so you can see what life means to you. Ask yourself what you would like your life to be and why. Most importantly, it is up to you to use your desires as fuel for action, because your desires are your motivation for living.