The limited time that life provides us with: encourages us to use it well. And whilst using time effectively is a powerful strategy for working with what you have; often this focus on productivity and usefulness from an early stage can trap many individuals into thinking they should have answers and should work from these answers. Whether you believe that the process of going through university prepares you entirely for your career in finance or thinking that impressing the right people is all that you require in order to progress; you are on an extremely costly path.
You are, in fact, not using time wisely, but simply allowing your fear of the unknown to dictate your decisions. In doing so, you will at first feel as though you are moving through life ahead of others: you will earn more money and will take pride in your feeling of temporary superiority as though you are more adult-like. In this state, as Ryan Holiday writes in his book: Ego is the Enemy, ‘we let the ego tell us we have graduated, learning grinds to a halt.’ This is extremely dangerous and its limit can serve you a future of regret and stagnation which will create a sense of untapped potential when your later maturity settles in.
Instead, you should use time wisely by seeking to be dumbfounded: to be present in a room where you are the least knowledgeable person. You must continually unlearn what you have learnt in order to accept new truths. The resistance of new reality shifts stems from the fact that we tie confidence in ourselves so tightly to the understanding of truths. But true progression requires you to rid yourself of such a congealment. Security should not be found in structure - but in constant adaption. And despite common belief, to stand still when everything around you is moving, hardly sounds like security. As Robert Greene writes in Mastery, you should ‘be relentless in your pursuit for expansion. Whenever you feel like you are settling into some circle, force yourself to shake things up and look for new challenges.’
‘Be relentless in your pursuit for expansion. Whenever you feel like you are settling into some circle, force yourself to shake things up and look for new challenges.’
Make it your life strategy to never settle your curiosity. Allow yourself to dive deep into the pool of knowledge. Read books that have you in awe page after page, listen (as opposed to giving a speech) to those you struggle to keep along with and whom intellectually challenge you, and seek out challenges as though they are your oxygen supply. As you do this, you will become more and more restless when put into a position with limited sources of new knowledge. Your mind will creatively find ways to fight you out of that corner and back into the wilderness of wisdom. For this wisdom is endless, and by understanding that, you will evolve many times more than you may have previously thought possible.
The header image was provided by the wonderful: Ronny Olsson.