How do human beings build upon the foundation of their existence? Through others, of course.
Learning is a lifelong process that requires not much more than an inquisitive mind. Different people learn at different rates, which is mostly a genetic ‘problem.’ But learning isn’t all genetics. A lot of it has to do with ambition.
Some are just overly content with their lives and have no real drive to become adequately knowledgeable in different subject matters because they either have no desire to do so, or they only want to learn if it benefits them in a specific way (like learning about ways to utilize social media in order to sell more products as a businessman). Obviously, people learn little things as they live their lives: how to drive a car, how to put batteries in a TV remote, how to cook their steaks, etc. But those are things that require little to no thought in the grand scheme of things, coming almost by second nature. Sure, learning how to operate a vehicle can be difficult — when you’re barely 15 years old. Even people who have had a license for 40 years still suck at driving. But the basic premise is simple: hit the gas to go, push the brake to slow down/stop and turn the wheel to go a certain way. Again, there’s not that much to the whole thing.
Me, I enjoy learning. The description that pops up whenever my phone alarm goes off is “learn something today.” I try to live by that edict, whether it in involves learning by reading something in a book or magazine, researching something interesting online or just learning from other people; I just want to gain more knowledge. It’s a natural high for me, to have a brain with the capacity to add more information to the millions of thoughts, feelings, emotions, facts and ideas that already find themselves in my cerebellum. I couldn’t imagine a day going by when I’m not using my head to make an informed decision about something. Even when I’m out having a drink, for example, I use a thought process that says, If I take two shots of Jameson before my first beer, I will be on the fast track to inebriation. Life is full of decisions, and rarely does a day go by (if ever) when someone doesn’t have to make a decision about something, whether trivial or serious.
So, why are some people comfortable with the knowledge they already have? I guess that is up to them to decide. A fulfilling life means different things to different people, so a farmer and a movie star will have different ways of viewing the world and their respective existence. A mother and her son will visualize the planet in different ways as well, which can be difficult when the son is mature enough to understand how utterly traumatic the world can be.
The actual process of living is like your own game show (without the 80s-style theme music and bags of cash you receive). You choose your own path in most regards, and you choose whatever path because it suits you best. That could be because each person is born with something different in regards to a certain passion. I always felt that way. A doctor and a painter may share certain characteristics and do their jobs in very similar ways (very technical, patient, understanding of the medium they are working with) but both professions are widely different. Even as I write this sentence, I know, understand and am completely comfortable that I was born to write. I was born to use my words to convey meanings to others, and even to myself.
But even though I have come to terms with that many moons ago, I still wonder, Why? If I wanted to pursue a career as a computer programmer, could I be successful at it? More importantly, would I be happy in such a profession? Without happiness being the core reason for chasing individual dreams, what the hell is the point?
To answer those questions, you just have to look within. Eliminate options that do not or can not coexist with your ideologies. Manipulate your surroundings so you can better understand them. For example, look at the world from a different angle or a perspective which you never really gave enough thought. Be logical and realistic with your talents and intelligence, and you can do that by not asking for too much or accepting too little. Scratch the surface in regards to different experiences, and if some suit you more than others, don’t be afraid to continue exploring that jungle.
I didn’t always feel this way. It may be a tad insincere to say, but in retrospect I feel like certain people and things were holding me back in a time of my life when I was supposed to grow. I don’t wish the same fate for any of you.