December 28, 2012

Brief Thoughts On Growing Up

As I am getting older and working (or rather studying) my way through life, I am often evaluating and re-evaluating whether or not I have succeeded in the goals and objectives I have set for myself. Time flies, and it often seems like I have been too busy and didn't have enough time (and discipline) to become who I wanted to be.

When we are young, we have a certain idea of what we want to be like as adults. At the time, it seemed like adulthood was ages away; we thought we had a great deal of time to suppress our bad habits and flaws, to work on developing certain qualities and become that ''ideal person'' we had in mind.

It turns out that our time is short, that our faults are persistent, and that virtue requires a lot of discipline and self-sacrifice.

Someone once told me:
''Don't sacrifice what you want for what you want right now''

I can find two applications of this principle:

1. As a university student, it is sometimes very tempting to yield to the temptation of escaping my homework and readings in order to do more ''pleasant'' and ''entertaining'' things, such as wasting time on the internet, watching one of my favourite movies, etc.

It seems like a natural inclination to want to sacrifice what I want (an education) for what I want right now (leisure).

2. Paradoxically, what I want can become what I want right now in light of other priorities. Maybe the thing I want right now (an education, a career, traveling, for example) can become obstacles to what I want (the big picture for my life).

What exactly is the reason for our life? Do we live up to it? Or do we forget the big picture because we are focused on what we want right now?


  1. I love that you asked this question of are we becoming that "ideal person" we had in mind. Lately I was thinking back to what I thought my life would be like when I was like 15, and I totally thought I would have accomplished so much more. I know that is because I was young and thought I was invincible, but now that I am actually working towards certain goals I really hope I am not opting for less. This post was perfect for me to read at this time in my life, thanks Alex :)

  2. It's strange and I don't know why but your article made me think about what my professor said today. As student, we focus on doing as little as possible to obtain the greatest outcome (that is, the highest gpa). He added by saying: as students and human beings, this is not an act of laziness, it's only human nature to try to conserve as much energy as possible at every time. I found that funny.. I guess that's what university life is all about!
    I believe that "growing up", like you wrote is all about acquiring more responsibilities. These days I feel that most of us have overgrown our limit capacity of amount of responsibility. That surplus is translated by stressing too much. Personally, that is exactly what frightens me about getting older and older...

  3. Yeah yeah yeah.
    Interestingly enough, I was hit with this same conviction recently and decided to make a rigid weekly schedule to stop wasting so much time. Must be a new year thing. When I look back on the past few years at all the mistakes I've made, it's sad, but also encouraging to know I'm growing. One of my greatest fears is to look back on who I was a year earlier and see the same person. In all sincerity, God help us all.


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