avatarRam Mo

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How to Revive Your Curiosity After College Beats it Out of You

College students make me puke and it’s not their fault.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I learned more in 1 year chasing my curiosity than 3 years in college.

In college, I resold goods on eBay, dabbled with algorithmic trading, became Quora’s #5 biggest earner in Germany, started a pro-gamers team and coached them through championships, and tried to sell my own hand-made perfume!

All these experiences have organically led me to this: Writing online.

Why is this my forever game now? Because 1 year later, I feel like I am still cracking my fingers, Still in my warm-up rounds. I couldn’t say that for any of my other pursuits!

Here is how curiosity will lead you to self-actualization:

Curiosity is your compass to self-actualization

Curiosity is like an antenna.

Everyone has their set of ethereal antennas tuned to receive their own specific broadband of ideas. We don’t get to choose what ideas tickle our antennas, but we can choose to tune in.

We are the messengers of these ideas. Their holy prophets. Their lifeline.

Our job is to figure out:

  1. What are these ideas?
  2. What are they trying to become?

Then

3. Bring them to life

These innate ideas are like a sublte breeze, we can never realise they are there if we are standing in the storm of everyday life.

To answer #1, we need to stop completely and see where this breeze is coming from what triggers it, and try to pinpoint its direction by feel and precise language.

To aswer #2 we need to play them, flip them around, squeeze or stetch them, either by writing around them or litterally using our hands. That’s when they give in and reveal their true colors to us.

To do #3... We need to do the work. Sit down and work on them until our foreheads drip blood on our canvas, blank page, carpet, or keyboard.

It’s messy, it’s primitive, but it’s necessary!

That’s when ideas become vehicles; by riding them and mushing the gas peddle, we travel with them to unforeseen places that hopefully scare us since that is the hallmark of growth.

Our curiosity is cursed by the ways of our world

College students make me puke and it’s not their fault.

I’ve spent 3 years in college camps, switching 3 majors and 2 universities before dropping out. They got this whole curiosity thing backward;

I asked the same questions to every student that I met in my 3 years:

Why are you here and not anywhere else?

Here are the most common answers I got:

  • “I have no idea”
  • “To graduate”
  • “To get a good job”
  • “It was the obvious next thing to do”
  • “All my friends are here”
  • “It’s easier than studying X”

Only one student amazed me with his answer and that’s why I remember his reaction exactly:

  • “Are you kidding me? it’s fu*king sick to understand how money influences people, companies and like entire nations!”

That boy was front-rowing every lecture and workshop. That’s passion!

That’s what 99.9% of the students lacked.

The educational system whacked our antennas with a massive blackboard.

When we are constantly told what to read, learn, and do for our entire lives, how on earth could we trust in the validity of our inner judgment anymore if we never used it?

We don’t just lose our authority; we also lose our voices.

Curiosity becomes a “nice to have” and “frustration” becomes a synonym for “learning”. We lose our love for learning, and we become close-minded.

And since college sucks at preparing students for the real world, more learning is thrust upon us by the demands of the job.

That’s when we give up on being lifelong learners.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Learning at 99 years old. Be a Charlie!

Charlie Munger was reading books at 99 before he passed. (RIP)

He was learning for his entire life. Not to pass an exam or get a job but because that’s what you do. You expand your knowledge because the moment you don’t grow is when you start dying.

I bet that makes no sense to the short-term college student narrative of “I am done learning after college.”

Every subject is interesting if you ask the right questions. Cultivating worldly wisdom is about asking as many interesting questions as you can about everything.

“My idea of a truly great man is somebody like Darwin or Einstein or Ben Franklin. They didn’t just have a high IQ. They were curious about the world.” — Charlie Munger

Real learning happens outside the classroom.

For 150,000 years, humans learned by tinkering in the real world.

They smacked stones repeatedly to make spears, axes and even fire.

They observed natural processes like sharp rocks, experimented with replicating them, refined their movements through trial and error to get the edge right, and shared that knowledge with their worlds.

The more ways the material engages you, the better your retention of information will be and the faster the wisdom accumulation.

Curiosity makes what you do captivating so you are beyond focused and genuinely engaged.

“Read what you love, to love what you read.”

— Naval.

Confession: From 10 to 19, I hated reading and never read anything outside my school books.

Then I had a moment of clarity one day and figured that “reading is a tool; you can’t hate on a tool! You hate the subject”.

That same day, I went to the library and bought my first book in a decade; “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” — By Robert T.K.

I picked that book at noon and didn’t stop reading it until the sun came out the next day, having read all 336 pages nonstop.

One book.. became two, then 10, then 120+.

That kid, in that moment, changed my life; Language is small compared to my gratitude. So much of who I am today directly resulted from his action that day.

All I am trying to say is this:

Give yourself a shot for once. A fair shot. Do it out of love or do it out of anger. Life is messy and chaotic on the edge. Stay primitive and trust your heart.

Your brain will thank you later.

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Self Improvement
Personal Development
Personal Growth
College
Learning
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