mindless learning is a contradiction

I used to be stuck in a place of excessive productivity. I should be doing this and I should be doing that, because that will make me more successful in the the future. I think so many of us get stuck in a mindset of “doing things the right way”. We go to school for our whole lives and then go to school some more, maybe even some more–some call it grad school. Maybe we even go a little longer and become a doctor or a dentist, or maybe we are so drained at the end of all of that school that we just stop. Or we continue on and get our “real world job”. So, here we are like 70 years old, and all we have done with our life is go to school and work. That makes me sad.

Granted, not everybody who goes through a lot of school and a lot of work lives a boring life–they definitely don’t, and maybe that is exactly how they want to live their lives.

For me, I needed a break from that. It wasn’t for me. It never really was. For as long as I can remember I pictured myself running away from school and going to Australia. Mentally, I came very close to doing so a couple times, but after a few mental break downs and personal therapy sessions with myself–in my head, and guidance from my parents and friends I finished a good 22 years of school, worked a bar tending job, realized I was suffocating myself in such a small small part of the world, and drove away. Not to Australia, but Colorado has done the trick for now. As you get older you realize that plane tickets are more expensive than you would like them to be, hitchhiking across any ocean just doesn’t seem safe, and your mom worries A LOT (sorry mom, but you do).

What I am getting at here is that we need a break from the constant stream of book knowledge and “real world preparation” coming at us. Our wallets also need a break from being emptied and dumped into education fees. Keep your money. Spend it on a new destination or a new experience. The world is SO BIG. Take a shot of perspective. Go look at a map and find where you are. You probably can’t even find it, because wherever you are right this second is so incredibly tiny. There is so much to see outside of where you are.

So, maybe you don’t want to run off to a ski town and get a “mindless job”. Wait, why not? You have been sitting in a classroom or an office your whole life, you deserve to have a mindless job. And it isn’t even mindless. I meet people from all over the world everyday. I learn something new every single day. Maybe I don’t learn facts that you can find in a book or on the internet or from a professor in lecture, but I learn a lot. I am going to go the cliche route and say I have learned a lot about myself. I really have. Move thousands of miles across the country by yourself and I promise you will learn stuff about who you are, what makes you do the things you do, how strong you are mentally and physically, what your limits are, and if you are anything like me you will learn that you are so much smarter and more confident than you ever thought you were. You will go places alone, maybe hate it, maybe love it. Not matter what you do and what you learn, whether negative or positive, you are still learning. Learning is key to survival, happiness and a wildly entertaining future.

It is said that it only takes six questions before you find a commonality with another human, (usually less than that). Go to a new place where everybody is a new person, and imagine how many commonalities you could find. Then, imagine how many you don’t find. Those questions or conversations you have with people that lead to uncommon characteristics are in turn teaching you something new. Even if you don’t learn something new you are still meeting someone really cool that you may have similar interests with. Continue to talk to this person and you might even get along, and look at that, you have made a friend.

Just go meet people. It is awesome. Take a break from foundation learning, do something your former self thought was stupid and mindless and go be a happy human. You will learn so much. Scared to take a chance? You are taking a chance no matter what you are doing. If you are going to sit at home where everything is familiar, you are taking a chance. You are taking a chance that you will miss out on so many beautiful parts of life. So why not go take a chance that is more freeing and one that will leave you with life changing memories and stories. Quit being afraid of failure, losing what you have or what you don’t have, and take a chance that you will become somebody even more incredible than you already are right now.

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