As I’ve recently been reflecting quite a lot on things that are going on in my everyday life as a student, I keep finding more and more things that actually have no impact — useless — or mundanities that are in fact so essential to be overlooked.
But here we are, living in an unjust world of imperfection. Even worse with all these education and economy crises, it just feels impossible to escape the realm of shallow — unnecessary, useless — encounters; filling up my diaries with insurmountable regrets — tedious administrative works that can be done much quicker if only I and people care to learn the computer (but can’t because our system doesn’t lend us enough time); or doing some really insightful assignments, except that my teacher don’t give us sufficient time or reason to touch the essence of learning itself.
We’re spending too little amount of time on essential things, while wasting too much time on unnecessary things. It is a perfect recipe for a regretful life, at least to the conscious ones.
Now, to get the conversation going, let’s pick a case. If you’re a student, just admit it already: homework is trash. Either you see it as a burden — I know you’re lazy — or you see it so often being ineffective as a learning tool — you just can’t stand how easy it is for people to effortlessly copy their class nerd(s)’s work, like, what’s wrong with the definition of ‘learning’ today?
I used to get stuck between those two feelings, most of the time, crafting my own dilemma that got me nowhere to go. But, being thankful to being locked down in my own thoughts recently, I think I’ve found the hack to it.
I think it’s important to have these two kinds of mindsets: the challenger mindset and the peacekeeper mindset — terms I’ve just made up as I were writing this; that perhaps your psychologists, whose books are too much of a burden at the moment for this lazy period of me, would word much better.
The Challenger Mindset
A part of you has to consistently analyze, evaluate, and try to make positive changes on your own environment.
It’s impossible to go out to seek and banish all the corrupt politicians to save the world from hunger and poverty, all by yourself. But by simply speaking up your thoughts, opinions, or ideas to the world, you’re already putting these bricks towards building tower of solutions to world’s problems.
Everyone, including you, has his/her own part to contribute, to take the challenge of the pursuit of discovering and creating better world. And YOU must take your part.
The Peacekeeper Mindset
Now, it’s great that you have all these optimism and positivity, but never forget to go back home. You can have all the ambitions for better education, economy, society, … you name it; but none of them would bring instant outcome. You won’t stay alive — not so long to see your dreams come true — out of your mere creativity without taking reality seriously.
And it’s not enough just to accept the imperfection or the mundanity of your reality; you have to take advantage of it. Remember the advice, “Do what you love, love what you do.” Improve your life and world so you can love them, but learn to love the reality, no matter how harsh it is to you, even right now.
Learn to work with obstacles, not against it, because life is full of obstacles. There is hardly any other way to keep a peaceful life.
How To Execute It: Homework Is Sh*t, But Don’t Hate It.
Let’s apply the two mindsets.
I, as a student, argue that homework is useless and has so many flaws — the way it is currently being executed. So I try to keep sharing my thoughts and ideas, discussing them with my friends or teachers, hoping we could come up with either short or long term alternatives to it.
But proposing better alternatives to homework won’t immediately remove the whole homework system, at least for some couple years from now. I’ve still got to finish my already and to be assigned homework. I have to get them done to ensure my identity as a good student — what our society currently accepts — so I can get to the top and tell all the people that all of this could be done better.
I know homework is useless — so I strive for better alternatives — but I don’t hate it — I’ll find a way to take advantage of its current form. Apply this and you’ll never regret doing homework — or any stuff in your life — anymore.
Reach for the sky, but keep your feet on the ground. Constantly seeking the way to shape a better world, but keeping yourself aligned with reality, is the way to go.
And that is, ladies and gentlemen, the two mindsets to set your life of no regrets.