Photo Credit: kaeska,

“How many people are trapped in their everyday habits: part numb, part frightened, part indifferent? To have a better life we must keep choosing how we are living.’”
-Albert Einstein

I’ve never seen an unintentional child – a child devoid of curiosity and sense of joy in choosing what he wants to have or what to do. Visit a playground and you’ll be welcomed by vibrant souls, immersed deeply in the joys of life and looking forward to possibilities with ever expectant eyes.

But look at some adults and you’ll see a shocking contrast: curiosity are largely gone, the fear of failing is more prevalent than the expectation of success, being vulnerable seems banned and life intentionality is fading.

What happened to millions of adults? Why they gave up the dream of living a significant life just to have the secured and safe one? Why they’ve chosen the generic recommended life over their desired life?

There are many reasons why a born creative soul would turned into a fearful and timid one, but I believe that the most significant are the overemphasis of rules and generalities in many schools, and the put-downs they received from supposed to be wiser and more emphatic authorities.

How many children, with hands that are always itchy to draw were stopped by irate teachers who carelessly told the young artisans that “they can’t make a living with their silly drawings”? How many honest questions like “In what ways these calculus problems will apply to my adult life?” were silenced by dictatorial teachers with overused argument like “just do it because I told you so!” It’s sickening to realize that the institutions that are built up to shape the shaper of the future are not doing a good job in nurturing the assets desperately needed for the progress of human race: curiosity, creativity, and artistic paradigms.

I’m a teacher, and I deeply believe in the transforming value of education. But teaching is a double edged sword, many successful individuals would say that they’re indebted to some of their teachers for inspiring (and sometimes pushing) them to reach their potential. But many individuals didn’t have a rosy testimonials about their previous teachers, some even abandoned their genius because they’ve been discouraged by the people they look-up to – people in fancy uniforms but with little or no burden about the growth of their pupils.

If you’re just looking forward on being a teacher just for the sake of salary and nothing else, then I beg you not to be one! Because teaching is not just a job; it’s a calling - a call to be a person who would intentionally look for the angels inside of his students and inspire them to soar in ways they’re designed to fly. If you would stubbornly (or blindly) enter the realm of teaching in the name of money, then I’m afraid that you would end up unintentionally (or worse, intentionally) kill the inner creative of dreaming individuals.

As we graduate from school, one challenge for us is to sensibly probe at the doctrines that were taught to us by teachers and organizations, and then retain the truths from the lies. If you’re fortunate to encounter open-minded adults who understand and respect your talents, weaknesses, and aspirations, then you’re ahead from many in the perspective department, now go on and blaze your path. But if you’ve been pigeonholed by 15/30-all-for-salary-and-nothing-else adults, then do your best to get out of the sleazy opinions and be dauntless enough to think different and regain your life intentionality.

It’s no wonder that many remarkable people in the past and in the present are not fond of conventional rules posted by “authorities”. They are not overly obedient to you-must-do-these-and-never-do-these PowerPoints. They never subscribe to the “The Impossible Endeavors (list of things you must not bother with, because it won’t work out anyway – period)” magazine. Yes, we must adhere to the true-north principles and sane moral codes advocated by organizations like the church and the government, but no one have the right to define and limit what’s possible for a daring soul. There’s a deep reason why we’re given individual brains and hearts, we have the gift of free will and an invitation to live a responsible, intentional, and significant life for purposes greater than ourselves.

Are you living an intentional life? Or the over-prescribed life? The daring or the fading?

Recommended Readings:
Linchpin by Seth Godin
The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg
Better than College by Blake Boles
Die Empty by Todd Henry


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