learning how to learn

Though I can be reasonably confident that I understand certain things about the mechanical and physical way the world works, I am much less certain that I understand anything about the truly important things. This becomes increasingly apparent as I get older. The instinctual and often youthful urge to grapple with life, to guide and direct it according to my will, and to impress others with my ability to successfully do so was spent. My characteristic exuberance was exhausted and disillusioned, and I recognised, with some dismay, the obvious need to reconsider facts and truths I had previously believed in, and goals and ambitions which I had once held to be important.

Fundamental to that realisation was the humble acceptance of the fact that many of the methods, techniques, and strategies that I used did not, demonstrably, work. The effort was enormous, a successful result was not ensured, and I was not happy. Whether that had been because of the trials and disappointments of adversity, or through a natural realignment of my values as I got older, I am not sure, but acknowledging that I had to grow up was in small part a sign that I had in fact begun to do so. Learning how to learn, as a beginning, fills me with a measure of hope and satisfaction. In that, I am almost sure, is the beginnings of a maturity and poise that have hitherto been lacking.

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