When is the last time you really enjoyed a project you were working on?

For some, this may be a really easy question to answer, but for many it is actually quite difficult. I had written in a previous post about my students participating in the Laws of Life essay contest. Well, I recently had a chance to review the essays and chose some class winners. One young man reflected on an aspect of life that I think many of us think about, but rarely make any effort to change for the better. He wasn’t a winner, but he was awfully close. His issue with life? Adults are brainwashed. His thesis is simple–adults spend too much time doing mindless work and not enough time experiencing life. There are some major pros and cons to the way he approaches life, but I think most of us can see where he is going with that point of view. To this young man, the work that many of us do everyday is seen as stressful and unnecessary. Now, what has given him this paradigm? The power of observation is, well, powerful.

Time to be decisive and do something YOU want to do. Find a project and fall in love with it!

When we think about projects we get excited about, how many of them have to do with our occupations? If the projects that excite us aren’t a part of our jobs, then do our jobs leave us with time to do those projects we do get excited about? My student’s essay is an important reminder of how often we just don’t focus on ideas and projects that excite us. Those of us that do I imagine really enjoy our jobs and life to a much greater extent. The responsibilities of adulthood are very real and important, but not as important as what inspires us. I truly hope my student holds onto his passion for seeking out what life has to offer, but I hope he garners the maturity that makes it all matter in the end.

A challenge I’ve given myself this year is to engage in projects that really excite or inspire me. I’m living one of those projects right now with the project-based learning class I’ve helped design and implement at my school. (I’ll talk about this plenty in future posts.) I want to be deliberate about other projects in my life: writing more poetry, finish writing that book I’m always talking about, decide my next move on my own education, growing as a good husband and friend, and this blog of course!

I challenge you to try this as well. Engage in something that you’re inspired by and something you’re going to be deliberate about this year, whether it be at your job, at home, or elsewhere. I’m trying to avoid using the the term “new year’s resolution” here, but I suppose there is no hiding from its obvious correlation; nonetheless, I hope you resolve not to be brainwashed as my student has so aptly phrased it.

Be bold my friends, be bold.

One thought on “Brainwashed?

  1. I absolutely love this and agree that unfortunately most of us are stuck spending a lot of time on things that don’t fulfill or excite us. I loved your use of my 2011 Mantra of being deliberate and I intend to take on your challenge. I started with my blog and plan to continue taking on things I love even if its only in my spare time outside of work.

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