Friday, August 24, 2007

Are you growing?

No, not like a tree.

Personal growth. The kind which makes you wiser, stronger, a better person.

People have different priorities. Personal growth has always been one of my top priorities. Doing stuff I've done before that does not challenge me is one sure fire way to get me irritated, impatient, etc. Of course there is a lesson in this too. Maturing means understanding that most of life is inevitably going to involve the mundane. Dealing with that and looking for the opportunities to grow is growth in itself.

But growth also takes extramural effort. Reading is a big part of growing. While researching something on the Internet qualifies (and has happily made readers of many more people than would otherwise be the case), working through a book still has a big role to play in growing knowledge. It's kind of like following someone on a journey.

Going back to varsity has meant I'm being challenged with all sorts of new things. Doing post grad maths after 15 years since my first year maths course is one such challenge. Sitting in a course on competition economics is another.

The latter left me feeling exhilarated after Wednesday's lecture. I learnt something on game theory and Cournot equilibriums that was immediately applicable to a client situation. I did some work for the client based on the learning the next day. Now that's a return on investment!

But growth takes work. I'm sold out at the moment and carrying a full time varsity course load rather than a part time one. This means I'm back to bad habits such as hardly sleeping and not pre-reading for lectures, etc.

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