Daily Stoic | Be more than “Informed”

I decided to call this daily blogging as what it is: my reflections on being a Daily Stoic.

The goal is not to be familiar with the verses of literature, but to live the message of the philosophy as it is. Stoics do not dwell on platitudes, but instead strive to live the teachings of the School of Thought. And this is something that gives me pause sometimes, because of how often I end up lying to myself and doing everything half-assed. I would procrastinate on something then assume I actually grew from the experience.

I am familiar with what Marcus Aurelius said, or what Epictetus has said, but do I live it?

This takes me back to my days teaching Information Systems in the University, and how the movement of Data through networks is very similar to learning. We collect data, organize it in such a way that information could be inferred, and the utilization of that information gives way to knowledge.

I talked about how everyday, we gather data. Every senses reacting to the stimulus of the world feeds us so much about what is around us, and based on how we interpret this data results in how we react. I said that learning functions simply like that. And after years of teaching that concept, by paper I could be called a Master in Learning.

Yet, with today’s reflection: “Go Beyond Understanding”, I look back at my life for the past few months and I wonder: “Have I actually gone beyond simply understanding?”

“From Rusticus . . . I learned to read carefully and not be satisfied with a rough understanding of the whole, and not to agree too quickly with those who have a lot to say about something.”

— MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS , 1.7.3

To read carefully not be satisfied with a rough understanding of the whole. Marcus was dissatisfied with simply being aware of things, like pop-culture trivia, famous quotes, top 10 lists, or any other garbage brought to us by the internet presented as educational. I have been deceived by these before, learning about something and never going deeper because I was satisfied with the tip of the iceburg.

These days, where information goes by so fast, who would bother learning the story behind something?

So today, I ask myself: “Have I taken my Learning for granted?”

Have I spent my time, digging deeper on what I’ve learned or do I just ride on whatever shallow information I have at hand until it totally breaks down in a real challenge? Well, I believe I’m trying to learn more, to never be satisfied with just being informed. I want to strive to a level of mastery that could allow me to fully use the tools given to me in my training.

But can I do more?

I believe I can… I’m not pushing my learning far enough, I’m not trying as hard as I could be! The potential I am carrying is wasted with each day spent not learning.

Today’s reflection is an eye opener, to my failures as a student in whatever field I want to pursue, and the grand race towards our final moments, the day to start becoming is today. Today is the day to go beyond understanding, and actually be knowledgeable.

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