As I start my fourth semester at Cornell, I'm again thinking about what I want out of my life right now. Here's the dilemma I'm in.
I love content creation. I adore the freedom of expression it allows. I love reading the comments of those I have touched. I love the endless pool of curiosity I can tap into.
At times I have loved it so much that I considered dropping out of school and pursuing it full-time. Many of my content creator friends have taken the leap and none have regretted it.
But at the same time I love University. Not as much for the education. Although I'm interested in what I'm learning in class I stay more for the incredible intellectual and social environment of University. Fostering friendships, participating in club activities, and going on adventures with my Cornell friends have been some of the most fulfilling and enjoyable parts of my life over the past year and a half. And of course, you can't miss the sunflower butter at the dining halls.
It feels like I'm living two lives at once. On the one hand, I have the traditional University experience done for decades. On the other I have content creation inside of the new creator economy, rejecting the default path for the online learning life.
What's keeping me in University apart from my great friendships right now is one thing. Something that honestly terrifies me: the paradox of progress.
The paradox of progress is the idea that the more society moves forward the more problems are created. This paradox applies not only to society but to our individual lives. Humans don't usually realize that progress is not always an inherent good.
In my case, for example, I'm living what is in many ways my best life right now. I have freedom of expression through my content creation, a bustling social life at University and on the internet, and the traditional school experience through my classes.
And yet I still feel this clinging to leave Cornell and go create content full-time. The question is, would progress in my content creation actually make my and others' lives better? Or would it just create more problems I don't enjoy solving? Because of how small I am as a content creator, I have autonomy over my creation. Would this stay if I went full-time?
I don't know the answer to that question. For now, I'm staying at University. Probably to the great joy of my parents lol.
But in many ways, this isn't just a problem I'm facing. We all have areas in our lives where we could make progress on. The question is, would progress in those areas make us reflect on our lives with more fulfillment?
Here's what I would like to share this week.
📸News From The Channel!
7 Things Professional Chefs Do that Help Me as a College Student: Chefs follow a French cooking philosophy called Mise-En-Place or Everything in It's Place. By applying this philosophy to our lives, we can become better students. In this video, I give a book summary interpretation of Everything In Its Place by Dan Charnas to show how.
Nick Milo: Bringing Joy Back To Student Notetaking With Link Based Thought: Nick Milo is a YouTuber, blogger, and creator of the Linking Your Thinking Workshop, where he guides people of all different backgrounds to learn how to bring curiosity and joy back into notetaking. We talk about why Nick transitioned from Evernote to Obsidian, the power of link-based thought and map-making, how students can become more engaged with their learning, and how we can use the concepts of flow and gamification to make real life more enjoyable.
Why Games Are So Engaging and Addicting: The Flow State Part 1: games are so engaging and sometimes addicting because they naturally fulfill the seven elements of getting into flow, the state in which all other worldly matters seem to drift away as you become completely absorbed with the present moment. By understanding how games fulfill these elements we can gamify our own lives to enter flow more consistently.
💡My Best Insights:
✍️Blog Post - Alarmed by A.I. Chatbots, Universities Start Revamping How They Teach: ChatGPT, a language AI tool is so advanced it can write essays, code, and answer complex questions for you. It's changing the very landscape of the world as we know it. Many are struggling to learn how to cope. For example, as a University professor, how do you grade essays with the knowledge it could have been easily written by ChatGPT in five seconds? I don't have answers. All I can say is ChatGPT isn't going away. AI tools will only get better. We need to work with them. I will likely create a video at some point on how to use it.
🎙️Podcast - David Goggins - This Is How to Master Your Life: self improvement is a cyclical process. Many see self improvement as something that is done and then finished. But just because you did something in the past doesn’t mean you can careen of your success and stop working. In this podcast David Goggins despite having done many incredible physical feats in his life including a 100 mile in a day run, still runs 12 miles every morning and regularly does more physical feats. He knows that for him, stopping would mean becoming complacent.
📺YouTube Video - The Paradox of Choice Barry Schwartz: The paradox of Modern Western Affluent societies is we are less happy and satisfied with our lives despite having more options. This is because of the paradox of choice. Having more options actually makes us often feel worse about our decisions.