Optimize your life for learning

Just stumbled upon a gem of an email [1] from Professor Alexander Coward at Berkeley, explaining why he isn’t going to cancel a class despite a strike.

The last couple of paragraphs ought to resonate well with anyone who’s obsessed with learning. To quote the email,

 …

In order for you to navigate the increasing complexity of the 21st century you need a world-class education, and thankfully you have an opportunity to get one. I don’t just mean the education you get in class, but I mean the education you get in everything you do, every book you read, every conversation you have, every thought you think.

You need to optimize your life for learning.

You need to live and breath your education.

You need to be *obsessed* with your education.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because you are surrounded by so many dazzlingly smart fellow students that means you’re no good. Nothing could be further from the truth.

And do not fall into the trap of thinking that you focusing on your education is a selfish thing. It’s not a selfish thing. It’s the most noble thing you could do.

Society is investing in you so that you can help solve the many challenges we are going to face in the coming decades, from profound technological challenges to helping people with the age old search for human happiness and meaning.

That is why I am not canceling class tomorrow. Your education is really really important, not just to you, but in a far broader and wider reaching way than I think any of you have yet to fully appreciate.

[1] : http://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/just-in/2013-11-21/cal-lecturers-email-students-goes-viral-why-i-am-not

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