Wednesday, May 15, 2013
What Have You Achieved?
This late Wednesday, I decided to finish some usual stuff regarding my exchange program. Some (last) monthly surveys, a presentation, and so on.
And I stumbled upon this particular question:
"What are your accomplishments during your exchange year?"
Well, now, that is hard, I told myself. Are you expecting me to count every single things that occur during my exchange year and count them as accomplishments? What are the criteria of accomplishment itself? What you would consider as an achievement and not?
I was stunned, for several minutes. In fact, for those several minutes, I thought that I just lost all of those passionate dreams that brought me here, to the land of the ambitious achievers (not that my own land is not an ambitious one).
For some moment in your life, there are times that you think you're pretty clueless of what you're doing right now. What you even want. And there will be time when you started to doubt yourself. To doubt the fact that you are capable, you are what you think who you are.
And there will be time when you stop counting what you've achieved because you'd think that, "No, that is not an achievement."
And I did stumble that thought. The fact that I was pretty clueless for several minutes gave me a hard slap on my face on how I nearly felt that I didn't accomplish anything.
I might start rambling about silly things that I would consider as an achievement because I didn't want to look bad on myself. And I started to worry about how I have wasted this whole year just for being an American instead of an incredible human being that can change the world.
And here's a fact: I did, and still change the world. Not because I wanted to sound cool nor to feel better about myself, but without my existence, lots of what happened in yours wouldn't be there in the first place. Now, this might sound a bit narcissistic, but again, I did.
Most of us are busy thinking about what we have done in the past and what we will do in the future that we--most of the time--ignore the present. I just started reading a book talking about Zen--a way to calm yourself--for SAT. Yes, It might sound weird but I am taking the SAT, just to test myself, and to take myself a step ahead in life. I presume.
But anyway, this really cool book teaches me to recognize the existence of the present first. I don't fully agree with the whole present statement because I'm quite a visionary individual that likes to know that there are indeed possibilities in the future and I'd like to make my way to them. But things only matter in the future and only in the past that we cannot really touch without doing something to our present. What we envision will remain as a vision, what we regret will remain as a regret. And then we just forgot that, what happens now, only happens now.
This might sound confusing, but my main point is that,
I totally disagree with the prompt of asking what is your achievement. What happened in the past might be as important as your visions, but again, nothing matters more that what you're doing at this moment. Because none of those will matter to your life. This, right now, is what matters.
And you shouldn't be asking "What have you achieved?" but instead, "What are you doing now?"
Then I will gladly answer, "Appreciating life in a thousand ways and being amazed with the vast perspectives of random people."