A Means, Not an End

Academics, well is a means to an end, not an end in itself. There is something to be achieved! Academics is just the means, the action to be carried out in order to obtain that achievement. On the surface, the achievement will be seen to be a degree, be it B.Sc or B. Tech or B.Ed or MB;Bs, etc. That is what we all see! Right, but it can be deeper than that. This depends on each person’s perspective of what he/she wants that achievement to be. You spend 4,5,6 years in a school and the “achievement” is to get a degree!! Many of us see it as a “no, no”. There has to be more!! Many see it as it is. That’s why I said it depends on each person’s perspective.

Taking a closer look, that degree is not still an end!! It’s still part of the means.. You are going somewhere. The degree is not it! This is how progressives think. There is more to spending those years in school and the “end” is a degree on paper!

Academics is a means to an end. So what is this end? It is defined differently by different people. It is seen differently by different people. It is understood differently by different people.

the “end” can then be equated  to “purpose, goal, aim”. Hence, the validity of the statement : “it is defined differently by different people”. Your purpose as a being is not to earn a degree on paper. Your goal/aim as a person can’t be to get a degree that is on paper. No! That’s why it was said that even the degree is still part of the means! Because, the degree to some extent serves as a gateway, door into the system. It is in the system that you then are able to achieve your goal, fulfill your purpose. So, your degree is not the end, it is not an end… It is part of a means: academics. Having an understanding of what academics do to you will enable you understand how it is a means.

What does academics entail? Really!

Academics has to do with learning but confined to a “school” or an “academy”. So, you learn!! Basically academics is learning. You learn things that make you better. Now your learning is in different shades. You learn in specific field which will then lead you to get that degree which serve as a gateway into the system, then your stay for those years in school will teach you a lot of things that will be your tools when you get into the system. Even some courses you come across will end up forming for you useful tools when you get into the system. No knowledge is lost. You can only get the usefulness of whatever comes your way as something to learn if you pay attention to yourself and to your environment. You hardly learn effectively by chance!!!

So, academics teaches you and provide for you tools. It is a means, not an end. When you know and are fully acquainted with the “end” you desire, you will be open to understand what the “means” does to you, has for you and then how to handle it.

How to handle the “means”? Very important. This is the part that many students have murdered. If academics is a means to an end, the we surely have to go through the means and carry out the necessary activities in it. When we have a focus, a goal, an aim…. We have to do what was must be done “with all commitment” in order to effectively achieve that aim, that goal, that purpose. No matter how burdensome it may be, we have to work and walk through it. Except we are not serious about what we want.

The school is a means, it is where we have to go through as the society has designed it for us. So we have to go through it, like it or not!! Its true. The school is not always sweet, its not always easy, it’s not always stress-free!! But it is a means. Many have stabbed a nice purpose by simply mishandling the means they had. Many are like that, everywhere. Know that whatever makes you better deserves to be handled well. The school makes you better or will make you better if you take it for what it really is. If you take it for what it really is, you will get what it has to offer. See academics, school as a means that you are currently going through. It is what you have at your disposal right now.

Academics is a means….. Not an end.

Academics involves you being in a school, an academy or a formal institution. Trust me, being in such environment (school) is not always funny, interesting, stress-free, sweet. But the truth is, you have to be better, you have to be taught.

The essence of you being in a school is to be taught. Your choice of course of study might be in the field of your passion or what you aim to be or what you purposed to do in order to have an influence on your environment or the society. Your years of study in that field is meant to do just one thing to you : make you better in that field by teaching you. Now, this single thing that is meant to be done to you while you are in that school will only be realized in you if you take it for what it is, if you take school for what is it. You purposed to be a researcher because you want to work on finding solutions to the occurrence of diseases, then you have to take your course of study for what it is, you have to see it as equipping you gradually for that which you purpose. That is why you chose to study that course of your choice. You will miss the essence of the whole thing if your understanding or perspective or disposition to that field while in school is off point, off the radar, damaged, wrong.

Now for as many as picked a course of study and found themselves in another. Let me tell you this, there are many facets to influencing the society that we live in today.

You have a passion to influence the society that we all live in today and then you decided to do that through psychology or medicine and surgery, agriculture or economics or law or physics or biochemistry and then you decided to build a goal or a purpose or an aim around that passion but you found yourself in Chemistry, Geology, dentistry, pharmacy, sociology, political science, religious studies, civil engineering, etc. If truly your passion is to influence the society and the people in it, If that truly is your passion, then nothing stops you from building a purpose, a goal, an aim around that field you have found yourself. For instance, if I desire or have the passion to help the economy of a society and then I decided to go for economics but I found myself in psychology. If I so much desire or have the passion to influence my society, I can build another aim or goal in that line of psychology which will definitely have a major effect on the society.

You are not made to be stiff, you should be flexible in the things you do!!! No field is irrelevant as long as you take it for what it is meant to be and give yourself to getting what it offers. You have passion to influence the society and you decide you want medicine & surgery to be able To do that but you find yourself in pharmacy or microbiology, your passion to influence your society will still be strong and effective if you rearrange yourself and your goal to align with what those two fields have to offer and you will still have your desires and passion successfully brought to reality. Note that I have said one thing over and over : “if your passion is to influence the society in which we all live in today.”

A lot of students have stabbed a great passion because they mishandled the means they had, the school. Because your course of choice was not given, you decided to handle your academics as one who is forced to be in school. If you were forced to be in school, it is a different case entirely. If you really have a passion you willingly opt in to enroll in a school, then there is no justifiable reason at all for you to mishandle the means.

Effectively handling the means (the school) rests on the shoulders of two main things which will be the next to be discussed. They are :

1. Knowing you

2. Knowing your environment

First, who are you? (You can give yourself an answer)

knowing yourself, has to do with “what the nature of your mind is” and not what you do. What you do is just an end to the activities that thrive in your mind. Like it or not, at the level you are now, your mind goes a long way or even all the way to call the shot for your actions and your actions are the end results of whatever it is that rules in your mind.

You started growing into a man/woman with feelings gradually as you grew up and then became “a man of the mind”, which means your mind has reached a stage where it can call the shot and then you become whatever your mind says. It is inevitable! So, by saying knowing who you are, It is referring to understanding what kind of mind you have.

It is true that in whatever situation you find yourself, what your mind permits is what you do. If your mind is able to permit courage in a fearful situation, you will pull through but if it permits only fear, you won’t. So we will be looking at the mind for a while and then from there, you will be able to personally check yourself over and over to see what you are really made of in that inner part of you and It is believed it will be a real boost for you as you go through that academic environment daily.

The school and passion should go together. I mean, you are in school because you are passionate about a particular field but as time goes on, you begin to lose focus in school because of distraction and this may  lead to the fading of your passion. I feel they should not be separated.

School and passion don’t always go together. You can be in school because you feel without a certificate, the society might not recognize you. School can just be a means to you reaching your passion, the school is not the only gateway to seeing a passion come to reality, It still comes down to our understanding of what passion is. Losing focus and determination in their “academic pursuit” is possible. But remember that a lot of people see things differently. Though a lot of people are affected in that wise. Only a few are strong enough to remain focused.

I’m a 300l MBBS student of lautech and my school went on strike for 2 years. My parents said I can’t be idle, so I learnt web design, programming and the likes. In d course of my training my passion for the computing World surfaced and grew daily and I started making lots of money. Is there any possibility of my passion shifting away from MBBS? Or even school because of challenges I have encountered with schooling? Can our passion change?

Its good we understand what passion is. Now you said something in the opening of this-  Dream job=doctor. Why do you want to become a doctor? Because doctors are this and that? What is motivating you to want to become a doctor? Why do you want to become a doctor?. If you can clearly explain that to yourself, then you have found your passion. Your ‘love’ for computing grew! . Now looking at it, what do you hope to do with web design? Computing? What is that thing you see and believe computing will accomplish? You can’t just love web designing because web designing is web designing. Passion is deeper than just getting to love or be enchanted by a field. When you meet even tailors/fashion designers (any of the two), they will tell you why they love tailoring. If you are able to dig deep to fish out what you really want to see coming to reality, then you might see that even being a doctor or an engineer or a web designer, Same thing can be achieved. The society should be involved in your Passion. Of what use will your dream job be if the society has nothing to benefit from it?

With your definition of passion that’s why I wanted to study MBBS but found myself in MCB which is awesome, can even help the society better with that. But I found out that I actually really prefer handwork. That could be my passion right? Found out I prefer using my hands than reading. How do I divert that passion to my school works?

If you prefer handwork, then that’s just another Means. It’s possible for one to go to school and study his/her desired course and at the end does not even use that degree for anything. So does it mean he/she has lost his or her passion? No! That just clarifies the fact that school is a means. Your passion can drive you to put effort into your school work. Let it not be the other way

Your point now is that school is not the only means of living out your passion.

Yes! That has been established over and over

But is there any possibility that the only means to live out your passion might be only through school?

There are different people and how they understand things. If a person feels school is the only way to live out your passion, then we have to ask: what is really your passion? What is the strong point of your passion? Who benefits from your passion? Only you or the society? Is your passion just to make yourself happy by getting your dream job? Or to have a sense of fulfilment by getting your dream or desired job? Or you have something beyond that which you want to see around you and you want to be that person or be among those people that will make it happen? All these questions opens up what you really want to do.

If you say school is the only way to live out your passion, what if schools shut down for a long time? Your passion dies off? Should not be so!. That thought is so myopic or that perspective is so myopic. Though like it has been said earlier, different people with different understanding based on what they know or how well they have been able To train their mind to a considerable level of development by stretching it.

[If your passion focused on only you getting what you want, then where is the place for influence? So if your passion is built on influence, you won’t limit it to anything. Not even school!!!

We have people who didn’t have any school to go to, any money to spend but the little they had, they made something out of it. They didn’t limit what they want to do to anything. Your mind is that mind of strength and focus and power to live out your passion. Once a man is limited in his mind, he will automatically have limitations everywhere, even if he is given all the things he needs. If a man is limited in his mind, even though he is studying his desired course in school, he still won’t do much. Even though he is in school and he thinks school is the only means he has. That limitation in his mind will overshadow whatever the school might have to offer.

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