Studying Without Desire

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”

Leonardo da Vinci

The purpose of studying is to make you smarter. But much of the studying the average person does in his or her life has the opposite effect due to the fact that society places importance on the act of studying instead of the process of learning.

A person who puts all of their effort into looking successful on social media but doesn’t put the same effort into succeeding at their job will impress everyone except his or her boss. Outward appearances mean nothing if it’s only to hide inward shallowness.

Learning isn’t burdensome, it’s freeing.  When it does feel like a burden, it can shackle you down instead of freeing your mind. Da Vinci noticed this centuries ago, as have creatives before and after him, but the modern education system — and therefore society as a whole — hasn’t caught up. The whole system revolves around studying for a test; this is an inadequate system because life is the opposite of a test. An exam may have four or five choices for a question or a specific set of rules to adhere to when writing an essay, but life has limitless options that keep growing with each new advancement.

Take some time to study something that interests you. No matter how practical or impractical this new knowledge is, the simple act of studying with desire is enough to rekindle the burnt-out fire of learning, so that it may one day erupt with energy.  

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