I almost always feel like writing when I’m about to go to bed and am actually too tired to write properly. As is the case currently…I mean, I don’t even have anything planned to write about. I have something to write in two days time, but that post really requires it to be the 31st of December.

Ah, there we go – an idea. I’ll keep it short tonight, partly as it’s a rather spontaneous, not very well thought out bit of writing here, and partly as I really need to sleep…I’ve got a train to catch in the morning after all.

I found myself in an odd position at the dinner table the other night and the conversation turned to future goals/careers/ all that jazz. Usually when you end up on a serious conversation about future goals and ‘success’, words you expect to hear may include ‘work harder’, ‘have direction and goals’, ‘take your work seriously’, among other things.

I got instead, the advice to stop working so hard and to enjoy myself a bit more. First year doesn’t count, the advice goes.

Now this suggestion is quite good fun put into context. The giver of the advice was my dad, who just happens to be a professor at Edinburgh University. In other words, the last person you would expect to hear ‘first year doesn’t count’ from.

The talk expanded into the idea of success – a concept which I often contest the meaning of. Success is in general taken to mean making money and getting to the top of a career, and is one of the roots of this ingrained norm in society: We’re born. We’re kids. We go to school. We go to work or go to university. We work up a corporate ladder. We make money. We retire. We go forever, having been ruled by money since we were kids.

Yet here I am, despite my view above on what is considered a ‘success’, working too hard, to get a top mark, to follow exactly the same chain. And the voice of reason is coming from that system.

I still hold however that success is not getting to the top of the money making machine. For me, happiness is success. Peace is success. Love is success. Knowledge is success. Experience is success.

These things can all be shared without any loss to anyone. When money is shared, one gains and one loses.

I don’t think success should contain loss. It’s idealistic, but I openly have a passion for idealism.

Of course I want success. But money and a career isn’t success.

I work hard for knowledge, not a future dream of money.

But a message from the system, of all places, is helping me to develop an image of what success really is.


And maybe one day i’ll be able to say more clearly what that may be, for I fully accept that right now, my view is incomplete, perhaps even ignorant and confused.

Just got to…flow.


Half way up tiger leaping Gorge, Yunnan, China. That’s a view of success.

Thanks for reading, I hoped you enjoyed it.

First post/exams and what they are good for

This first post is more of a test than anything else, but I may as well write about something. Today was the first School exam of the year, and interestingly enough considering what this blog about, it was a philosophy exam. So of course recently i have been in exam mode, with revision being my life for a few weeks prior to now. Now that the exam is over, it is quite nice to be able to reflect on the effect an exam has on you.

Exams shouldn’t just be about getting the grades you need to get somewhere else-its a time to discover what you actually have learned, and the revision period is a way of making sure that knowledge stays there. I know first hand that you simply MUST get more out of an exam than just a grade, having done poorly last year. I may have not done so well in science subjects, but despite that I learnt. After all, you learn just as much from not succeeding than you do succeeding first time. You may even learn more.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment. through discussion may we all learn 🙂