I probably not the best person to write about this. Being a lazy ass, undisciplined, easily distracted, and with great taste for unproductive activities i could never be an exemplar for an ideal student or learner.
But over the (very limited) number of years, i have learned few things that are important for self-development, especially in the intellectual department. These are the few things that i will unceasingly try to commit myself to do regardless of where i am on the globe.
One, and this is very crucial, is to surround yourself with the right circle of friends. The kind that will stimulate your desire to study further, encouraging critical thinking, and constantly motivates you to delve deeper into any object of studies. The life of studying, which includes thinking and staring the thousands of words and pages, can be very lonely without a good companions to share your findings and ideas. Having a good number of friends that can challenge your views, and critically serves as your check and balance is not only useful but profoundly joyful. Those exchanges you have with these friends will motivates you to return to your study bubbles and get back to work after long, tiring and boring weeks of studying.
Secondly, and this is equally important as the first one, is to plan and focus. Plan your study, set your goals, and narrow your focus to specific areas of study that you intend to explore for the year. I have make a mistake while studying at University to never stick with a plan, and tend to read scatteredly. Alas, after I graduated i still feel some sense of superficiality in my understanding of the world. For some, it might be enough but not for me. This year I intend to narrow my focus, and sticks to the my own constructed regiment. To help myself stays in the process, i set few requirements/ public presentations that i have to meet. This method is also useful; develop a pressuring point, like an event or presentation or something, that involve the topic of your study so there can never be a way out but to commit.
Thirdly, don’t be tempted to follow the popular discourses, or seduced to join the cohort of all knowing intellectuals/commentators that have more time talking than thinking. Superficiality can be attractive sometimes, but it will never last. Those who occupies the seat of ‘cool intellectual’, if they only dance around the cliches and superficial understanding of the world and the problems of the society, then their time will runs out. The verbose and jargonistic rhetorics they used can never be a long lasting amulets that can preserve their perceived importance in the society. Hence why it is vital to focus on developing your self and makes this your priority. Stay in the lane, and dont get distracted. Always remember that everything takes time and it’s better to stay slow than to rush things beyond what is needed.
Lastly, always check your intention. Why did you do this? Why do you work so hard to understand all these things? I a, sure there is always a personal interest to it, but never make it your sole reason to be in this journey. You can be religious or non-religious, but whatever you do always includes the sense of emphathy and responsibility for the society or humanity at large.
I have few mores to write, but here is three things I deemed important. I am not sure why i wrote this, probably i need to remind myself again of such advises. Hope it’s useful for you.