One of the things that hit you in the mid-20s is the inevitable change in the people you spend time with, and the amount of time you spend with them. Friends move out, you move away. You get into a serious relationship and (as luck would have it), find yourself in a plane every Friday night. You take up a challenging job, an uphill task, a year off travelling. Whatever the reason might be, you'll find that life is often unfair - as there are people you love too much but spend way too little time with.
B-schools are the main culprits to the aforementioned grief, but sometime good things come out of everything. Like the admission applications, for instance, which are the buttered toast to many friends right now. The other day a pal showed me a Q from an MBA application, which simply asked: What is most important to you? Simple, wacky, kaboom. How do you answer that, she wanted to know. She ended up putting in a rather impressive answer, but this whole zoom-past timetable I have been following gave me my answer: Seeking knowledge.
What seems like many many years ago, I started off a journey to simply do one thing: understand this world better. I was never supposed to come to Singapore, I wanted to become a lawyer and then give my civil services. Not that I cared particularly for either the law or the civil service, but the content that filled the pages of Competiiton Success Review and our Consitution was too engrossing. Even today, when I open up a concept book and see the kind of things that make the world go round, it amazes me. My boss is one of the superstars in the field and even he says there are so many things he doesn't know. 3G concurs, and if these good men think this way, there must be some truth to it.
I also belong to the club that believes no knowledge is bad, or trivial, or useless. I follow Jon Stewart's rants on Lindsay's latest love life with as much zest as I follow his bashing up CNBC. OK so that could just mean I really love J-Stew (which I do), but trivia aside, the point is that you never know what can inspire you. Like today, when bored out of my wits I browsed through some forum where this guy was saying exactly what was missing in my work plan. Or the time when I randomly memorized a takeaway phone number and found that they were the only ones that served sweets at an hour's notice (dad's birthday, we had all forgotten. Short story).
So I suppose my answer to the Q would be that learning is the panacea to everything - at least that is what I like to believe. Even if it isn't, intellectual progress is the next step to everything. Like Sam says in the West Wing: the history of man is hung on a timeline of exploration and this is what's next.
Of course, he was referring to a MArs expedition. I will stick to fund management, but you get the point.
Ciao for now, all.