In an article about thriving in a complex world, Thomas Oppong writes that  we should “embrace things that require serious effort but will help you grow”.

“The effort alone can make you better — no matter the outcome. Even if you fail, you win because you are demanding more of yourself.” he wrote.

When I decided to further my education this year (during the COVID-19 movement control order), I considered pursuing an MBA. And then I thought about researching the future of journalism.

They both felt difficult. But would they truly stretch me, I wondered.

Eventually, I began work on and later submitted a research proposal on “pornography” in Malaysia. The work was brutal — mainly because I was exploring concepts that were completely new to me.

I read about “the body” (not a physical thing, apparently), about how anti-sex discussions are really discussions about sex (first foray into Foucault’s writings), and how modernity shapes cultural narratives.

Half the time I didn’t understand what I was reading, and even when I did, I found that I lacked the vocabulary to write down my understanding of it.

When I was finally done and hit Send on my Master’s application, I felt like a different person.

And isn’t that the point of education?  

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