TED Talks| Fresher advice – Living for a resume vs eulogy

TED Talks| Fresher advice – Living for a resume vs eulogy

Will you chase your career or explore a life well lived – or run after both, as most aim to do? This piece of fresher advice tells you to choose wisely.

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Which half would you prefer to nurture? (Image courtesy: Hongkongiat)
Which half would you prefer to nurture? (Image courtesy: Hongkongiat)

As you stand on the cusp of your career, have you ever wondered what road should you take – will you chase your career heights or explore a life well lived – or run after both, as most students aim to do. This piece of fresher advice tells you to choose wisely.

Writer, sociologist, influencer and cultural commentator with the New York Times, David Brooks had raised a question that lights a fire amid all those who have stepped into the professional world – and those, like you, who are preparing to do so.

Fresher advice – accomplishment vs inner consistency

Brooks’ segment, in a segment of TED talks held in Vancouver in March 2014, had talked about how each of us is split into two selves – one who lives for their resume, outlining their skills and the second, an introspecting self. The first craves accomplishment, an ambitious, wordly and external side. The second, meanwhile, looks for inner consistency and strength – the humble side, who seeks the meaning of life.

Brooks borrows from Joseph Soloveitchik, calling the first self Adam I, whose motto is ‘success’ and the second as Adam II, who looks for ‘love, redemption and return’.

Have you asked yourself this question?

In a society which puts more focus on your success in terms of marks earned, skills acquired, jobs done, salary packages and more – it’s important, both in the beginning and as you move ahead in life, to ask what’s important for you. You could begin by following the herd. But can you make a life out of it?

Similarly, you could pursue ‘the-life-well-lived’. You could build a moral life – fighting your weaknesses and accepting your mistakes. You give without receiving and achieve inner peace, as well as build on love, family, friends and values. But can you continue forever without external accomplishments?

As part of this Friday’s lesson, we request you to spare six minutes of your time, listen to what David Brooks has to say. And ask yourself one question.

This is not the first TED talk which we have covered, which we believe speaks to students. If you liked this piece, we encourage you to explore these as well:

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