Be aware of your ego

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The supercurled millennium generation (generation Y), born in the 1980s and 1990s, has been described as both over-protected and self-assured. Throughout their upbringing, they have been encouraged, confirmed and inspired, and as the first generation that have grown up with social media, they have become accustomed to being showered in “likes” simply by posting a selfie on themselves at the breakfast table. In many schools, there have even been prizes awarded to the one coming came last, so that they would not lose self-confidence.

Many in the millennium generation have therefore come to believe that a good job and success is a right, and not something you need to earn. When confronted with the realities of working life, too many have experience a cold shower of reality, and when the self-image has not been matched by the stark reality, many have lost faith in life and gone into depression.

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Golf balls, beer and the meaning of life

Beer

I recently rediscovered this wonderful and thought-provoking story (original author unknown).

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty glass jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a bag of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. Again, they agreed it was.

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Finding meaning in life

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A young man who had lost his inspiration in life, went to an old and wise man and asked how he could get back his spark of life. The wise man thought for a while and then said “I know what to do, but I think it could be too difficult for you“. The young man replied that he was desperate and would do whatever the wise man suggested.

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La dolce far niente – the sweet doing nothing

Dolce far niente

A tourist visited a coconut grove on a small tropical island. It was early afternoon and the owner of the grove was sitting under a palm tree, just watching the blue ocean out there.

The tourist seeing all the coconuts hanging in the palm trees, asked the man “Why are you not picking your coconuts?”. The owner answered, “I have picked enough for the day”. “Why don’t you pick some more?”, asked the tourist. “Why should I?”, answered the man?

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New times will require new skills

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The young generation today is facing challenges unlike any generation before them – global warming, climate change, overpopulation, globalisation, migrant flows… But the biggest challenge will likely be the rapid technological advancements with big data, artificial intelligence, Internet of things, deep learning, advanced robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, virtual reality, and much more i.e. what is sometimes called the Smart Machine Age (SMA).

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A story about the secret of life

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A successful businessman, who was finding his life empty and lacking meaning, went to a well-known Zen Master, whom he had heard had discovered the secret of life. Anyone in possession of this wisdom would be able to lead a fully happy and meaningful life. The businessman asked the Master if he could reveal his secret. The Master took a piece of paper and wrote down the word “Attention”.

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The four pillars of meaning

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We are living in a society where success is measured in terms of income, possessions and status, but having acquired these attributes does not mean that our lives by default is filled with meaning. So what is it that brings meaning to our life?

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