At this moment it might not feel like you are doing something meaningful, and it would be easy to fall in the temptation to slack behind, rationalising your behaviour with the excuse that this is not what you are meant to be doing with your life. Until you find your vocation, you should always strive to do whatever it is that you are tasked to do in the best possible way. Integrity and work ethic are habits, they have to be cultivated.

They say we all have the same number of hours in a day, and factually it is true. However, the perception of time is a different matter. When you are fully present in the moment time is perceived to be passing at a slower rate and, in a way, you have more time than when your attention is divided between your thoughts, your emotions, and the world around you.There is, then, a way to make more time for yourself, and that is to develop control over your focus.

Sometimes you’ll feel internal turmoil as a reaction to a situation you didn’t like or a decision you didn’t agree with. It might go as far as taking over your thoughts and urging you to react. If you recognise this is happening, re-center yourself, then ask yourself what the right thing to do is. Animals react to their environment, and you share the same machinery with them. But you were born with a rational mind to rule over it, you need only use it.

Are you driving?

Are you being driven?

Both, perhaps. How conscious of it are you?

If they are oblivious, be empathetic with them. Assume they are only lacking knowledge, don’t assume bad intentions.

If you are oblivious, look for the knowledge, work toward it.

If you are aware of it, take right action. If you don’t know what the right thing to do is, start from right intentions. And you have no excuses in this case. If you do this, and keep honest with yourself, you’ll learn what the right action is.

In an age where information is abundant and often conflicting, the easiest routes are either paralysis or biased corroboration of one’s beliefs. Both of these are lazy, animalistic responses. There is no excuse for not thinking for yourself. As for all important things in life, it requires persistent effort. But the rational mind is a muscle, and it will become better at it if effort is intelligently applied. Now more than ever, individual responsibility must be absolute.

Who am I to say these things?

What will they think of me?

Is this pretentious?

Am I good enough?

Think about the greats of the past. Do you think they didn’t ask themselves these questions? Or do you think there weren’t people who said “look at so-and-so, how pretentious!”? Their human traits are long gone now, but their contributions are timeless, because they spoke their truth.

Speak up then, if you feel it true. It’d be selfish to keep it for yourself.