Sunday, September 17, 2006

Viva la independencia - but do you know where you are going?

Yesterday about 100 London Business School students celebrated Mexican independence day at the Mestizo in North London. It's funny how history passes, and lots of Spanish people came along to celebrate as well, among others fellow bloggers Karlitos and Patxi (though one of the two left suspiciously early :-) ). It was quite crowded and hot in the bar itself so I spent most of the time outside with about 40 other students talking about this and that. Right now it is quite a nice phase, you already know a lot of people and get to know them better, but at the same time I still meet a lot of new people every time I go out, so it is a nice mixture of the known and the unknown.

Other than that, I am constantly postponing my assignment for Understanding General Management that is due on Tuesday. We have been asked to write our own obituary. I assume the idea behind is that we should think about what is important in life and what we want to have achieved when we look back. I feel very offended by this assignment. Yes, one should think about the purpose of life. But unfortunately, I came to the conclusion that there is no purpose to life when I was still in high school, and have been quite successful in forgetting about it over the last ten years. Now I have been reminded of this, thanks to the MBA. I think on a superficial level, it can be inspiring to think about a purpose in life - saving the world, helping the poor, leaving a trace in the world (via achievement or offspring). But to be honest, one does not need an MBA to strive for this. It might even be counterproductive.

Pondering on the purpose of life is quite a demanding task for an MBA student. Few of us are philosophers, and those who are are particularly unlikely to know the answer. In conclusion, what I don't like about this assignment is that the only way to answer it is in a very superficial, conventional way. As soon as you try to find a sincere and more thoughtful answer, you will fail.

Most likely, my obituary will sound like this:
"By the age of 15, she realised she would not find a purpose in life. For most of the time (interrupted only by a short period of time at London Business School), she successfully managed to suppress this truth and therefore lived a happy, long and successful life".

As you can see, it is not the most motivating of all assignments. Luckily I will forget about it very soon.


Anonymous said...


Take the UGM project seriously, it's really worth it, believe me. If you are unhappy with the idea of it being an obituary, write something that your friend would say on your 100th birthday; just think about the things you want to achieve and your aspirations.

Writing it is probably fairly emotional.... and in terms of the course, it's key that you write something that is heartfelt, even if it is short.

Patxi said...

Hi Angie!

Ok, Ok, I left early, but we'll have lunch this week :) The people were great, but the bar was oppresively hot and humid!

Regarding UGM, my obituary was a very interesting excercise, really. Really moving, by the way.

We can talk more about the purpose of life