What Makes You Come Alive?

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that.” – Howard Thurman

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What if this was the message young people heard?

What if we all asked ourselves more frequently:

“Does what I’m doing really make me come alive?”

It can be really hard to even know what makes you come alive when the criteria you’ve always used to evaluate what you should be doing were:

“Is it USEFUL?”

“Does it bring you MONEY?”

“Does it lead to bigger FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES?”

“Does my mum/my dad/my teacher/the society VALUE it?”


I’ve fallen into this trap over and over, also after discovering the beautiful movement of Self-Directed Education.

I asked myself:

“What does the world need?”

The answer to me seemed clear: More SDE environments.

So I decided I was going to open a school.

It didn’t work out at all and it took me quite a while to understand that while I loved the idea of creating more opportunities for self-directed education, the process of opening a school did actually not make me come alive at all.

What makes me come alive (currently) is visiting different school, connecting communities, traveling and learning more about SDE, sharing ideas and stories with YOU through EDiT, painting, playing with animals, playing the piano, having really honest conversations, reading inspiring books, walking in the rain, playing volleyball, ….

Some of these things seem more USEFUL, or VALUED, or potentially connected to MONEY than others. But I’ll try not to measure them solely by those standards anymore

And I’m absolutely inspired by young people who have been given the chance to find out what makes them come alive!

-Pia