Your starting point was the freedom of childhood where you spent all your time enraptured with the joy of discovery. A few falls and bruises resulted - but you were encouraged to try again. Eventually you succeed in many natural and enjoyable endeavors.
Then you start school. To try and fail is now horrible, to learn but not memorize is unforgivable, the goal has become to impress and conform. There are targets, but you have not chosen them. You no longer discover exciting knowledge and skills, you now learn how to cram and use stories to survive within a bureaucracy.
You graduate and use those same bureaucratic skills; make work, segmented knowledge and labor, last minute efforts, avoidance of trial and error learning, hyperbole instead of reality. By the time you retire this is how you will believe the world is supposed to operate and you will encourage others to pay a similar price for success.
All of the above after your too short childhood is based on a lie. "School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible." - E. M. Forster
Since your directions were wrong, you will end up in the wrong location. You were not born to be an employee. You will not find meaning in your life by following fictions.
- If bears do not add fat in the fall, can they cram for hibernation?
- Can beavers repetitiously chew at the same tree and still build their dam?
- Can an antelope use excuses about his troubled fawn-hood to escape the lions jaws?
The real world is nothing like school, it is also nothing like working in the bureaucracies that follow school. The real world is much more like the freedom and responsibility you once experienced as a child.
You learned to walk by falling down, you learned to fall backwards because forwards hurt more. You learned to speak by first making sounds that others did not understand. You learned to share by example and personal instruction (and maybe a swat where you had learned to fall).
When disaster strikes it is too late to cram for survival skills. When opportunity knocks it is too late to memorize preparation tools. When life beckons it is too late to learn its language.
It turns out that childish ways are the most mature.
Those rules based institutions treated us as perpetually ignorant children, and punished us if we did not fit their mold. You were molded by obsolete machines to fit a past era. Those running educational machines continue to extrude cogs that no longer fit even the faltering industrial age.
Find your own path, perhaps start your own business, return to the wisdom and flexibility you had before life's real challenges were stolen from you.
Discover life instead of just finding another job.