Looking back from retirement, it is clear that I drifted without ambition or career plan. However, what I value most is understanding, not merely in an abstract, academic or theoretical sense. While drifting, I have gained certain levels of understanding:
a layman's understanding of scientific cosmogony and Darwinism from general reading;
an analytic philosophical understanding of theism from studying Philosophy;
a Marxist understanding of society from political campaigning while unemployed;
a critical understanding of Christianity from teaching Religious Education;
a Zen understanding of consciousness from meditating.
I might not have got the third and fourth if I had become an academic.