The Long View
Last year I made a list of goals I wanted to complete by the end of the year, which I got about a 50% success rate on. This year I want to do things a bit differently. First because I’m late to making my resolutions, but mostly because I want to take a longer view on my growth.
One year is a very short amount of time in the grand scheme of learning new skills on a deeper level. I’m not a polymath, I can’t learn to be an expert on something in just a month, or even a year. I don’t have the dedication, the time, or the natural ability.
As in wealth management, there’s an entire industry dedicated to telling you that you can be X in Y time, where X grows ever larger in scale while Y shrinks to smaller and smaller timeframes. It takes real mental effort not to listen to that crap, especially when X is something you really want and Y is something you don’t have enough of.
In defiance of that ethos, I’m going to learn a few things, over a very long length of time, and hope to have the patience to delay my gratification during that time. In 3+ years time, I want to:
- Learn enough music to compose, record, and perform music in a live venue, however small
- Play in a recreational basketball league and be in the top half of players
- Have enough technical expertise to be a tech lead for a decently sized team
These represent the three dimensions of my “ideal self” - I like to imagine who I am years from now and if I’m doing these things, I think I’d be happy. The good thing is that who I am and who I want to be at any point in time may change, and having a longer view allows me to roll with the punches while keeping an eye on my North Star.