Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Optimism.  §

© Aron Hsiao / 2003

I’ve been trying to figure out the way forward. Part of that is the 40-something problem, part of that is the post-divorce problem, part of that is the mid-career-didn’t-go-as-planned problem, and part of that is the post-Ph.D. problem. It’s been a bit mind-bending, as the constraints look very different than they did ten years ago. Fatherhood, geography, and divorce decrees are key amongst these.

My oldest and best friend is showing the way forward.

Yesterday he tells me that he’s a bit nervous because he’s thinking on embarking on a ten-year commitment as an apprentice.

The man is a genius!

Of course, I struggle to figure things like this out, partly because my mind doesn’t tend to work that way, and partly because I’m still far too convinced of my own smarts to think that I actually have to think at times. Gotta fix that. Because he’s right. And he’s found the right thing.

What I need is another commitment. Another project.

— § —

I’ve spent my life working on projects.

  • Degrees
  • Books
  • Goals
  • etc.

I’ve even said here before that what I’m missing is my next project. But being out of practice since it’s been so long since I began my Ph.D. or my last book, I’d forgotten that the way that you get one is that you:

  1. Find something you’d like to accomplish
  2. Make a conscious decision to commit yourself to it
  3. Make an explicit commitment to get it done

Easy peasy, right?

That’s the way forward. Not to keep my options open because of constraints, but rather, to consciously narrow them and begin to work on something new.

Sure, there’s risk. There’s always risk. And then you work your way through the complications and find it to be fulfilling.

Thanks to him for lighting the way. I needed that.

— § —

The only way to feel as though you have purpose in life is to—surprise—have a purpose in life.

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