Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I have a list of goals hanging next to my bed. One of those goals has been sitting in the middle of an ever-aging piece of paper for years and years, never crossed-out, greeting me every day with the single word: "Graduate". It has followed me for so long and encouraged me to work so hard for such a long period of time that I am a little worried that if I cross it out, the magic will be gone. That single word forced me to wake up at 6am every single frigid Winter morning for three years (this year I finally have 10am classes!) forcing me to wear three layers of clothing and two pairs of gloves for the electric bike ride to school. It kept me going to class even when I wanted to travel, wanted to go home, wanted to scream at the Chinese who laughed at me for asking a question in their language. That word allowed me to forget about all that and the outside world for a little while, to forget about the future and just worry about understanding first the simple dialogues, then the novels, then the ancient Chinese, and my professors' dialects. It lit a flame inside me that has ignited something larger, something harder to extinguish than what was originally in my heart. I think that feeling comes with having accomplished something worthwhile, something big that took a certain amount of time and effort to achieve. It's a certainty in my ability to DO things, which, strangely enough, I didn't have before.
So as I begin writing my graduation thesis, I really do have a feeling of nostalgia for that single word next to my bed. It did something magical to me, it changed my life: it forced me to learn how to learn. Next to the X will be the date of completion, just like all my other shorter-term goals. If you're interested in what some of those are, here is a sampling:
Finish reading Journey To The West (Aug 5 2007)
Get some muscle (but not too much) (Aug 5 2007)
Teach Mr. Wang’s friend for five days (Oct 5 2007)
Learn some guitar (Dec 2007)
Refresh basic math (Feb 2008)
Become well-known on Youtube – 500 subscribers (May 18 2008)
Become better-known on Youtube – 1000 subscribers (Aug 15 2008)
The two biggies I am currently working on are:
And some yet-to-attain goals are:
Learn to draw
Learn a martial art
Write a book
Become a good oral story teller
In the future I would like to discover an efficient way to learn math. My language-learning method isn't a good fit for learning equations, so some exploration will be needed on that front.
Does anyone else obsess over goal completion like a character in Diablo or WoW?
Picture: One I like.
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