Friday, May 11, 2018

[Daily] Friday 2018.05.11 - On becoming "experienced"

We're back at that time of year when I can wake up early to sunlight. The sun rises at 6 am.

When I think back to college, I know I would do it differently if I had another chance. The same goes with the earlier years of working. It's common to say that over time, you get better at estimating how much time a given task will take, and recognizing what's important to work on and what doesn't matter. 

I think a good part of becoming "experienced" is just learning about yourself—what are the types of things you like to do and are good at? Given constraints, what's the best way for you to achieve a goal? I used to stay up late studying before exams, when probably I would have done better to sleep more and study less. These days, I know I'll do better to complete a task by resting eight hours and working three than if I pushed through the whole eleven, or even pushed through the first three. (Maybe it's also me aging through my twenties.)

I think another part of becoming "experienced" is establishing a core set of beliefs about how the world works and your place in it. I think it's hard to push hard in a consistent direction without this. This core set of beliefs can be different than what you observe your environment generally follows, and if it is, it helps you understand sources of conflict. For one, I generally believe in the happiness of the group over the individual, and carry a bias toward stability and efficiency. I have to remind myself that the act of giving birth, so to speak, is sort of antithetical to stability.

Another kind of core belief is about the way life will play out and the innate value of different types of experiences. What are your views on fairness and luck? What you picture being the arc of a life well-lived?

I believe having a grasp on these questions allows a person to be more resilient and self-directed, in whatever work they choose.

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