hopeful beginning

during the winter break, i philosophized and introspected about my life and my career. eventually, I came up with the following guidelines for myself:

my protocol for deciding on a career
1. being able to fulfill your responsibilities to yourself, your family, the world.
2. do something you like
3. always be open-minded to new things.

and i also decided to do well this semester, ruthlessly change myself to be better AND enjoy this semester more.the guideline I came up with is

1.do what you like
2. prep yourself for success
3. even if you fail, realize you are infinitesimally small.

i wanted to tackle all the things I’m unhappy about with these protocols in this post.
1) what does “doing what you like” mean?
“doing what you like” occurs in both. to be honest, “doing what you like” is the central hypothesis in both protocols, i don’t think either works without fulfilling this. i think that even “fulfilling your responsibility” will only happen if that’s something you want to do.

but the problem is that the statement is so bloody vague. it doesn’t tell you anything at all, how to find it, or knowing when that’s true.
so i went over to calnewport.com who had something to say about it.
passions or “doing what you like” should be redefined as such “The feeling that arises from have mastered a skill that earns you recognition and rewards.”
passion will never jump in front of you and flail its hands. instead, you need to be so good that they reward you with autonomy, competence and relatedness.

so “do what you like” will now be changed to

choose a field somehow (i’ve already chosen cs so it doesn’t really matter anymore.
prep yourself for success
become so good at it that people can’t ignore you.

2) how do you “prep yourself for success”

the most important thing which I have lots of trouble doing is coming up with an effective schedule,  scheduling enough time for rest and play so that i don’t feel overwhelmed.
that requires both scheduling a weekly schedule and a semester schedule.
the best way to do that i think comes from the Chinese saying: 知己知彼,百战不殆 – know yourself and know the enemy, and you will win every battle.
i call it academic reconnaissance. you need to know the nature of the beast you’re fighting and how you actually fight.

my strengths are perseverance. i rarely give up even at the last moment but that actually is also my weakness, i don’t know how to work effectively, and schedule properly.
i end up overworking, getting too little sleep and work at a lower efficiency the next day, resulting in a viscous cycle.
so i need to learn how to sleep 8 hours every night and not take naps during the day.

by now, i’ve learnt one or two things about university semester.
they invariably get harder towards the end. less lunch/dinner dates. more cramming. more stress.
i need to get good at what i do so i need to plan ahead, stop cramming.

working out a weekly schedule for that is very important. getting into autopilot mode as they call it.
and seeing overall how difficult things are going to get in the future.

http://calnewport.com/blog/2009/03/09/the-straight-a-method-how-to-ace-college-courses/
need to refine my own methodologies.

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