Open Thinkering


Directions of travel

Past and future (Tim Urban, 'Wait but why'

I achieved everything I wanted to by the age of 32. Written down like that it sounds ridiculous even to me, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Escaped the place I grew up, married a wonderful woman, had two healthy kids (boy and girl), achieved a doctorate, and became a homeowner. Everything else is a bonus.

It does, however, beg the question of what to do with the rest of one’s life. After all, almost a decade later, to say that I’ve started two businesses, led two reasonably-sized initiatives for open-source organisations, and survived a pandemic sounds like a lot but doesn’t feel like it.

As the saying goes, you don’t need to go looking for trouble, it has a way of finding you all by itself. So, to some extent, there’s not much point in planning things in too much detail. Especially at the moment. Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht.

That being said, in my experience it’s all about directions of travel. Am I happy with the direction I’m headed? Some days looking at what’s on my plate doesn’t exactly make me excited. But does what I’m doing build to provide some kind of forward motion? Yes, I think it does.

Life must be lived forward, but only makes sense when looked at backwards. There are times in life where you don’t realise that you’re at a crossroads until you start walking down one path rather than another. The insight, however, comes, when you realise that it’s all crossroads.

Image by Tim Urban, Wait But Why

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