“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked . . . I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Sometimes, having a multitude of choices can lead to reaching for everything yet grasping nothing at all. Setting these goals help me align with my priorities, so that I can achieve more with less.
I have spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to dedicate my life to, and I have come up with some major goals. Through a mixture of idealism and realism, I believe I can make great progress in these fields:
1. Be a leading technologist (as an entrepreneur, CTO, and/or professor)
I want to create and/or help lead a startup that benefits mankind.
Through my influence as a leader in a tech field, I hope to help reduce educational inequality by mentoring young people in STEM. I also hope to work in the intersection of technology and government policy.
2. Pour my soul into nature/landscape photography
Through photography, I hope to develop and express my artistic vision
I want to serve the art, not myself. However, I still want to be featured in multiple prominent art galleries and shows—there is no better feeling than sharing my artwork and way of seeing the world.
Get more into astrophotography and build an astronomy observatory
Produce artwork at the level of Michael Kenna, Ernst Haas, John Paul Caponigro, and Ansel Adams.
3. Write to change how people view the world
Write and publish short stories, books, essays, articles, and/or poetry
Continue journaling and blogging
Write at the level of Ted Chiang, Ray Bradbury, James Tiptree Jr., and Orson Scott Card
4. Run marathons and lead a healthy lifestyle
Running improves all aspects of my life—it trains me in grit, self-discipline, and strength. It clears my mind and helps me achieve a flow state that is often crucial for my well-being.
Be a good person—stay true to my values and uphold a strong character
Become more self-actualized. Learn more about myself, including my intentions and desires through reflection and meditation
Continue to expand my worldview by learning more about a variety of subjects—ranging from psychology to physics to history
Foster meaningful relationships with good people
Fall in love with and marry the right person for the right reasons
Get a dog (Australian Shepherd) and raise two curious and happy kids
Always start and end with family
Design and build my own house (with a loft, high ceilings, and a comfy vibe); create a project workshop, art studio & collection, library, and astronomy observatory
Be a political activist and stay politically involved
Serve people, places, and ideas—contribute to society in a meaningful way