Sunday, August 14, 2011

Doing Something Meaningful

If there's one thing a reader of this blog knows it's that I strive to do something meaningful with my life.  My biggest failure so far is to identify what that something is.  I've talked extensively about artificial intelligence, creating a role playing game generator, and several others.  Each has fizzled out.  Granted, I'm making headway in my Japanese, but currently at a glacier pace. 

To me, there are a few ways to create something meaningful.  The first, and easiest, is to have a kid.  Yes, I know that raising a kid isn't easy or cheap, but it's also a well-charted path that billions have done before.  Writing a book is also meaningful, and can make you a few extra dollars, but only a tiny percentage has any influence one hundred years after they're written.  Science is a difficult but very rewarding path to those with the right mindset and the courage to choose a path early in life.  I chose computer science for college and stuck with it for graduate school, but I want more than what a corporation would let me do with the degree.

I was reading a blog post recently, and one of the comments caught my eye.  The post was about working on hard problems.  The author and many of the commenters link this to autodidactism, or the ability and drive to learn on one's own.  The comment contains the following:

the question for me is – how to create the appetite for creating new ideas and how to make one work without losing motivation for the new idea while still balancing the mundane things in life.

This is something that resonates with my desire to do something meaningful.  How do I do something meaningful, something new, something big, without losing motivation for the new idea while still balancing the mundane things in life?  When I combine this with another question - what do I do that's meaningful, new, and big - I get the overall theme for this blog.  Now all I need are some answers...


  1. In my experience, if you pick a big goal that really resonates with you, staying motivated is easy!

    Carving out the required time and energy that's always sucked up by mundane things, now that's the trickier bit.

  2. My problem, Vlad, is that a lot of things resonate with me. Lately, I've been trying to find what all of them have in common. I think I'm close, which will be the subject of another post.

    And I completely agree about the mundane.