Lately I’ve been reconnecting with the NYC tech community. The most common question is, ‘what have you been up to the last few months?’ Although a lot of my time has gone to home improvement (just moved into a new place) and side projects, the bulk of my time has been spent on ‘knowing myself.’ This started due to a strong need for me to better evaluate my past in order to better prepare and handle my future.
I have a belief that in working with and understanding the world, it comes down to two key variables. The environment and you. These can be difficult to disentangle because we don’t have perfect information about either nor lines to separate the two. However, to better evaluate past and future environments, it helps a lot to know yourself well in order to effectively remove it from the equation. This reminds me of a Sun Tzu quote:
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles
Removing the military strategy bits, my spin on this would be something like
If you know your environment and know yourself, you have perfect clarity in your effectiveness and happiness.
From this root, with the goal of becoming a more effective and happier person, I set out on a project to deeply know myself (and figure out the environment part later). The culmination of this has been a personal mission statement. Unlike a company mission statement, mine doesn’t state what I’m doing to change the world. It’s more about how I’d like to interact with the world and remembering what’s most important to me. It’s a formulation of my principles and values and provides a guiding lens on how I (should) approach my life.
I’m planning on explaining the process in depth later but for now, the important aspect of my mission is that it’s built upon a few key principles. These are learnings I’ve gained throughout my life and tend to be things that can neither be proven nor disproven; they are simply beliefs I’ve gained. I’ve taken a lot of time to write out and distill my principles over the last few months and soon I’m excited to share some of them.
But first, without further ado, here’s my personal mission:
- To understand the world via direct interaction and creation.
- To create abundance which further spurs more creation.
- To take initiative without fearing the consequences and empower others in their pursuit of the same.
- To define my own path and be proactive instead of reactive.
- To impact the world by improving it with iteration.
- To disregard externalities and focus on making each iteration easier.
I’m planning on writing a bit about each principle that underlies this mission. Here’s the first one I’m working on a post for
- Great Work is Great Learning