M2M Day 206: My guilt-free trip to Seattle

This post is part of Month to Master, a 12-month accelerated learning project. For May, my goal is to build the software part of a self-driving car.

Today, I’m flying to Seattle for a five day vacation, which is why I worked to finish up this month’s challenge a bit early.

While I’m in Seattle, I’ll continue writing my daily posts (since I still have much to reflect on as far as my process and learning techniques/insights are concerned), but I don’t plan to work on any more software.

This is why it’s important to set measurable goals: Since I’ve definitively accomplished what I set out to accomplish, I can feel good about going on vacation.

Many people often define their goals in more ambiguous terms — “I want to learn how to speak Spanish”, “I want to learn how to draw”, “I want to learn how to play the piano”. In these cases, it’s never possible to complete the goal, nor is it possible to truly know how you’re progressing.

A more defined goal is much more preferable.

It could be argued that an open-ended goal places more emphasis on the pursuit and not on the destination, which I do agree is a more productive mindset when trying to learn. However, without a well-defined destination, it’s not clear what’s even being pursued.

An ambiguous goal, in my opinion, is a bit of a lazy goal, where the goal’s creator doesn’t have genuine underlying intent. After all, with an ambiguous goal, you can’t fail (which is perhaps attractive), but you also can’t succeed.

And… If you do take the pursuit of an ill-defined goal seriously, it’s hard to ever be satisfied or know when to stop (and focus on the other important parts of your life).

But anyway, since I’ve completed my explicitly-defined goal, I’m fully prepared to enjoy my trip to Seattle guilt-free.

Read the next post. Read the previous post.

Max Deutsch is a product manager at Intuit, the creator of Somebody.io and Rightspeed, and the guinea pig for Month to Master.

If you want to follow along with Max’s year-long accelerated learning project, make sure to follow this Medium account.