100 courses. 100 books. 175 essays. 1 year.
“Set measurable goals.”
I’ve been told to do this since middle school yet I’ve never actually done so.
I have always set vague goals for myself, and while I really did want to achieve them, I always found myself getting distracted by friends, entertainment, and vices.
In the back of my mind I knew I was setting my self back by wasting my time and not pursuing my goals. I procrastinated time and time again, justifying it by the fact that I was still in school.
Wellp. That’s over now.
I’m done school and while the reality of it has yet to hit me, I am finding the need to set some real tangible goals for my real adult life.
School, however, from pre-kindergarten until my last semester in Barcelona, has not prepared me enough to be comfortable pursuing any career just yet.
So I’m going back to school.
But not in the traditional sense.
I’ve decided to pursue my love of learning for the next year by setting myself a number of goals that are measurable and written here in public so I have no way of chickening out (yeah I know external pressure shouldn’t be a motivating factor but it is for me).
Starting today I will be pursuing these 3 major measurable goals and you better keep me to it:
1. Completing 100 courses
Having written hundreds of essays in the last few years on topics such as cultural evolution, gaming, feminism, and political science, I have become a fiend of learning about a plethora of subjects.
My major in bio-archaeological anthropology, the wide-ranging electives I took, and the essays I wrote broadened my world views, allowed me to empathize more and helped me make better decisions.
While some may think I’m crazy to try and attempt this, I took a few MOOCs earlier this year and I completed most of the courses in 3 days or less. Beyond all the amazing knowledge I gathered from these courses, they are also suitable to my fast learning pace and disorganized schedule.
For anyone who has yet to take a MOOC before, I suggest the always applicable “A Beginner’s Guide to Irrational Behavior” which is oddly unavailable on Coursera but the course material is still online for use: Week 1–5, Week 6.
Dan Ariely’s introductory class is as enlightening to economics as it is useful in daily life and I hope you all watch his instructional videos at the very least (I promise you won’t be disappointed).
I have compiled a list of close to 200 courses I plan on choosing from which I am sharing with you here and keep posted as I share the best of what I learn with you.
2. Reading 100 books
I’ve never been an avid book reader but I’m constantly reading articles, essays, and long-form journalism. This steady online reading habit has taught me a great deal but its time to take it to the next level.
I believe now is the perfect time to take the plunge into full-length books. Free time is abundant and my responsibilities are near zero.
The books I plan to read range from biographies to science fiction novels to to self-help books and almost everything in between.
I plan on critiquing a number of these books that I find to be interesting, divisive, really good or just plain bad.
Here is my goodreads account for you guys to check out my reading list and view my progress.
3. Reading all 175 of Paul Graham’s Essay
One of the godfathers of Silicon Valley, Graham’s essays have been recommended from every corner of the start-up world as invaluable reading with a high level of insight on many subjects.
I plan on reading all of them, I already have started with his earliest few and am working my way to his most present work.
The easiest of the goals, sure. But throughout I will be writing critiques and summaries on those essays of his which I find most interesting, thought-provoking, and most worthy to be dissected and discussed. I already find his argument for income inequality to be extremely interesting yet completely at odds with everything I learnt in anthropology. I look forward to debating with you Paul.
But what’s the purpose of it all?
Through the courses I take and the things I learn, I plan on working to become a full stack web developer, iOs and android developer, business consultant, data scientist, machine learning engineer, and freelance designer.
Sounds extremely far-fetched, right. Well I’m not done. By the end of this I want to begin building a start-up of my own.
Ultimately, I just want to become a better person. I haven’t really worked on improving myself so this year away from formal schooling will help me learn more about myself, reflect, and implement changes to help make my life, as well as those close to me, more fulfilling.
So come take this journey with me, and we’ll all learn something valuable. I’m sure of it.