You are Your Next Project
The Best New Year’s Resolution You’ve Ever Made
By: Jack Moore
Let me guess, this is the year that you’re going to lose those 20 pounds, right? How? Weight watchers, Atkins, juice cleanse, ultra marathon running, lean protein only, more fatty meats, vegetarian — which one works the best? Which works the best for you? Read all you want, it’s hard to know for sure until you try.
There’s a lot of info out there about how to get from where you are to where you think you want to be. Too much info. It’s easy to become crippled through an overabundance of choice — like trying to pick 1 thing from the 250 tome that is the Cheesecake Factory’s menu. There’s nothing wrong with blogs and podcasts and books, they’re all certainly an essential step on the path towards success, but anyone who has used the internet has seen that there are constantly thousands of voices represented on Medium, the iTunes podcast library, and elsewhere that it can be hard to parse out what you should actually be doing.
I resolved to make 2015 my Year of Experimentation. Trying some of the things that I thought might be interesting, or better yet — because I was afraid to try it. I highly recommend this approach.
I didn’t want to make a resolution which cornered me into making something work just because I said I was going to make it so. Instead, I assembled all of the ideas from blog posts, articles, and podcasts that I heard in 2014 and decided what all I wanted to try my hand at, resolving to try different methods, tracking my progress and comparing. If one method was particularly interesting, if something got me excited, then so be it, results and passion are both self-sustaining phenomenon. I wasn’t obligated to like anything I was trying, as long as I was trying it.
It was amazing. I lost 40 pounds with “The 4 Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss. I tried the weight lifting regiment that Tim suggested and didn’t like it, but I then improved my bench press max past what it was when I played high school football, using the method from “Bigger, Leaner, Stronger” by Michael Matthews. “Zero to One” by Peter Thiel and “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin taught me about what it takes to create great products, and used them to get a great job as a product manager.
Long term, I know this experimental mindset will open myself up to new opportunities. I had the chance to put that into practice when I had an opportunity to step up in a leadership position for my local alumni association, and now I have the distinct honor of running a nonprofit which provides tens of thousands of dollars in scholarship aid to local students annually. I wonder how many more opportunities I might have exposed myself to had not waited so long to dedicate myself for embracing life’s novelty.
“There is only one universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self” — Aldous Huxley
If you are not sure what you want 2016 to hold for you, or even if you do, resolve to experiment more. New passions don’t have 2-day shipping, they won’t show up at your door — you have to go try them on and walk around in them for a while before you really realize how far they’ll carry you.
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