Pursuing my interests through goals

Roughly two years after reading Snow Crash, I finally started reading Cryptonomicon. I’m really enjoying it so far. I can’t help but feel a little bit angry with myself for not reading it sooner, though. I really enjoyed Snow Crash, but after I finished reading it I didn’t immediately start on another Neal Stephenson book, but instead started on a book by another author. The other book wasn’t as exciting as Snow Crash, and it took me more time to read, and when I finally got done with it I had moved on to a different group of books, forgetting how much I enjoyed Snow Crash.

A couple of weeks ago, having lost interest in another book I was reading, I started carrying Snow Crash around with me. Two days ago I started reading it a second time. After I finished the first chapter, my interest in Neal Stephenson was re-kindled, and I picked up a copy of Cryptonomicon. And I am really enjoying it, and it’s helping me deal with stress.

I learned a couple of lessons from this experience:

  • I shouldn’t rely on passion alone to drive me to pursue my passions. Few, if any, pursuits are immune to distraction. Setting specific goals is important even when it’s for something I really want to do.
  • It doesn’t take long to rekindle a passion. If I’m feeling bored, and there’s something I remembered really wanting to do, but am considering putting off to pursue other interests, I can just try getting back into it for a short while. If my excitement returns, I can pursue that, rather than try to do other things I’m only mildly interested in. If not, I’ve only spent a small amount of time on it.

There’s no silver bullet to motivation, but it’s comforting to know that I’ve got a couple more tools in my motivational tool box.

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