Read 50 books.
I’ve begun to approach reading with an almost religious attitude recently, especially non-fiction. The sheer amount of work that goes into writing a book is admirable, and writing is the most concise form of transferring knowledge. As much as Goodreads wants to claim that I’ve only read 4 books this year, the actual value is somewhere around 20, including books for school. Reading more than twice that amount is going to be a challenge, but a book a week doesn’t sound that bad.
Have more deliberate relationships.
I almost wanted to put “make more friends,” but that seems like a statement from the the playground days where everyone was your friend. As our relationships with others become more and more complex, with more and more strings attached, I’m not even too sure as to what “deliberate” means. Sophomore year has made me a lot more introverted, and although this means less socializing and inside jokes with people, that’s becoming less and less important to me. Someone outright asked me once if I thought I had no life, and I responded with something along the lines of “Probably, but I don’t care.” Almost all social interactions are based on school now, and winter break has left me with about two people to talk to.
The idea of raw talk versus small talk has constantly been at the back of my head, and perhaps more meaningful raw talk is what I seek. Sure, inside jokes and laughter with friends is nice, but certain sites on the Internet can easily provide me with that. Aside from reading, talking to people is one of the only ways to gain new insights and learn new perspectives, and if anything, I desperately need to learn more about people.
Coincidentally, seattlechunny wrote a post on his hatred of small talk a while back, and it pretty much coincides with everything I’ve been thinking.
Do what I say I’m going to do.
NaBloPoMo has taught me the obvious lesson that nothing’s going to get done until it’s actually done. However, in a school environment where the only things we “have” to do are low-risk and repetitive (“AHHH MY GPA” is about as scary as it gets), I feel like this is saying more than what it sounds like.
Take more risks.
Generic, but still being in high school is perhaps the only reason I forgive myself for being so awkward and unintentionally inconsiderate. Armed with the knowledge that we are irreparably broken, I don’t see any reason not to try everything out. That is, until I actually am offered the chance and become scared out of my wits. Hence the last point.
In particular, there was a quote near the end of The Drunkard’s Walk that stuck to me:
What I’ve learned, above all, is to keep marching forward because the best news is that since chance does play a role, one important factor in success is under our control: the number of at bats, the number of chances taken, the number of opportunities seized. For even a coin weighted toward failure will sometimes land on success. Or as the IBM pioneer Thomas Watson said, “If you want to succeed, double your failure rate.”I have tried in this book to present the basic concepts of random-ness, to illustrate how they apply to human affairs, and to present my view that its effects are largely overlooked in our interpretations of events and in our expectations and decisions. It may come as an epiphany merely to recognize the ubiquitous role of random processes in our lives; the true power of the theory of random processes, however, lies in the fact that once we understand the nature of random processes, we can alter the way we perceive the events that happen around us.
Write more in-depth posts.
Last year, my goal was to write shorter posts , but to post more frequently. Is 70 posts enough? Even if 30 of those posts were written in one month?
This year, as I’ve figured out roughly where I want this blog to go, I want to start writing more analytical posts to see if I can actually stay on a topic for more than 1000 words without any filler and force out some pseudo-intellectual thought.
Some of the best articles I’ve read have had a greater impact on me than entire books, and as I’m trying to figure out how to write better, something tells me that writing what Paul Graham calls “essays” (not the same thing as traditional school essays) will be pretty beneficial. Of course, this entails creative thinking and not simply formula plugging, which is something I’m not quite ready for yet.
I feel like this is a futile shout into nothing-ness, but my trich has gotten noticeablely worse recently, especially over finals week, and it shows no signs of improving. Perhaps it just seems that way because I’ve had to learn how to cover the bald patches up better.
One half of my brain is screaming, “YOU’RE THE ONE DOING THIS TO YOURSELF. YOU CAN CONTROL IT.” while the other half is doing the actual pulling and blocking off everything else. The logical half of my brain can’t exactly wrap around the idea that I should stop, mostly because I know it’s not fatal and because “you’ll be bald” isn’t enough of a threat, especially at 2AM when there’s more urgent things on my mind. (The back of my head is starting to itch already)
The only notable memory of The Perfect Pull that comes to mind in terms of stopping trich is the mantra “one day at a time,” an excellent rule of thumb for attaining any goal. (NaBloPoMo comes to mind. Then again, my main motivation for finishing that was bragging rights. Could the same idea be applied to curing trich?) I’m hesitant to even include this resolution on here, but perhaps there’s no better motivation than publicly broadcast one’s thoughts to the wide open interwebs?
I don’t even care about losing weight at this point. I just want to be healthy. School probably doesn’t help with that. Meh, at least I can try.
Despite all my complaining about school, I’ve started looking at acquiring knowledge completely differently this year, especially since “learning for learning’s sake” wore off after middle school, and I needed some better motivation for doing well in school. Now, I can’t see any excuse for choosing not to be educated with all the resources available to us. Often times, there is a “right” belief, and not believing that is just being ignorant. I’ve been discussing the idea of our lives being a delusion with others, and it seems that the best way to cope with that is just to keep learning and exploring the world as we can perceive it. Hence the more reading resolution. Hence the more writing resolution. Hence the more actual doing resolution.
…And last but not least,
Talk to Annum and Soma more.
Because they asked.