Daniel Lemire's blog

, 1 min read

Working upwind

Paul Graham has another beautiful essay where he gives lifelong advice:

Instead of working back from a goal, work forward from promising situations. This is what most successful people actually do anyway.

In the graduation-speech approach, you decide where you want to be in twenty years, and then ask: what should I do now to get there? I propose instead that you don’t commit to anything in the future, but just look at the options available now, and choose those that will give you the most promising range of options afterward.

It’s not so important what you work on, so long as you’re not wasting your time. Work on things that interest you and increase your options, and worry later about which you’ll take.

That’s interesting. Notice that he is actually saying to not set long term goals. Well, I’ve given up on those a long time ago since I can’t seem to stay on one straight line for more than a year anyhow.

He is saying to just look at what is in front of you, and work on what has more potential.

Then, when people ask you what you where you want to be in 5 years, you just make up a story or do as I do: just say you have no idea!