How to deal with our evolving aspirations?

When I was a graduate student, I thought that I could contribute meaningfully to the world. Very idealistic! Now, I only hope that our parents, my spouse and our next generations are healthy, safe and live peacefully. It seems that I become less ambitious as I grow older.

Perhaps, the Universe has been very generous to grant some of my wildest dreams. In my teens, I wanted to attend a top university. My parents could not afford the fee of any overseas university. Thankfully, my hard word was paid off.

People attend schools so that they can pursue their dream professions. For me, my dream was to attend schools and learn from others. While I could not be a student forever, I can continuously learn new things through work and self-directed learning, such as Coursera, edX, etc.

These days, I feel that I am forgetful some times. That’s okay, I have learned the value of documentation. Making notes can help us to recall our ideas and past problem solving steps that can be partly applicable or transferable to new problems. Indeed, Lu Xun highlights making notes as one of studying methods. I can also revise. Reading the same materials at different ages may present us with fresh experience, this is particularly true for classics.

Nowadays, I am contented with cooking meals for my family. Fortunately, I have a spouse who loves food adventure, so we sometimes savour food that we have not tried before. After all, eating exotic food from distant lands is a blessing of wealth, according to Arkad of the Richest Man in Babylon. Honey panda loves variety. We love healthy, delicious and inexpensive food.

There are many beautiful places that I wanted to go when I was younger. Now, I am contented with being an armchair traveller. Yes, I still keep my prioritized destinations, yet the rests are not necessary (可有可无). Perhaps, I have visited some of the most wonderful places in the past decade of my life.

It is perhaps I am not as competitive as others in terms of intelligence and speed of working. However, as long as I never lose focus on what my most important tasks (MITs) are, I will be fine. Many things in life are relative. It is okay if others are better than me, I am here to learn from others. Instead of comparing myself to others, as long as I am better than the previous me, that’s fine.

Sometimes, work can be stressful but I want to view work as a blessing that allows me to bring home the bacon and serves others. I affirm myself that I give wonderful service and earn wonderful income. Hopefully, I can save decent amount so that I can finish paying mortgage and no need to worry about debts even if my future income is less than what I made in the past.



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