My blog got started thanks to the blog challenge from Live Your Legend. It’s a recurring challenge that calls you to start a blog, make writing a habit and thus learn more about yourself. I started my blog in November 2015 and still actively writing. Since I have now come to a cross-roads in my life and have chosen to pursue studies and later a career in the field of physics, I decided it was time to reflect on my past writing. In the first half of June 2017 I read some of my earliest blog posts from November and December 2015 to compare my thoughts and goals then and now; whether I have achieved targets I set to myself one and a half years ago, and whether I have internalized some thought models and tools that I vouched for then.
In my first blog post I explicitly stated regular writing as a purpose of my blog. That I have been doing now since November 2015. Initially, I also planned to publish some fiction in my blog. On that front it has been rather quiet, apart from two small pieces, but I might publish some fiction again in the future. What is completely missing is a public reading my blog and commenting on my posts; cultivating ideas via active discussion is something I believe in, so here I have to improve, whether it’ll be live discussions or getting more publicity for my blog.
In another one of the earlier blog posts I discuss networking and how I’ve never felt comfortable doing it. I still don’t, but I think I have gotten a bit better in it, learnt how to approach people and gained a grain of self-confidence to do it marginally more often than before.
Having been born, at all, and especially in Finland is something I am very grateful for. This farm life has been enriched by many different experiences and people. Even when I have a rainy day, I try to remind myself how well my things are and that I can have an impact on my future, while still being humble to the randomness of life.
One of my earliest posts discussed how I was proud of having started my blog as a channel to get my thoughts in the open and trying to keep up with the blog challenge from LiveYour Legend, although I had fallen behind the schedule. This attitude, being proud of even trying, is at the core of what helped me resign in June 2017 and take the leap back to university and start a physics study from scratch with a M.Sc. in industrial engineering already in my pocket. Although my blog did not lead me to participate more actively in the societal discussion as I thought, it helped me raise my voice, try new things and be less afraid of potentially not succeeding in my plans.
I quote here the last paragraph from my post from November 25th 2015 where I wrote about trying and seeking my passion. I believe continuous curiosity and seeking to be the right path in life:
“At the moment I am proud of taking the step towards my dream and passion, whatever they may be. Just actively looking for them is on its own something worth doing, since I have a clear goal and meaning for the actions I take. I hope that those of you, unsure of their direction in life, will also take the step towards finding your passion and purpose. The trip will be worth it. Not trying is failure without alternatives. Trying and not succeeding is not failure, just success in a different form as initially envisioned.”
My elevator pitch
As prescribed in the blog challenge from Live Your Legend, I created my own elevator pitch to tell what I am building, what I care about and what I am passionate about. In November 2015 my elevator pitch was:
“I am building a person, who is active in his own small town community, helping organize great events and letting others experience the small everyday moments of happiness. I am building a person who helps people learn and grow as persons.
I care about people and their well-being. Seeing someone smile, hearing them say thank you, even in their own head, makes me happy, makes me want to do more for them. Knowing that I do matter, that I can help make a difference, keeps me going further. I also care about myself, knowing that I have to help myself before being able to help others.
I am excited about sports, about nature, about good books, about writing. I am excited about hearing people’s wild, even crazy ideas and making them come true. Unfortunately I have lost some of this characteristic after my university times, but I can still feel the flame and hope to bring it again to its full force. Being unconventional, unpredictable and uncommonly good is an exciting and challenging ideal.”
The first paragraph in this elevator pitch was inspired by a youth camp of my then sports club. I participated as an instructor and had great fun at the camp, thinking that I might want to get more involved in the local community. Yet, I didn’t do it, and now I think that I might not be such a person after all. I don’t feel a burning desire for very active participation in local associations taking an active role in the local society. However, becoming a person who helps people learn is definitely me; as a future physicist I want to expand our knowledge and understanding of the world and educate people.
The second chapter is a bit vague, but in line wity my current thoughts: smiles and thank-yous make me happy and I want to feel I am making a difference. I think one reason I wasn’t happy in the business world in a large company was the feeling of being a minuscule cog wheel in a giant machine without making any difference. Helping others is also something that brings me joy, while I also take care of myself.
The third chapter still describes the things I get excited about: nature, sports, books and writing. Now I would add physics, science and learning to the list. The part on making crazy ideas come true might become more prevalent again when I am at the university, surrounded by other students, many ten years younger than me, with their wild ideas and passion to make things happen.
Summing my current thoughts together, my current elevator pitch is:
I am here to increase the human understanding of the surrounding world, and asking questions like “why is the world such and such” is important to me, something I care about very much. I am passionate about searching for answers to these questions in co-operation with like-minded people, while having fun doing it and not taking even science too seriously.
Making a difference
In a later post from December 2015 I still entertained the thought of becoming more active in our sports/gymnastics club. I ended up becoming the club’s treasurer in February 2016, but I think I had made the decision to apply already before the December 2015 blog post. I did not become more engaged in our sports/gymnastics club, but I think that as member of the club’s board and as treasurer I did a decent job. Becoming more engaged in the administrative activities and arranging events just wasn’t my cup of tea, although I very much enjoyed getting into the trenches and taking care of clear tasks and chores at our events, such as setting the scene and the props between performances at one of our larger, bi-annual events.
As clueless as I was in December 2015 on what revolution I would want to lead, I still have no clear picture, but I might find an answer in the area of science and physics. Since I am passionate about learning and science, maybe my personal revolution will take place somewhere between science, learning and teaching.
About team work and learning
The blog post on learning and working in teams from December 2015 discusses some of the difficulties in affirming the required knowledge and level of knowledge for a task. Sometimes, before you set out to do something, you do not know what kind of skills and knowledge are required, which might make the successful completion of the task very difficult later on. The post is not very original in that respect, but the last chapter contains two good pieces of advice: […] as individuals we should have the courage to say two things, the first being “I do not know.” and the second “Could you please help me?” These two phrases I have learnt to use more and will keep them in my active vocabulary.