The problem with New Year’s resolution – and life goals, in general – is that we often require immediate results. Like Queen, we “want it now.” It’s a prevalent mentality in our fast-paced, social-media-inspired lifestyles. Still, it’s also a mentality that will eventually fail you.
In our last post about the scientific mindset, progressiveness was one of the pillars of developing and maintaining this mindset. A scientist understands that progress often is slow and celebrates small victories along the way, rather than leaving the bottle of bubbles aging in the drawer. At least, we should, considering that research projects can take years before they get acknowledged – and even then, they might still be unfinished.
Acknowledging – and embracing – the small and slow steps toward your primary goals can save you from setting unrealistic expectations. These intermediate steps keep you honest; focusing on too-lofty goals without considering the intermediate ones often disorients you and convinces you to give up too soon. As a result, you’ll get frustrated and develop a sense of failure, which another lofty mission can heal.
So, enjoy the journey, celebrate the small victories, and realize that the end-line may change along the way depending on the intermediate results.
Anyway, why am I blabbering about this? I’ve been burying the lead for too long now, so let’s cut to the chase. As you’ve noticed, this website has changed direction slightly and now leans more on the philosophy of science and scientific thinking rather than scientific findings. That means that I sometimes enter deep waters in which my knowledge, at the moment, may dangle a bit.
To remedy this, I’ve decided to take my commitment seriously and start diving into the essence of a scientific mindset: philosophy. Why? Because it’s fun, because you deserve high-quality content, and to prove a point: slow progress leads to improvements.
I’m about to approach philosophy the way I approached biology when I started my studies. Building a base, expanding on that knowledge, and finally focusing on specific topics from my newly gained and solidified understanding. I’ll set up smaller goals at each of these three phases, celebrate several small victories, and share my learnings with you. (Note that keeping a journal is another aspect of the science lifestyle.)
First goal: read Bertrand Russell’s Introduction to Western Philosophy, one chapter at a time. Boomshakalak!
“The burning desire that helps you climb to the top often ruins the view once you’ve reached the summit.” – Nick “Chewie” Albin