Ericson Smith

On having a "mission"

3 years ago

Yes to this. I often counsel my younger friends to have a "mission". Then once that is completed, to find another one. In fact, one can have multiple missions running at the same time.

It's rarely said that marriage, kids, job, degree, a house, car, and most physical things are not missions. And in fact, most of these things -- unless accompanied by a "why am i doing this" and attendant missions/goals do not lead to happiness.

Marriage without goals = divorce. Kids without mission = abandonment. Money without a plan = poverty. Degree without a plan = debt/sadness. Relationship without a mission = break up. Programming without a mission = abandoned code.

Here are some examples of missions:

1. Rearing children with the goal of making them read at 2 years old. Then with the goal of learning calculus at 10. Then others as they grow older.

2. Learning programming by writing a real system that actual people will use -- instead of code katas or reading programming books or attending a boot camp.

3. Marrying not only for love, but with the intention of building a business or farm together.

4. Buying a house, with the knowledge you will sell it or convert it into a rental in a certain number of years. Then repeat with another house.

5. Starting a social media account to cover a specific topic, instead of making random posts about anything (have you noticed the most successful accounts are about one topic??).

6. Taking a degree with the intention of using it in a specific way and knowing how much money you will make to pay off the loan and live a comfortable life.

7. Buying a "beater" car, because you want to hire a new offshore employee for a side project instead of making a high lease payment to the bank.

The world is filled with the stories of people who do things purely on emotion and never had "missions" or a "why" they did the thing.

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