Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On Putting In The Work

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." --Henry David Thoreau

I have come up with so many exciting plans and ideas over the years, and my list of goals and resolutions for the New Year is as ambitious as ever--publish a math paper, stop procrastinating, get straight As, etc. Unfortunately, it's easy to dream, and to imagine how great it'll feel at the end of everything, and it's not easy to actually do what it takes to get there. I have built many castles in the sky, and almost all lack foundations. In the end, putting in the work to get what you want doesn't involve a brief montage featuring "Gonna Fly Now" in the background; it involves actually sitting down for hours, days, doing things that are difficult and tedious and all-around discouraging. There isn't any glamour in skipping an outing with friends to debug a program written for a class in a programming language that you barely know. It isn't supposed to be glamorous. It's supposed to be difficult. The people who put in the work are the ones who rise above the rest--it would not be so, if it were truly easy.

So, it's time for me to suck it up, put in the work, and bring a castle or two down to Earth.

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