The Importance of Perspective

Kuta Lombok High View
Credit: flickr / Fadil Basymeleh

I read this great article on Study Hacks recently, it’s called Beyond Passion: The Science of Loving What You Do and is part of a series he’s doing. In one, he was looking for people who love what they do and I marked it to come back to because that’s me – I love what I do.

Then I came back to the article, and realized that it wasn’t. Grad school has been getting me down, I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and a failure at basically everything I do. I’ve given up responding to email. In fact, a lot of the time I’ve stopped even reading it. I’ve been exploring this in my posts about progress and re-equilibrating the balance of my life.

Then, two things happened. The first is that on Sunday I had an hour an a half improving an 11 year old’s skiing. Note – improving, not teaching. Note – not a 4 year old. We skied as much as possible, and I gave her tips on the lift. It was fun! Sunday ski instructing had become this obligation around my neck, a reason why I can’t plan anything at the weekend. I’d started to wonder if I’d fallen out of love with skiing. But that lesson made me realize that I’d just wasn’t in love with teaching 4-year-olds. Which is not surprising!

Late that night (or early the following morning), I submitted my first paper. And this weight lifted, and graduation seemed that much closer. Because now I just have to write one more paper and finish this course I’m taking and I can be done!

Perspective is so important. From the point of view of teaching 4-year-olds, ski instructing is (to me) not fun. From the alternative perspective, it’s awesome. Taking that one step towards graduation of submitting my first paper, makes the end seem so much closer.

Now, what else can I get a new perspective on?

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