Two more dream goals ticked off today:
- I officially start full time work on Monday!
- I just had my first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class at a Mixed Martial Arts gym.
The class was tough and challenging, with good instructors, and a disciplined but friendly atmosphere. It’s exactly what I’ve been looking for, and exactly what I needed.
‘A retainer is a man who remains constantly undistracted twenty-four hours a day, whether he is in the presence of his master or in public. If one is careless during his rest period, the public will see him as being only careless.’ – Yamamoto Tsunetomo (Hagakure)
I live a clean lifestyle. While I was in Australia I developed a few rules for myself:
- I don’t drink alcohol (not even once since I was 18 or 19)
- I don’t smoke cigarettes
- or take drugs (excluding occasional medicine)
Now that I’m here in the USA I need to add to that list:
- I don’t gamble
- I don’t smoke marijuana (it’s semi-legal in the state of Washington)
I have three main reasons for not drinking alcohol:
- It was initially illegal for me to drink and drive
- I wanted to maintain a high level of self control and situational awareness
- I wanted to be ambitiously productive
There are three interpretations of the phrase Manifest Destiny.
- The historical context: about expansion across the US continent ‘from sea to shining sea’
- The international interpretation: other places must be remade in America’s image
- My own view of the idea: that anyone can create their own future by the decisions they make. Destiny is manifested by what we choose to do. It’s another word to describe the future, where anything is possible, and our choices can take us wherever that may be.
‘Look at the whole board.’ – President Bartlet (The West Wing)
It’s time to tell you about my strategy. I didn’t just spontaneously decide to move to the United States. There are plenty of reasons why it’s a good choice. I have citizenship, family and work opportunities here. I have those same things in Australia. There’s patriotic reasons too: I want to develop the citizenship I have, and because some of the ideas in and behind America are attractive. The US doesn’t own those ideals, and they do exist in any number of other countries. I moved overseas for the challenge of it, I chose the US because it sounded like a good fit for who I wanted to become.
For a long time I’ve been committed to realizing my full potential. Before I moved, I came to understand that potential is infinite. Anything is possible. There are at least two problems with that idea.
- There’s no such thing as reaching full potential.
- If you can do anything, what are you going to do?
I could get stuck chasing after impossible goals, or get stuck not knowing what to do next.
So my strategy for moving overseas involved realistic goals: get a passport, a social security number, get a phone, a job, and a car. Things I could do which were within reach. Things I was confident I could achieve. I made lists and ticked off each task. They were low hanging fruit. Once I completed them, I felt a little bit lost. I got caught up in the little tasks, putting one foot in front of the other. I was following the breadcrumbs one at a time. It’s not enough. You can’t play chess one move at a time, or one piece at a time. It’s time for me to look at the whole board.
I need to get to work. The kind of hard work I expected of myself, and from America. It’ll enable the things I really want to do, and my adventure can start in earnest. I have a lot of potential, and I’ve created opportunities to show it. I just need to deliver.
1. Move to the USA – Done
2. Get a job – Done
2.5 Get full time work – Offer accepted
3. Start training – Done
3.5 Start karate training
4. Get a car – Done
5. Travel around America
6. Beat the bad guy
7. Get the girl
I had my first day of work in the United States of America yesterday! I told myself I would have a job by the end of January. I got the job on the 31st, and had my first day of work on the 1st of February. Just in time! I’m working on a network infrastructure project with a small local IT shop. My American dream is coming true.