‘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.