Choose Your Battles

August 6, 2020 • Uncategorized

It’s funny that busyness often comes in waves. One day you feel super bored with nothing going on. And before you know it, suddenly waves of things to do (or things you want to get done) come at once.

And it’s about the same when it comes to ambitions, passions, or day-to-day projects. They don’t always have to be professional or big dreams. There’s a period when I feel like I was trying to do so many things. I was doing my contract work, getting requests for one-off projects, moving out to a new flat, trading stocks, going on dates, learning piano, cleaning up my home, doing laundry, and so on.

The thing is, everything I do takes up mental capacity. And it’s a general wisdom that you can only be good in everything that matters when you spend enough time and dedication on it. In other words, you can be anything, but not everything.

I have been interested in stock trading. The lure of high return is very tempting. However most traders loss money, and I’m not an exception. There are days when I gain profits as well. Still, the more I try to be profitable, the more I realize that how much I need to learn. I’m not good at analysis and keeping up with business news. And I’m not that patient watching stock roller coaster rides.

How can I be good at it? By spending more time and dedication to learn and practice.

Another time when I was so into music writing, I know one step to it is by learning piano. Of course it’s easier to listen others playing than playing it yourself. Quickly I found how much is needed to master if my goal is to write my own songs. Learning chord progressions is one, learning how to swiftly play and move between chords on keyboard is another. Sounds like a steep curve to climb.

How can I be good at it? The same formula, by spending more time and dedication to learn and practice.

Now it’s very clear that with limited time and energy, we can only spend it as much as we have. Because mastering something takes huge investment, we have to choose our battles. Some things are not worth it to fight for, even if we are getting itchy to fight. Maybe it’s ego, maybe it’s withheld passion, or we just get caught up in the middle of whatever. We just let it go because we are focusing on something more important.

Maybe what’s important for you right now is building nice career. Or perhaps making tons of money. Or saving enough to travel. Or graduating with a cum laude. Or finding a romantic partner. Or raising a family.

Whatever it is that you deem important, it’s what you should go for.

Choose your battles.

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