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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » Giving it Everything (A Landmark)

   
Author Topic: Giving it Everything (A Landmark)
Alcon
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"If you're not about to collapse, you're not going hard enough."

But I am giving it everything, I don't have anything else to give it.

"You should be constantly out of breath, you should never stop moving. This isn't hiking, it's patrolling."

Am I giving it everything? Do I have anything left to give it? I was raised to be well rounded. To do many things and to want to do many things. Music, athletics, academics, generally geekiness, I try to do it all. The result is that I'm generally decent to good at a lot of things, but I never truly excel at anything.

Another result is that I have two levels of everything. I have everything I ever give to any one thing, and I have everything. They wanted everything.

"This is TFC, this is what we do, we work ourselves to the bone and then we keep working."

If I don't feel like I'm going to puke, if I'm not in crap loads of pain, if I could go even remotely faster or harder, then I'm not going hard enough. You know, that was something I never really learned to do. I thought I knew how from swimming, but I never truly pushed myself to my physical limit while swimming. I've never nearly puked while swimming.

Just keep that running through my head. Keep going. Can I go harder? Do I have anything left? If it doesn't hurt like hell I'm not going hard enough. Pain is good.

"You're doing good Milhouse, keep it up."

So that's what everything is for me. I can do this. It's hard, it hurts, but I can do this. I guess I do like working this hard after all.

"Wow Milhouse, I'm impressed."

Hang on a minute. Is this really what I should be doing? I mean, if I'm gonna give one thing everything, should this be it? Can I afford to take a summer and give absolutely everything I have to trail crew? No, really really not. I should be give everything to Physics. I should be giving everything to Computer Science. I'm enjoying this, but I shouldn't be here.

I need to be home, working a job that'll get me enough money, but let me do Physics and Comp Sci. That will let me give them my all. I'll wake up early, start doing problem sets. I'll go back over my Modern Physics and Algorithms books and really learn them, instead of just struggle by. I'll practice Calculus till I can do it in my sleep. And I'll program till I can put out working code to do anything.

"The only easy day was yesterday."

[ June 25, 2007, 01:21 PM: Message edited by: Alcon ]

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breyerchic04
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Hi Daniel, great landmark.

It really sucks when you realize that being taught to be well rounded and having all of those great experiences isn't what you need for everything. Or that something you thought you would be perfect for wasn't for you.

Let me know if you need to talk.

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Alcon
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I suppose I didn't make it clear in the landmark. I'm home now. I made sure they didn't need me (they'd over hired by two and were still looking to lose one, so I left them right where they wanted to be), packed up my bags and headed home. I got home last night and I'm going to start looking for a job here today. And I'm really happy with my decision to quit.
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TomDavidson
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The thing is, I think we're dealing with an unreliable narrator, here. Surely you know you DON'T have to "give it your all" in the way you mean, right? Am I just imagining the deeply sardonic tone?
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Alcon
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quote:
The thing is, I think we're dealing with an unreliable narrator, here. Surely you know you DON'T have to "give it your all" in the way you mean, right? Am I just imagining the deeply sardonic tone?
*tilt* I'm not sure I follow. There's no sardonic tone, least ways not intended. Those are quotes from my superiors over the course of my work, as well as the states of mind I went through.

What do you mean I don't have to "give it my all"?

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TomDavidson
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I mean you don't have to give it your all. Not to trail crew. Not to physics. Not to comp sci.

You can, if you want. But it's absolutely unnecessary. As you mentioned, you were generally happy with your life as a generalist. I'd hate for you to learn the wrong lesson from your experience on the trail and conclude that you need to dedicate all your energy to a single pursuit to live a worthwhile life -- or even to accomplish anything.

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Alcon
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Oh I see. Well here's the thing. As a generalist I did fine through high school. But in college it's really not working. I'm not even managing to be decent to good anymore, and instead am pull a fair to decent. My grades show it, frisbee showed it, the amount of work I was able to put into my various coding projects showed it.

And the one thing that matters to me above all the others is becoming a good aerospace engineer. It seems to me that I can't really accomplish that with out, at least for a while, devoting myself whole heartedly to my studies.

Once I've gotten to where I want to be with that, then I can spend more time on the other things. But until then, I really need to focus on it. And my time on trail crew taught me how.

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Teshi
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quote:
and instead am pull a fair to decent. My grades show it, frisbee showed it, the amount of work I was able to put into my various coding projects showed it.
This reminds me of my experiences so far in university. I find my wish to be reasonably well rounded pulls my marks down as the total amount of effort and brain power I have gets spread out among a variety of different projects.

I am holding out that being knowledgeable about a range of fields will be far more useful beyond college.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And the one thing that matters to me above all the others is becoming a good aerospace engineer.
If it is true that the one thing which matters to you above all others is quality aerospace engineering, have at it.

I personally cannot imagine a life in which aerospace engineering is actually the most important element, but that's just me.

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pooka
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Thanks, Alcon. I haven't read a landmark in a couple of years.

As an Asian and Mormon, I got a double whammy of giving my all until I shorted out a few years ago.

I still believe in giving my all, and I still get confused really easily in thinking it's appropriate for everything. But the whole point of priority is that there is one thing that has priority.

I ran into someone this weekend who kept talking to people about "their passion". Besides making me think of the theme song from Flashdance... well, actually, that was pretty much it.

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