Photo - Kobi Li



The Entanglement of Purpose & Success

Gathering the wood, sparking the embers, and tending the flame.

There are few things I remember more clearly from my post-secondary than this question from professor Rob Hancock:

How do you define success?

I was as much impacted by the question as I was by how my cohort grappled with the question over the next semester, and beyond. It's a question I've continually faced throughout my whole life.

It turns out that success to me is an elusive, ephemeral, amorphous concept. It slips from me fingers as I grasp at it, crumbles away as I try to hold onto it, and escapes me if I become too bold or complacent.

Success doesn't need to some end goal to capstone your life: some glorious retirement in a great mansion, a C-level job title, or your offspring seeking out their own success. Success can be just a step away than what you have right now, a short walk, or a long hike. Sometimes, it's exactly where you are.

If success is a destination, then purpose is the way there. Purpose is the wind in the sails of a ship, success is a port of call. Purpose guides your path through weathering storms, treacherous seas, and emotional outbursts. It steers you away from the siren's call of whirlpools and icebergs of burnout, and ushers you aginst the looming void of utter failure.

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Finding direction, defining goals

Charting a course to a more hopeful future.

The simple passage of time changes us. Our personalities, identities, social circles, fears, and passions all shift to meet our needs throughout life. As we grow and mature, we must reconcile our past and resolve ourselves to the future. Time trawls up existential questions again and again: Who am I? What is my purpose? What do I want in life? What am I willing to struggle with? What happens if I fail? What could have been, but never will be? These kinds of questions can prompt deep introspection, and act as reasons for change.

My life is unrecognizable compared to even two years ago, and with these changes, new answers to those questions started to form. I found myself desiring a change.

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Don't be afraid of the mountains at your doorstep.

It seems that at times of monumental change in life there is a 'before' time, and an 'after' time. For example, the time 'before' graduation, and the time 'after'. It feels appropriate for the moment. Over the other side of the summit is unknowns. Unknowns about the future, about ones place in it, and about what changes might come next.

While it is convenient at moments to make distinct 'before' and 'after' perspectives, it is not accurate. Life marches monotonically from change to change, and each before time is a composition of all previous 'before' and 'after' times. After one change, another will come, and the current ominous 'after' time, and its unknowns, will become a 'before' time, with less unknowns.

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Learning to Tread the Dawn

Recent thoughts and learnings

In the time since my last writing life has been nothing short of a whirlwind. It's been good though. I've relocated, started at PingCAP, found a new apartment, bought furniture(!!!), traveled, travelled more, and been working on a few other bit things.

Moving back to Victoria from Berlin was (as predicted) quite a change. Having lived here most of my life though, I still have old friends here and know the city well. The city has been changing, some areas are completely full of construction, even minutes outside of downtown. I'm quite interested in seeing where the city is going, and how they tackle problems like homelessness as the city becomes more and more expensive.

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A New Year Dawns

A look into the future

First of all, happy new year!

It's been awhile since I wrote anything, and there are many things I'd love to write more about. Sadly, time is a limited resource and I've been managing to keep quite busy. For now, I'll stick to an update about a wave of change in my life.

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Winds of Change

Unlike most of this blog this post is not technical in the slightest, instead it's a personal update. Though, I have been wanting to write this post for a long time now!

Many things have happened in the last few months, and life is still swirling all around me. Many things seemed uncertain, other things still do. Irregardless, things are pretty darn cool.

Anyways, here's what's happened lately.

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The Way Forward

In April, I will be graduating from University. It's pretty darn exciting! Once that's happened I'll officially have a Computer Science Degree with a Networking option, meaning I focused primarily on networking for my upper year studies. I'll be completing my degree with (approximately) a 7.75 (out of 9.00) GPA and I'm pretty proud of that!

I've been placing a lot of thought into what comes next for me, and the only solid decision I've come to is that it's dependent on external factors. The problem with trying to build a plan is that many of the factors I have little control over.

What choices I make, and where my next years take me, will be dependent the opportunities which I am able to seize and which present themselves to me. In the past few years I've been incredibly lucky to have had a grand number of opportunities to engage with all sorts of amazing people and organizations. I'd like to continue that.

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Reflections on a Quarter Century

Twenty five years is a fairly long time, it turns out.

Stepping over the boundary for another year of life brings tends to bring about it a whirl of emotions, at least temporarily. Simultaneously the past, present, and future being about a poignant picture.

I find myself deeply in such a situation, and I have been for a couple months now. I've taken time to reflect on what has happened, what is happening, and what is to come. A few things seemed worth sharing. They may not be relevant to your situation, be the best advice, or make sense to you, but they are what I have experienced.

Don't take everyone seriously.

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On C-51

I've been following the story about the proposed bill C-51 for a couple weeks now. When the Conservatives introduced the bill I was quite unimpressed with it's lack of oversight, among other things I heard and read about it. I expected it would change due to opposition, so I did not look much further into it.

When the Liberals decided they would support the bill I was suprised, but was busy with midterms, so did not get a chance to look more deeply into the content of the bill. But I couldn't help but be reminded of what Trudeau said about the attack on Parliment months ago:

We are a proud democracy, a welcoming and peaceful nation and a country of open arms and open hearts. We are a nation of fairness, of justice and of the rule of law. We will not be intimidated into changing that. If anything, these are the values and principles to which we must hold on even tighter.

Our dedication to democracy and to the institutions we have built is the foundation of our society and a continued belief in both will guide us correctly into the future. Staying true to our values in a time of crisis will make us an example to the world.

Criminals cannot and will not dictate to us how we act as a nation, how we govern ourselves or how we treat each other. They cannot and will not dictate our values, and they do not get to decide how we use our shared public spaces.

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