Slowly Moving Towards Success
It is hard to write about something or do something completely original, if not impossible. That does not mean we have to work on something to make sure it is completely new. I don’t see how it works that way. Marginal progress on something that exists, is also progress.
This article is not any different. These are all the things that I have read in other Medium article or some YouTube videos. Each of those elements added something new to my perspective or changed something that was already there. But it was definitely not something that happened with one video or article. It was slow. Maybe it took months.
The draft of this article alone has been sitting idle for months. Not to mention the last time I wrote something was a year ago. That gap is a lot when you are learning something new every day even if it is a simple thing. In a way, this took a lot of time.
YouTube videos, movies and posts on Medium have a significant impact on how I think the world works. They may not be completely true, but they are not completely false either. They are just edited. The creator of the content has a view of what is necessary and what is not. That is what we will be seeing.
When someone is talking about some accomplishment, they can’t maintain a real timeline. No one wants to see a 10-year long movie. So, they just pick the key moments and show that. For the remaining part, they make a creative connection by showing something like “10 years later”.
It is not just the movie either. It is true in reality too. We don’t notice something until it is successful to a good extent. When we look back on it, it seems as if it happened overnight. But that can’t possibly be true because there is only so much you can do in a day. But there is a lot you can do when you start working on something day after day.
I have faced some situations where this was not the case. During college, we had to do these projects. A simple web application nothing much interesting. But it was supposed to be a hands-on learning experience because we deal with a lot of theory and less practical knowledge.
The expectations of the college were different. They want something new which has not been done by either our seniors or someone among our peers. They want new ideas to come out and learning was secondary there. When I went to talk about something regarding this, they were like do the bare minimum and not to spend much time on it. They may or may not have told that explicitly but it sure sounded like that.
Majority of the people knew it wasn’t worth doing from scratch. I don’t know what their reason was. I think it was because they knew they wouldn’t be learning much doing the bare minimum and why would anyone do more than what is required?
I did not make any excuses though. I still saw it as a learning opportunity and went ahead with my idea which was not that complicated either. I managed to build it up from scratch. Every time I did that, I learned something. I am a better engineer today because of those decisions.
But there are other examples that I can relate to, that identifies the value of slow progress. SpaceX is one such example. The company was founded 18 years ago with a precise goal in mind. To make humans multi-planetary by going to Mars. They have been working 24x7x365 for 18 years. The biggest achievement or progress they have made towards their final goal is to launch a rocket with astronauts to the International Space Station. That is a huge step. But they still have a long way to go.
This is just one example showing success takes a lot of time and a lot of effort. Another example is SpaceX’s (technological competitor?) peer company, Blue Origin. It was founded two years before SpaceX. They haven’t had even a single commercial flight(for which they have a valid reason). But they are on par with SpaceX. They work with “Step by step, ferociously” attitude.
Aerospace problems might be tough and complex which requires decades of work, research and experiments. Other fields might not require that much time. But it definitely can’t be in the order of weeks. It could be done if you have a lot of experience with what you are doing. Weeks of experience might not be enough for that either.
The world is moving fast. That does not mean you have to move faster to catch up. You just have to keep running. Because not everything is a sprint, sometimes it is a marathon. The person who starts highly intense will be the first one to drain out all their energy.
I believe that success can be achieved by taking small concrete steps. When you are working towards the next step, there should only be two things in the picture. The final goal which is the big picture and the next checkpoint on the way to the big picture.
Thinking about all the steps just makes us want to work harder and keep pushing. Personally, when I do that, I end up taking more time and it won’t be the same as the original plan.
There are two ways to accomplish something. Do large quantities of okay work or a small amount of good work. But quality work takes time because it is needed. Quality is not something that is achieved by simply doing. Quality is a result of our habits. Building habits take time.
Success when considered as an endpoint or goal, we never achieve it because once we get there it changes. But, if we consider success as a path to build something meaningful from our perspective then every step we take is a success.
I have talked about my perspective and the way I look at the world around me in this article. I am new to this and I have a lot to learn. It would be nice to hear your perspective.