climbing your personal mountain

Greatness is a gold standard - achieved through a combination dedication, perseverance, consciousness, and more. An outpouring of blood, sweat, and tears is what it costs to get to the next level.

These are thoughts from watching a video about preparing for dance competitions. I came across the link earlier tonight and its contents inspired me to think about life paths towards goals. In particular, how exposure to childhood dance training has helped me far beyond the studio and stage.

Disclaimer: While I’m thrilled to see that there is a large community of polynesian dancers around the world, I didn’t knew there were many competitions and halaus. I’m an amateur who is still learning about the culture and rich history of polynesian dance.

The video offers a glimpse behind the scenes, a reminder that the path to towards achieving dreams won’t always be quick, fun, nor glamorous. Thinking back on my own experiences of dancing, I’m super grateful over the past decades for the opportunities of being in the same room with masters, even if briefly. I was lucky enough that my parents allowed me to dabble in what they considered a feminine hobby even if they didn’t explicitly encourage dancing as a career. Major eyeroll. They wanted me to have a stable engineering or doctor career. While I admit I do quite enjoy the relative financial/lifestyle stability, central air facilities, water whenever I need a sip, and fast wifi connections… as far as meaningful life experience in the long run, I feel blessed to have exposure to a world that embraces artistic expression and athletic prowess.

Also feeling blessed to have met masters across many other different fields (whether it be academic research, software engineering, photography, medical doctors, actors, musicians, etc.). It is incredible to have memories of individuals who had so much passion for their craft that they learned beyond what was available in the studio, they also learned to articulate what they’ve learned to a broad audience, and made the necessary sacrifices to keep an unwavering focus on the prize to execute their craft as perfect as possible. Consistently.

Regardless of profession, when challenging yourself it’s important to keep on going. I speak in terms of both physical and emotional challenges. Rest temporarily if needed, however the only way to reach your destination is to keep putting one foot in front of the other. To be quite transparent, I recently went thru this mental hike the last couple of weeks while working through some Haskell code. I don’t know if it’s a faux pas to admit vulnerability that even after years of coding bits and pieces of Haskell, I still find learning the language and working with the language particularly difficult, but it’s the truth. There’s so many undocumented layers of stuff, literally bleeding edge of technology. So cut it’s bleeding :smirk:

Optimistically, a few minutes a day practicing Haskell hopefully gets me further! :smile:

I’m went with the metaphor of a personal mountain in the title because right now ~3am it makes sense that when you get to the next level your perspective changes. I don’t hike but I’ve heard that when you get to the top, I’ve heard that the view is AMAZING (allegedly!) but I could agree that your perspective will have transformed in comparison to the start of your journey. That’s basic geometry. Maybe you’ll have gone high enough to see the forest instead of the trees yet retain knowledge of what a tree looks like. Furthermore, to round out the metaphor there’s many paths up and you can choose your route/speed/mode/whatever.

Whimsical chart attached below for illustrative purposes:

Image © Jeffrey Thompson