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April 13th, 2020
Humans are the species of stories. We live by the narratives we tell ourselves. We look back on a happenstance of past events and actions and choices and we weave a fictional thread through these memories so as to link them up to the present in a way that makes some sense. Rarely is it the best sense. Not only is it clear that our memories are terribly flawed and inaccurate, but they chance over time in accordance to the way our opinions and beliefs change.
We are constantly trying to create a thing of beauty as opposed to something accurate. The problem with this picture is that it ill-equips us for venturing into the future on the hunt for new goals. We cannot romanticize the future in the same way that we do the past. Well, we certainly can, but such a navigational system is far less likely to land us in front of our goals.
Accuracy requires a willingness to abandon the pretty picture. Of both the past and the future. How we got to where we are is not the story we like to tell ourselves about the past. Nor is our plan to succeed an accurate path to actually achieving success. A plan might feel great and seem beautiful, but without a willingness to abandon that pretty picture at the first sign that it doesn’t map on to reality very well, we create a widening gulf between our path and the success we dream of.
Beauty and accuracy are at odds in this respect, and it’s counter intuitive to think that what isn’t beautiful will work better, but this is how the path of progress looks. It is a chaotic dance of pivots that appears to have no rhythm nor rhyme. It makes sense only in the drive it has for a particular direction, no matter how winding the path be to circumvent obstacles.