I haven’t written in a long time now, which means I have way too much to write about to write about everything in one post. Todays’ will be about finally articulating my long-term goals and how I am going to see them through.
During my trip to Prag and Krakow, I, more and more started to think about how I wanted to change my daily and weekly routines back in Uppsala. This resulted me in wanting to implement a lot of things, like, starting to write a book, learning an instrument, to be even more consistent in reading, getting up early in the mornings, going to the gym consistently and much more. However, I want to more clearly articulate my goals with this blog post. My daily and weekly routines should focus on developing new good habits in accordance to my long-term goals and outgrowing bad habits that does not help me. This requires me firstly to establish my long-term goals and which habits can help accomodate those, but also to identify bad habits and establish what consequences those bad habits do to inhibit my goals, in order to better avoid the pitfalls when I try to rid these habits.
I will now try to accurately describe my long-term goals, every aspect of it, and try to detail it as much as I can, and why I am trying to achieve these. The way I see it, there are several different fields I want to be successful in, in order to be happy. I have a hard time establishing which are the most important to my happiness, however I will set that aside for now.
The first field I think about is my career. I want to have a wide array of opportunities, be important to my industry or field, and be satisfied with my job. Work satisfaction for me primarily entails me feeling important in my position, having a good work-life balance, working in a field that I find interesting and in a company with a healthy culture. Widely, the field I find most interesting is IT, however, more precisely I am pretty certain I want to work within Information Security. Ever since I tried out some small amounts of ethical hacking I knew this is the field I want to work in. It requires you to constantly stay up to date with the current technology in order to stay relevant, and since numerous IT-scandals recent years and more and more businesses are becoming aware of the importance of Information Security, it makes it a excellent career decision in general, in addition to my interest for it.
How am I going to score a job within this industry and how am I going to acquire a position of which I deem satisfying and meaningful?
After research, and also interviewing experience I have confirmed the importance of technical certifications in landing jobs within the industry, as well as acquiring senior positions. The most notable certifications that I got confirmed are valuable are the ones from the organisation Comptia. They have a clear certification path if you want to work within Information Security and includes, A+ (two parts), Network+, Security+ which adresses core IT, computer, networking and security skills, and then CySA+ (Cybersecurity Analyst) and CASP, which are more advanced security certifications of which you work several years in the industry before you are ready.
After a interview I had recently which confirmed that these certifications are relevant or helpful to scoring a good job, I am certain I want to acquire A+, Network and Security+ before my University studies are finished in order to directly get a job within my desired field. I also noted I wanted a wide array of opportunities and I think this primarily boils down to having a rich network of people from different companies and fields. I think a key principle in acquiring this is not being self-centered and giving people value, which can consist of for example offering opportunities or knowledge.
The second field I think about is my social life. If I want company I want to be able to have friends to hang out with or go out with, but I also need a few close friends of which for me means there is a mutual care for each others well being, and of whom you feel like you can talk with openly about anything. First of all to achieve this I will underline the importance of making active efforts to sustain existing friendships, of which I have lacked in the past, that I am actively trying right now to improve. Furthermore, in order to achieve a wider social network I think the primary key is to expose yourself to more social situations where you do not know the parties involved. I think the best way to go about it is to really identify my main interests and go to social situations that involve these interests and be social and outgoing, in order to socialize myself with like-minded people.
The third field is my family. I think the most important for me as I have four smaller siblings is that I want to have a good relationship with all of them. Keeping in touch with family and actively sustaining my relationship with my parents is also important to me for obvious reasons and because of the support they’ve given me throughout the years.
The fourth field is concerning my mind, and is probably the biggest one for me. Neuropsychological studies have shown that our minds are constantly changing and adapting, and I have recently realized the importance of habits. How adaptable our brains are is remarkable, for example a violinist’s brain circuitry over time changes to promote their right hand a lot more than their left. This even extends to the way we form our thoughts, we can literally learn to think positively and in a good way about ourselves (Instant Confidence, by Paul Mckenna, I highly recommend to read this book, it includes exercises to form micro-habits to train yourself to think in a better way). This leads me to believe that the key to long-term happiness lies primarily in forming healthy ”thought habits”. I will discuss some of my bad habits, because they are very relevant to this idea of thought habits, and I will then go into what my long-terms goals are in relevance to my mind.
My primary bad habit, that probably alot of people have is looking down on myself, judging myself unnecessarily and bringing up experiences that makes me feel lesser.
Another is thinking too much about the future, of things that I cannot control, which is completely meaningless and serves no purpose. I would be so much happier if I did not do these things and if I instead focused on the present and the immediate future of which I can control the outcome.
This leads me to some pretty simply stated long-term goals in order to be more at peace with myself and a happier person. Be aware of the present, worry only about things of which is important and that I can control the outcome of, and think positively about myself. Easier said than done. However, with mindfulness and the idea of habit loops I think it is accomplishable. Furthermore,on the topic of my mind, I want to increase my intellectual capacity and become more knowledgeable.
How am I going to achieve all of these goals?
Let’s start off with the fourth field. I will practice mindfulness daily to become more aware of where my attention is, what I am thinking and become more in tune with my mind and emotions. I will try to catch negative thoughts as they arise and deal with them, and instead promote positive thoughts. Furthermore, I wanted to become more knowledgeable, and I think a good way is to simply read one book per week, which I have been doing for some time now and I have found it incredibly fulfilling, so I am definitely going to continue with that. I have also recently gotten very interested in the idea of writing a fiction-book, which I am currently planning and researching for to be able to write a script.
With the third field I need to make more time for my family, and especially my siblings.
To adress the second field I identified several interests I want to pursue and that will also help my social goals. I want to learn to play the bass, start going to more yoga classes in my gym, but also get back to boxing in the autumn, and take dancing and krav maga classes. Long-term I want to become profficient in all these areas, as well as get good enough at the bass to play in a band. I also discussed with a friend to start a book club, where we pick a book each week and talk over everyones thoughts about it at the end of each week.
To pursue my career goals I will take one certification each university semester as well as study enough to get good grades in University, but also be active in my part-time job and be of good value to hopefully advance in the company.
At the start of each month and week I will write down how I am going to see through these goals. Each month I am going to make sure I see both my dad and mom-side of the family at least once. Each week should include at least one book read, atleast one blog post, two boxing classes, two dancing classes, one or two gym days and one krav maga class. And every day should include some bass-practice, 30min of language, 4 hours of university study, couple of hours certification studying and 2 hours of programming if the university studying does not include it, but most importantly I need to think actively throughout the day of my habits and I will end the day with meditation, active reflection and what to think about the next day.
In the summer I will focus on studying for the first part of the A+ exam, mindfulness and spending time with my family. Tomorrow will be my first introduction-day at my new job, so next week I am going to make sure I learn everything and make a good first impression, and besides that just get started on my book-script.