As I peer into the crystal ball of the future, I can't make out any images. Dense gray fog blurs the reality of the next few years from my prying eyes. Young and anxious about college and jobs, all I want to know is that I will make it. I will reach a desired success, make money from a job I love, surround myself with people who appreciate my talent, and perhaps leave a dent in the world in a small way.
But as I swaddle myself in the words of philosophers and think about the lives of people before me, I laugh at myself. So often, we become trapped in this mindset of chasing. Chasing the current big trend, chasing meaningless goals, and chasing lifeless things. But I realized it is not the end we need to seek. The end is an illusion. Everything and anything around us is an infinite being. We acquire one thing, but we realize there is something behind it. So we chase that. And the next thing behind that. And we end in an infinite chase to end up where we started. There are boundless possibilities and infinite parallel universes. There is no way to know which one is the right one. Maybe there isn't a right one. We can sit and spin a thousand lives thinking and doing nothing. But thoughts don't become reality unless you do something.
It doesn't matter where reality leads you. Because the power of a road is not the destination. It's the journey. You can make thousands of detours, mistakes, and hiccups, but these all weave together into a greater map, a grander purpose. When you're on the ground level, you can't zoom out. You're in the trenches, making decisions that seem unconnected. But there are also chapters where you get a chance to see the bird's eye view. Where you see how the risks, opportunities, and memories connect. When a hiker trudges through a forest, he doesn't see what is ahead, only the dirt beneath his feet. By putting one foot over the other, he makes progress, discovering untamed landscapes and marble hills. But in the end, when he plots his route on a map, the journey makes sense. All of the paths he took intertwined into his expedition.
So don't worry about whether you are on the right path. Do what feels right. Rather than thinking you need some grand plan of how everything will play out, use a series of small bets about what might be a fruitful direction. During these little experiments, you make small failures and small successes. Through trial and error, a model of the world shapes in your head, and each experience either validate it or changes it. Each experience brings you closer to the reality you want. When you think you know what your ideal reality is, start moving in that direction. Actively work on making it tangible. And if you don't like it, you learned something, and so you try something else. The important thing is to never stop trying. Always iterate and test.
I try not to worry about whether I am on the right path or not. We like to categorize things into right or wrong with data or calculations. But this is a philosophical question that can't be answered with built-in techniques or facts. We have to be observant about the patterns that emerge throughout our life as we collect and connect dots. The important part is not finding the right metaphor or solution to the question. It's trying and testing what could be possible.
I look back at the crystal ball, and its comforting. It gives me the chance to shape the future however I want.