The Journey

We will become incomprehensibly more alive and fulfilled and kind and good than we are today.

We may never experience the sense of “arrival”.  Yesterday’s version of “me” could not conceive of all of what today’s version experiences, senses, intuits, believes, comprehends, invents, accomplishes.  A five year old doesn’t know what it’s like to get married, to support a family, to win or lose at adult scale.

I have become something unknowably grand in relation to yesterday’s version of me. “Tomorrow Me” may achieve this again in relation to “Today Me”.  As I take each step, it brings me closer in view to the my goal.  I can see beyond that goal, and a new goal comes into view, replacing the previous one.  I build into my expectations what was previously distant aspiration.  This can happen continuously without me noticing.  I can take my progress for granted.

Lacking the gratification of arrival, I satisfy myself with each directionally-correct step.  Each incremental step provides me with instant gratification.  I get deeper satisfaction from a change in speed or in receiving a bit of wisdom about what direction I should go, or how to move better, with greater efficiency or enjoyment.  In any case, I attempt to experience viscerally the small improvement in each moment.  I hunger for the subtle feeling of the improvement to the rate of improvement.  In math the rate of change is called a “derivative”*.  We can feel the derivate in our lives if we pay attention to it.

Conversely, this functions also in the other direction.  I can slide down continuously and be less of a person each moment or each day without noticing.  This is a great danger that consumes many people.

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* “..the rate of change…derivative”: and the rate of change to the rate of change is the 2nd derivative.  There are infinite derivatives, but mostly this is not something we are built to sense or understand.  2nd derivatives that are non-zero are “non linear” and we aren’t well built to understand or comprehend this.  Compound interest is an example of this and most of us behave in a manner that demonstrates that we don’t understand this phenomenon.

Author: Cort Fritz

I make software, music, & amazing daughters.

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