Flat paths behind. Mountains ahead. Always.

Thinking about the upcoming year. As you do.

This perspective, from Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman on Recode Decode, taken completely out of context and used for my own purposes here, is helpful:

The thing that’s always hard about exponential curves is when you look backwards they look flat and when you look forwards they look vertical.

He’s talking about technological innovation. But it applies to just about any longview of life.

It’s difficult to really know how far you’ve come, or at least experience it as viscerally as what seems to be coming. It was all so easy. But something daunting this way comes.

Students don’t understand how much they’ve learned. Especially when they are looking at things from the perspective of information vs. education. All they see is a scary future ahead and the fear that they haven’t been given enough Formulas for Winning in the past.

Then one day they’ll be in a street fight and will be using kung-fu without having realized that they knew kung-fu.

(Whoa.)

That’s when they’ll understand why they were never given the secret lever.

But I don’t think that can happen beforehand.

Maybe it wasn’t all so easy, after all. And maybe what’s coming will look flat in the rear view, just like everything else.

Going Streaking in the New Year

I’ve been streaking for a few months using an app called Streaks.

And I’ve got some good things going.

I’ve now flossed for 107 days straight. And I’ve closed my Apple Watch activity rings for 107 days as well. Which may give a clue as to when I started using the app.

I’ve not had the same success with the other four habits I’ve been tracking. Posting here, practicing drums, writing for 15-minutes…no streaking. None less streaked. Mindful minutes is new as of 2 days ago. Time will tell on that one.

It works best once a streak is in progress. The higher the number, the higher the stakes. I’ve gotten out of bed on more than one occasion when I realized I forgot to floss after brushing.

On days that I don’t go to the gym, I’ve been much more likely to take the stairs or go on walks to maintain my activity streak. As much as I’d love to get a mechanical watch, the Apple Watch has helped me change things for the better.

Recommended app.

Recommended wearable (if we’re still calling them wearables).

And maybe starting a new streak with this post.