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What is your fundament for the future? by@erlenddahlen

What is your fundament for the future?

Erlend Dahlen HackerNoon profile picture

Erlend Dahlen

Cybernetics & Robotics MSc Student. Weekly newsletter:

The far is aspirational. The near is commitment. Aspirations define commitments and commitments realize aspirations. Commitments are what you do on a daily basis, they are tangible and easy to understand. Aspirations are what you want in the future, they are intangible and hard to articulate and solidify. Although they are separated in the time domain, they continuously influence each other. 

The irreversibility of commitments is a feature and a bug. Once something has been committed it will be a part of the rest of your life. This sentence can be read as either optimistic or pessimistic depending on the reader. The pessimistic view focuses on the irreversibility being a bug where one unfortunate commitment can end up haunting the person for the rest of his life. This is contrasted by the optimist where each commitment is viewed as an irreversible building block on a continuous journey. 

The unachievable nature of aspirations contains the same ambiguity. Aspirations are ever-evolving creatures that try to run further into the future by changing their shape and increasing their speed. The red queen effect describes this phenomenon; you have to constantly evolve just to stay in the same place. In the same way, you have to constantly progress just to keep the aspirations at a constant distance. The pessimistic view states that something unachievable is, by default, not worth striving towards. But, the optimist argues that reaching the end does not matter, but that the aspirations should set the direction of the everyday processes. Viewed through the lens of a guiding star, aspirations being unachievable, is, in fact, one of the most important features. 

Understanding that commitments can be consciously structured as an ever-lasting fundament and that aspirations help set the direction, it is possible to describe and build a framework that applies it in practice.


Below is my overall framework as distilled as possible. The categories define the main pillars of the fundament and associated with each category are the most important aspects. 

Mind: Controlled, explored, reliable

Body: Well-being, energy, focus, reduce risks

Intelligence: Filter, process, apply

Communication: Write, discuss, persuade

Creativity: Unique understanding

The framework focuses on internally determined building blocks. This means that, despite the importance of relationships, because they are dependent on someone else, they do not fit this framework. Likewise, while resources such as money and reputation can accelerate a trajectory, they can vanish just as easily. They should, therefore, not be seen as part of this long-term fundament. 

What are your main pillars, and what attributes do they contain?