I started a Beeminder goal recently for learning machine steno. I had previously burnt out on this when I tried to cram wayyy too much into my head at once in order to meet an arbitrary deadline that I had come up with. The Beeminder goal has helped take a lot of the anxiety out of pursuing the goal and instead resulted in a new practice - daily, chill sessions where I practice learning steno rather… joyfully. It’s a huge change.
I think something in my subconscious noticed the change because last night I had a recurring dream – that I’ve probably had off and on for something like ten years – but things happened differently this time. I find myself back in college (I always show up back at school in some form), and in this version I have a class I meant to drop, but the three day drop window has passed and I’m tragically realizing this half way through the semester. This is normally where panic and despair run the show the rest of the dream. Instead, I heard a voice from off to the side – another student. “Just go to academics, they’ll get it sorted out. Talk with Jeff, he handles this all the time.” This is totally not how any of the previous dreams have ever gone. I turned around and spotted the other student who had calmly spotted the way out. They continued, “Academics - it’s a center where they work out scheduling kinks.” The rest of the dream was spent commiserating about how cool math was, and how I was still a big fan, despite needing to drop my (math-related) class. I thought I should mention this because I was totally not expecting Beeminder to help with recurring dreams, but I, uh, think it did
The whole “that big plan you came up with better work out otherwise everything is ruined” myth seems to have lost a lot of power after building several do-small-things-to-stay-on-track goals.
Back to steno, though, with daily practice, I’ve been totally destroying previous speed records. Slow and steady has really been winning the race.