At this point in my career, Ali’s quote resonated with me. But until recently, I would have rejected it.
Although I’m in my mid-thirties, my life really started about fifteen years ago.
After a slow start — it turns out jackass kids in NY are not the best learners — I began thinking and acting like a reasonable guy in my early twenties.
Since then, I have felt an extreme sense of urgency. I was playing a perpetual game of catch-up. I needed to check boxes, earn degrees, and make money.
I needed to focus.
But on what? Following others? Creating my path? Something else?
I wasn’t sure, but if I was going to do it, I was going to do it right.
I would start from the premise that, on a ten-point scale of where I wanted to be, I was starting from zero or something pretty close to it.
Starting from scratch, a lot of that process was routine, seemingly unfocused exploration. I had to learn about the world before I could decide who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do.
So although I didn’t know where I was going, I journeyed far and wide. A man and a long-winding road.
This process — my personal maze — was brutal, life-changing, and not entirely focused.
It turns out that I had to explore — learn, test, fail, improve — before I could recognize my one great thing.
It’s been a long journey, but I’m finally here.