Beginning of Classes and Three Buckets
September 26, 2017
Author: Bianca Yang
Today was day one of being back at Caltech. My mind doesn’t want to be on school, but this is the plight I have put myself in with my lack of a useable toolbox. I’m not skilled enough to drop out and contribute to a startup. I’m not so much of a genius that I can easily support myself if the startup fails. But I will get there one day, through luck, skill, or both.
A good mentor today revealed to me his three buckets for evaluating the worthiness of an opportunity: capital, relationship, professional. To be worthwhile, an opportunity must either promise you big capital gains, big boosts to your network, or a professional leg up. Boosts to your network could mean getting a recommendation or meeting someone who is very well-connected and is willing to share their Rolodex with you. A professional boost may help you complete a paper or get a patent. I think most of my current activities fall into the professional category, though I do spend quite some time networking, because I know that’s my leg up in getting job opportunities. I don’t think I’m smart enough to get in most places on skill, so I use referrals a lot.
Three important factors for a good life another mentor shared with me today: health, happiness, and strength. Health is most important, because without good health, your life will be miserable. All the money in the world cannot satisfy you if your health is preventing you from enjoying your waking moments. Happiness is such a personal thing, but it’s very important to seek your happiness. Do not try to bow to the world’s ceaseless propaganda about sex, money, and glory, because most of the time, the pursuit of sin will corrupt you beyond your ability to be happy. You will be consumed with greed and forever dissatisfied. Strength is both physical, mental, and spiritual. You want to have a strong body so life’s daily physical activities aren’t a big struggle. You want to be mentally strong so you don’t get torn down by the world’s constant attacks on your ideas, your dreams, and your sense of self. You want a strong spirituality so you can ground yourself on what is important and realize your smallness in the greatness of God.
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