Thursday, December 30, 2010

Two Year Projects

My college friend Graham Archer introduced me to the idea of two year projects back in about 1984. The clue's in the title really. Many people make a resolution to do something in the next twelve months and give up because they don't make enough progress. It is hard, without having the time to devote to professional training, to learn something from scratch in a year but two years is often good enough.

I have given two years to the following things over the years:

Bird watching
Reading novels
Understanding movies
Playing harmonica (Not exactly a success this one; should have been a five year project)
Basic cookery
Improving my ambidexterity
Speaking without notes

Currently I am half-way through a two year attempt to be a reasonable photographer. If it was a one year project I'd be in despair but at the half way stage I think I have managed to take about six decent shots this year (I am perhaps unusual in my willingness to show you the er, indecent shots too). The snowy scene at this blog-header is one I am quite pleased with although experts will no doubt tell me of  its inadequacies.

One thing, which can be depressing unless kept in safe heads, is that moving from inability to some ability at any matter merely underlines how much there is you still do not know. I had no idea how complicated a simple instrument such as a harmonica could be, until I started. Donald Rumsfeld was quite right about moving from unknown unknowns to known unknowns. I didn't know how hard it was. Now I do.

Now. What will you resolve to have done by the end of 2012?


Steve C said...

Some time ago I set myself a five year project at the start of the year. This January is the four-year mark, so the next twelve months are make or break!

Dreaming beneath the Spires said...

Steve. I was going to blog through the Bible in a year, then I discovered your post in my Google Reader, and decided to make it a two year project.
This has been great for my sanity and marriage--and, perhaps, blog!