My (Forthcoming) New Area of Expertise

It seems like every six months to a year I take an interest in a new subject and plunge deep into it, devouring every book and online article on the topic until my curiosity — or, better still, requirement of the knowledge to take action — is fulfilled.

For instance, three years ago it was retirement investing. Until then, even by age 35, I knew basically nothing about the stock market other than that it seemed like some legal form of gambling. I couldn’t tell you what it was or how it worked…and I certainly had no interest in learning.

I was, however, by then immersed in what’s known as the online “financial independence” community. The way I initially arrived there was by opening an edition of Walden that I got from the library. I didn’t get very far into it (as I found it quite boring), but I did at least make it past the introduction, which referenced a contemporary book called Your Money or Your Life — about how to be free by living frugally and making your resulting surplus of money work for you. This led me down a path of blogs such as (most famously) Mr. Money Mustache and others, and before you knew it I was off to the races. I realized I needed to put focus into the well-being of my older self, so I learned everything I felt I needed to know in order to strategically participate in the market, and now it’s all automated and I can move on knowing that my future is likely secure — or at least that I did the best that I could.

Now that I have a dog, I’ve decided that my next area of “expertise” should become dog training. Rather than be overwhelmed by the undisciplined nature of a living creature, I want to lean into the challenge and make it a goal to train him well — not only to spare both of us the stress of a lifetime of disarray, but also because it will in essence be training me to become a better person and I can take pride in knowing that my well-behaved dog is a reflection of my efforts. Besides, I’m certain that learning to properly train a dog translates to being a good leader in other contexts as well.

So…as I often do with my impulsive and obsessive nature, I’m more-or-less putting aside my immediate plans to devote the majority of my time over the next several months into shaping Morty into the dog we both wish him to be.