by Rico Trebeljahr

So many awesome things to do

And why to do them

There are so many things in this highly complex world, that humans can devote their time to, so many new things and skills to be learned, so much to discover, to do, to invent... It is insane.

And when I come to think of all these options I get hit with FOMO attacks every single time. Not enough time, is all I can manage to think. And then I get sad about a world where we have all the possibilities and freedoms. A world where we can pursue so many things that are worthwhile and fun to do - a fundamentally beautiful world. And yet here I am, sad and anxious about missing out on it all.

To me, this is the most fundamental dilemma of being alive. That there is too much awesomeness, but not enough time to explore it all. And this problem only gets worse when you are extremely curious. Because the more you learn, the more you find out how much more there is to everything.

The Curse of Information

The internet gives access to so much information. People all over the world work to develop new things all the time. And information is increasing so fast that I, nor anybody else, can keep up with it. And it will increase even more in the future because of advancements in AI. Something that will have many more implications for our lives as well.

There is simply not enough time to learn everything I would like to learn. Simply because the information out there is growing so much faster than I could ever consume it. There is not enough time.

And then there are things outside of knowledge, outside of learning. There are skills to master, and things to pursue. And I also love to travel and explore the world. And all the time everybody tells you to focus on only one thing to be successful. Only one thing? Are you mad?

But they are right, you can only master one or at most a few things. If you don't focus and commit to things, you can never get anywhere with them. So it is not only the multitude of things out there that makes me sick but the depth of every single one of them. You can spend many, many lifetimes, perfecting only this one "little" thing. And still... you wouldn't master it fully. There is no open end to how good you can play chess. At least no limit that is attainable.

Open Ended

Skills are never capped. There is always more to learn... always something to perfect, just the tiniest bit better. There is always something new to learn and discover. And thus this journey of learning, of becoming better, is an endless one. Because there is no such thing as a finished state, a state where one can sit down and rest and be complete. And that worries me, even though I know it shouldn't. Because it is something about the world that I can't change.

But when there are hundreds of things worth pursuing because they are fun and all of them take more than a lifetime to perfect - then how the hell should you decide which one to pursue?

How can you justify not missing out on all there is? How can you justify focusing on only one thing, to gain depth and understanding within this narrow scope only? And the second question lingering on my mind - do I have to?

My List of Things to Do

Knowing that death is very imminent and there is little time to do so much, I often ask myself what to do in the short time left. And that is the list of things I come up with over and over again. Things where I want to gain some degree of mastery:

  • Coding
  • Writing
  • Traveling
  • Photographing
  • Painting
  • Experimenting
  • Parkour
  • Basketball
  • Volleyball
  • Climbing
  • Music
  • Languages

These are what make me me. They are the things I discovered that are fun for me. The things that I found I enjoy. And hence the things that I want to fill every waking minute of my life with.

So now comes the hard part. Dissecting these and putting them into a hierarchy. Thinking of why I want to do all of them. And rank them according to what I want to do the most. It is the part where I have to think from first principles and argue why each of them is something I want to pursue. It is about finding out why these are the things that I am passionate about. And then find a way to get them into unison, dividing my time pursuing them all somehow.

So let's start from the bottom up.


Languages are one of the most important things in this world. When speaking a foreign language our brain structure changes. Which makes us able to communicate with other people. People that we otherwise could not have communicated with. There are so many languages and people that we could gain knowledge from if we only spoke their language. It is crazy and insane how many friends and people and connections we miss out on. Only because we only speak our mother tongue and a little bit of English. There are a few languages that I thus want to learn over my lifetime. Languages that give solid coverage and would make me able to talk with almost anybody on this planet. They are - Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi and French.

Why these? With them, you can travel anywhere and be able to communicate in a language that somebody else speaks. Especially when you add English to this mix as well you are more than good to go. All have their unique cultures attached to them as well. Cultures that you can only understand when you speak their language. And thus learning these languages ties into my vision of seeing this world. The vision of discovering places and foreign cultures. The idea of traveling, of learning about what this world has to offer and is like. And the adventure of meeting new people, and making friends from around the globe. And connecting to other humans through communication. To learn. To share, get inspired and be touched by other people's life. And that's something I value.


Whenever I see some of my friends who know how to sing and play instruments I can not help but envy them. Seeing them play and create something - the enjoyment they get out of the process is something I want to share. Music is something that has so completely passed my life. So completely that I never learned how to play an instrument. But listening to music and watching other people create it is one of the things I enjoy a LOT. And I can feel the happiness and kick other people get out of creating music. The passion that drives them to put in hours upon hours of work. The passion to practice, to get out this little tiny bit of value is something I want to do one day as well. Music, which is something that is not yet part of my life, will one day be. That is at least what I want to happen. It will be a challenge and a tough one, but in the end, it will be worth it. Because like so many other activities it expands the way we see and perceive the world. Our ways of interacting with it, are the way we value certain things because we have the skills to do it. I had the same experience when I learned how to draw and when I learned how to take photographs. These types of skills change perception and music is all the same. Music is listened to by an active ear and a brain, that knows how to value it, can enrich the life of the listener. And the feeling a musician has when performing a piece - when sounds flow from his hands... it must be amazing. When their faces seem lost in concentration but at peace, they must feel the same way a coder or painter feels. This feeling is something I want to experience from different sources. Thus I want to be able to create music one day. One day.

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