I feel like a big part of being able to do impressive things involves having paltry goals in the short term without being haughty about them, and having gigantic goals in the long term without being crushed by them.
I recalled recently that my goal with classical Greek is to be able to read comfortably, even fluently. I don’t care at all about being able to speak it or write it, but I want to be able to pick up a volume of classical Greek text and open it at random and be able to read sentence after sentence with an easy grasp of what’s happening.
That’s my long-term goal. It’s a very long term goal. I’m unbothered by the knowledge that there’s a good chance I will never reach my goal.
I definitely wouldn’t keep up, or ever establish in the first place, a habit of reading a little Greek every day like I have currently, without an audacious goal that might turn out to be unrealistic.
I certainly won’t ever become a fluent reader of Greek if I assume that I can’t do it, if I never have a reason to begin to try.
And even if it might be a disappointment or a little embarrassing to try for years and ultimately never succeed, the worst thing that can happen is that I will get way better at reading Greek than I would have been otherwise.
It’s hard to hold all those thoughts together at once, but I think it’s really the way to go. Yes I have a comically large goal, yes I’ll probably fail, yes I still plan to succeed, no I’m not going to stop trying.