I feel like I'm spinning plates on poles. I have to pay special attention to both each of them and all of them. I can't pay too much attention to one plate, or the others fall. I have to give special care to every one of them, but watch all of them simultaneously.
Then sometimes someone puts a cup on top of one of them, and I have to pay more attention to that one for a while.
3 plates, to be exact.
Although, sometimes there's a 4th in there. A small one.
These plates are all the things I want to accomplish in my childhood.
Plate 1: Physical achievement
It generally takes the form of swimming, these days. One thing I want to do with my childhood is something physically amazing.
I've thought this for a long time. I've always been thinking that this is one of the most physically adept periods of my life, and DAMN it if I'm not going to totally enjoy it. So I devote a lot of time to swimming.
My goal is Junior Nationals, before I get out of high school. An impressive enough feat.
Plate 2: Academic achievement
I've never really been interested in devoting my entire young life to schoolwork. Because, COME ON. I don't want to work really hard my whole life to be rich at 40, because, this is 22 YEARS OF MY LIFE! It's still a very significant portion, and probably the best portion, and it's stupid to spend all of it in the future.
However, I'm not stupid, and I want to maintain maybe a 3.8 or 3.9 GPA. I at least want the option of going to most colleges, even if I really don't want to go to Harvard or Yale, regardless of whether I'm accepted or not.
Plate 3: Enjoying myself
This is important to no one but me.
Some over achievers work hard, so that they can reap substantial benefit in the future.
And maybe they will.
But, I think that if you make your first 22 years of your life just schoolwork, I don't like that tradeoff.
Optional Plate 4: Talents
This is something that maybe you don't need, but I think is still a good idea. I practice the piano, for the main part, and my best talents have always been in music. So, spend a little time on these, but only when you've done everything else first.