Where N is usually three. Given 3, pick 2. This is a classic dilemma of compromise. That neither you nor I can have our cake and eat it at the same time. And I say that as a father that has been leaving work at six every day so I can be home to spend the few hours before my son falls asleep. So I can spend time with my family.
Not just am I not as successful as Paul Graham; I too am not able to word it better Paul's article on "Having Kids," and how it has affected ambition.
To summarize, I was a lot more productive before having kids. And being productive was great because I am an ambitious dude. But somehow, somewhat, my son came along, and I am a lot happier now, even if I have less time for work.
And yet I get work done somehow.
Before a kid came along, I think I had a life. I would play Dota 2 with my friends because before kids came along, all of us could afford to stay up late.
Before a kid came along, I think I had better stamina because I could afford to run at least twice. Now I make do with a single CrossFit session a week.
There are pangs of desires that has me itching to do something, and scratch I did. I started up a (crystal red) shrimp tank, a hobby that I could not have afforded when I was younger. That has grown into an algae tank. Hah.
I tried working out, so I joined CrossFit, but all I can afford is a session once a week during lunchtime. My progress has stagnated.
Sure, I can indulge in experiences and casual hobbies, but to excel in anything more than two things? I do not think it is possible.
Given N, pick two. I have chosen mine.