Ironically, just after posting that I was going to get back to blogging, and my first post back on how grateful I am, I got really sick, didn’t do anything, fell behind at work and so didn’t do any blogging while I caught up.
So, here we are again and now I am really grateful that I’m not sick.
Recently, I went full circle, spending two days in San Diego, where my first daughter was born and where I moved away from thirty-one years ago, to attend a soccer tournament for my fourth daughter.
It’s been an eventful year. We received our third research grant, completed our second Kickstarter and our first accelerator program. Raised our first seed round.
Thirty-one years ago, I was an industrial engineer at General Dynamics. I’d just won the world judo championships. I’d also just gotten divorced. That was an eventful year, too.
You’d think after all this eventfulness I would have figured this whole life thing out. To some extent, I think maybe I have.
I have worked full-time since I was 15 years old, much of that time either going to school full-time, competing as an international athlete or working a second (third) job.
One thing it took me an unreasonably long amount of time to figure out was this:
The work will always be there. The time will never come that at the end of the day you say, “That’s it. My work here is done. I’m finished.”
Do a reasonable amount of hard work. Then quit worrying about it.
You are not going to run out of work. Don’t think you have to take every contract that comes across your desk, accept every job offer, even if it requires you to work until midnight six days a week. There may be intervals, say, when you need to do that to pay for your child’s college education or found a startup but those should be INTERVALS in your life, not your whole life.
You are never going to be good as you want to be. Even if I knew everything possible to know about a software language, I still wouldn’t be satisfied. There would be another language that I didn’t know.
Enjoy the accomplishments. We were standing in line in a restaurant in San Diego when I just happened to glance at the jacket my lovely daughter had borrowed from me. It had a the logo of a tribal radio station on the back. I commented, “That radio station exists because I wrote the grant to fund it. It’s been there for years.” There are a lot of programs and products that exist because I wrote the grant, wrote the code, designed the program. The second each is over, I forget about it and go on to the next one. I’m learning to pause every now and then, pat myself on the back and say, “That came out well.”
Strive to be better. Don’t strive for perfection or you’ll just make yourself crazy.