I’ve been lucky enough to experience a really strong growth trajectory 📈 at work, but that success also led me astray. It wasn’t until later that I realised the growth I was pursuing so relentlessly, was not my success to begin with. I was conforming to peer perception and what being successful meant to the company; in my misplaced but ambitious pursuit of validation, I never defined what success meant to me.
For a simple test, if your success makes you comfortable, then that’s a red herring. Comfort breeds complacency, and with that, you’ll fan the flame 🔥 of entitlement.
I got lost in the rut of undefined success and regressed to the belief of being extremely competent and capable of investing into multiple career tracks, without any compromise; the unwavering trust that if I move fast in every possible direction, I’ll make it sooner to at-least one of them.
A month back, I survived a lay-off at work, but the experience encouraged me to do a retrospection of my growth as a developer.
The process reminded of a valuable lesson I learnt during my undergrad; a lesson which shaped me into becoming a humble, passionate and resourceful developer at the end of my engineering program …
I used to lean towards experiential learning, so while most of my classmates were focussing on theory, I was learning how to build websites, write APIs and contribute to open-source software. Folks in my college started to compliment me with how I’m preparing for the real world and will be extremely hireable, and somehow, my passion and persistence towards learning mutated into seeking that validation and status.
In the sixth semester, my college decided to host a hackathon. I had never participated in one before, but was of the opinion that it needed participants to have some hands-on skills, which was enough for me to assume that it’ll be a breeze.
"I was great at development".
The day of the event, I didn’t seek inputs from the team and started forcing an idea too complex to be presentable within 24 hours. We had no prior knowledge and analysis to support the idea, and zero collaboration within the team.
In my arrogance and obsession with my competency, I pushed hard to chase an unrealistic grand result, ending up with nada.
I craved validation so much that I let down my team and missed out on learning from folks who’ve been participating in a lot of hackathons.
That’s when the epiphany hit me; I had lost my way. 😕
I drove fast and missed a crucial turn.
In an attempt to juggle 🤹♂️ a lot, to protect the perception of my worth, I failed 💔 my passion ...
It was back then when I decided to focus more on my personal growth and satisfaction. To do something each day, to keep me motivated for the next.
It feels good to be reacquainted with that thought.
After all, we’re all on a road trip, so let’s slow down and enjoy it while it lasts!