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It's not all about winning

waylonwalker profile image Waylon Walker Originally published at waylonwalker.com on ・3 min read

This post comes to you from the archives of waylonwalker.com sharing my love for the learning and the journey to success.


This is my story into data science.

The Journey Begins

I am addicted to the process of learning and improving my skills nearly to a fault. The reason I say nearly is that my addiction is fueled with results. I crave the output of my work to enhance the work of others. I jump with joy as I see users gain insights they could have never imagined before. My mouth starts watering as I see their boring repetitive data mining activities be completed in a matter of seconds, opening up their mind to focus on their expertise. The day I stop learning will be the day that I start looking for another career path.

It's not all about winning.

~Mom

This happened to me in 2014. I have a mechanical engineering degree and had a really good position at the time. I owned full engineering control of a small subset of engine components. The problem was that Everything is so proprietary and hardly documented the process of learning did not click with me. I felt like I had learned a lot about the product early on, and was stuck without any more resources to learn more. On the side, I had started learning python and data science techniques to enhance my job.

mountains in the fog

every time I feel like I have reached the peak of anyone topic the fog clears and I can now see a whole new mountain range that I did not know existed.

I was addicted. I felt like there is so much knowledge easily obtained online in my free time, and I was able to take it back to my job and achieve results. Every time I feel like I have reached the peak of anyone's topic the fog clears and I can now see a whole new mountain range that I did not know existed.

Love the Journey

By 2017 I was really good at gaining results for our business and decided to make the jump to the data science team. I have achieved great results, and have been recognized as a high contributor to our business. Still, I do not feel like I have won. My goals are always moving and will always be 3-6 months ahead of me. I truly enjoy the process of learning and providing value so much that I will never let myself sit back and think that I have won and its time to reap the rewards of my hard work. I will say that I am winning. Not because of any results, awards, or recognition, but because I am happy. I have found a career path that I really enjoy the journey and I am not just trying to get on the fast track to a destination.

exploring

Life is too short to stay on a path you do not enjoy.

Enjoy the journey, explore new paths, and do what brings you joy. Life is too short to stay on a path you do not enjoy. Focus on the process not the Destination.

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Discussion (1)

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Mike Bybee

That's loser talk. 😜

But seriously, even when you do win, you should never stop learning. If Michael Jordan, one of the most notoriously competitive athletes of all time (though I'd argue LeBron has surpassed him as GOAT, and at very least should be considered greatest all-around and worthy of the GOAT conversation), had never developed that lethal fadeaway in the Bull's second 3peat run when his raw athleticism began to fade, he wouldn't have all six rings he does today.