Social pressures, & being the best is a myth
Doing things for you and getting good at it as well
Kia ora friends,
This week has been interesting. I was over the moon last weekend because I was able to land a plane by myself (well, not really, my instructor was sitting next to me giving me some moral support, but he didn’t have to put in any input).
However, I just got back from a flight where we had to cut it early because of the wind and lack of skill (which my instructor was quick to say is normal for the number of hours I had flown).
So it’s interesting because of how confident you can feel with progress but how humbled you can be because you are still learning.
I also had a pole private dance session to finalise the choreography for my routine. That’s sorted and now it’s up to me to practice, practice practice! I plan to reduce the intensity at the gym for some more practice time on the pole. 1st December is the big day; I’m nervous but excited also.
The ManawaTech podcast is happening, also, we have two episodes published with another episode on the way. It’s challenging fitting all this work in but I am so lucky to be living with my parents and having a simple life.
Work this week has been writing SQL as well as pair programming. I’ve been stuck on optimising a query, where it works when runs fast as raw `SELECT` SQL, but when we abstract it into database `VIEW`. It runs slow. Weird! It looks like the optimiser is running the queries differently even though a `VIEW` is syntactic sugar for a raw `SELECT` statement. This has got me bamboozled. For the end of the week, I decided to use the education day I have to make my old childhood game I made of a graphics calculator in Golang on the terminal.
I wonder if I was still glued to my previous friendship groups — would I be doing what I am doing now rather than isolating myself and pursuing things that mattered more to me?
Would I still be in the same job? Would I be in the same career? Would I be pursuing more expressing hobbies like dancing? Would I be writing these newsletters and sharing my thoughts openly like this?
This has made me think a lot about social pressure — to be one of “the lads”.
I’m still naive but I do think as you grow older, you start to align more with what you think rather than the expectations of others or what others think. You do need to balance it though — you still need some level of self-awareness and respect for others.
I used to think my 20s would be the best time of my life, and it would soon be over after that. But in my 30s now, I am more comfortable with who I am instead of struggling to be someone I am not.
There will be times when I feel insecure in myself because I am not one of “the lads”. I felt this when I met a bunch of dudes, roughly my age, married up, presenting themselves nicely to the outside world but having that manly banter. And here I am putting on a show, while underneath I am just trying all these different things while living within the safety of the home nest.
Life can get harder as you get older but it’s up to you to maintain your well-being and optimism. These things you must protect.
Being the best is a myth
I came across this video.
The key point that stuck out to me was the need to be the “best”.
We do live in competitive times. We need to be the best in X, Y, Z or a combination thereof.
But what if “best” is just an abstract concept the mind creates that doesn’t really exist?
You can improve and get better but can you truly be the best?
What does the best mean? What you do is so multifactorial that it’s impossible to measure what is the “best”.
Instead do things not to be the best but to what aligns with your values. Lifting weights is something that would align with your values because it makes you strong, healthy and confident. You wouldn’t lift to be the world’s best as the only reason.
Work isn't about knocking things off the backlog to be the best developer. It’s good to explore and grow your skills to follow your interest in how things work and to dive deeply into an issue. Even if you work on something that never gets implemented, the time put into learning and doing it is never wasted.
I will leave you with these two thoughts. Let me know what you think.
Stay focused and talk soon,
Kindle Highlight of the Week
“One thing that helps is to remember that feedback, like truth, is not absolute. Feedback is an opinion, grounded in observations and experiences, which allows us to know what impression we make on others” (Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg).