You Have Plenty of Time
You know careers take off, just gotta be patient.
These words came from Kendrick Lamar.
Yep, that Kendrick Lamar. The man behind HiiiPoWeR, Swimming Pools, Humble, and many more huge hits. If there's one guy who can lay a claim to king of the rap game, it's him.
But did you know he started rapping and making music at just 8 years old? It was when he witnessed Tupac and Dr. Dre film California Love. From then on, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
He didn't achieve commercial success, however, until Section.80 came out in 2011-- meaning he had to hone his craft for 16 years before blowing up.
The Speed of the Engine
How many of us in software dream of moving up to the detriment of today? Have you ever spent more time thinking about your next role than getting good at your current one?
Here's the truth-- careers are thought of in years and decades, not weeks and months. Despite this, smart and ambitious people tend to seek ways to speed things up. Much of it can be attributed to a so-called "digital comparison trap"-- the idea that the internet gives us an impossible standard to attain in every matchup.
This afflicts developers especially, who are in constant connection with this endless stream of perfection and achievement. It's simply too easy to feel bad about where you're at and headed when you have TechCrunch showing you multi-billion dollar exits, Instagram overloading you with physical perfection, and TeamBlind destroying your soul.
What to do instead of sprinting to the finish line? Pull back.
Slow it down. Instead of trying to learn multiple technologies at once, focus on one language or framework a year. Rather than gunning for a promotion this year, be alright if you get it next year instead. If your side projects haven't bloomed in six months, take some time off and come revisit it.
You have plenty of time to achieve everything you want.
Some final words from Jeff Bezos:
If everything you do needs to work on a three-year time horizon, then you’re competing against a lot of people. But if you’re willing to invest on a seven-year time horizon, you’re now competing against a fraction of those people…Just by lengthening the time horizon, you can engage in endeavors that you could never otherwise pursue.
Action item today: find a way you've been rushing through life and see if you can slow it down.