Marathon, not a sprint.

This blog’s topic comes courtesy of my friend Mary (who is a complete badass and a great person). Enjoying happy hour on a relaxed Monday evening lead to some enjoyable and thought provoking conversation. We were discussing jobs and how she could not seem to find the right one. At some point she said “yeah, but you’re only 25, what’s your dream job?”. I had no hesitation… I responded “I have my dream job. I am challenged everyday. I learn something new everyday. I get to directly influence people’s lives in a positive manner while continually perfecting my craft. I have a skill-set that allows me to work anywhere in the world at anytime. I love what I do.”

I did not have to think for a second about my answer.

The biggest struggle I have these days, is sometimes… I wake up still tired.

For those who don’t know… I am a software engineer at a pharmaceutical company that specializes in medication management. It is completely awesome! I have only been on board for a few months but have already garnered an immense amount of skill/experience from my time with them. The future is going to be awesome!

While I love my job, I often face the same recurring internal struggle… I want to be the best at my craft. I want to learn everything I can (most of the time in a single day). I want to know more than you. I want to be able to know it all so I can help others “know it all”. Software development/engineering/programming (whatever you want to call it) is a life long marathon. There is always something new and exciting to learn. There is always going to be something fresh to absorb into that sponge of a brain of yours/mine. No one can finish a marathon if they are sprinting the entire time.

My problem is, I want to know it now. I want to treat this marathon as if it were a sprint and I was Usain Bolt. I have to constantly remind myself that that is completely impossible. No human could ever acquire all the knowledge they seek overnight. I have to remind myself that the people beyond my knowledge, are years ahead of me in terms of experience. The finish line I seek is forever moving a little further away. But that is why I chose this path. I never want to reach a plateau. I want to be challenged everyday. I want to learn everyday. I want to become the best possible me (and a kickass/ninja/wizard/gandalf/programmer). The only thing that stands between me and that greatness…is me. Failure is but a hurdle I will rocket over while striving to reach that greatness.

“I was never afraid of failure; for I would sooner fail than not be among the greatest.”  ― John Keats


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