Skip to main content

Diving into the Deep End

What have you done recently?

You! What have you done lately? by Clarkston SCAMP
This is a really hard question to answer. If you're not careful and take note of what you're working on and what your accomplishments are actively, you will forget them. And when you forget that you are capable of making a difference and getting things done it's easy to lose sight of both where you are and how far you've actually gone.

If you think about it really hard, you might be able to answer this question in some sort of haphazard reply like: "Uh, yeah I got this done, and that done, and ... you know, stuff..." -- which doesn't help you nor the person asking you. If you don't know what you're supposed to do, what you're doing, and what you've already done, you won't get anywhere.

This week is the first full week I've had at work. Obviously I can't and won't talk about what I did at work, but I can talk about what was going in my head at a meta level. During my alone time, I think about what I've done the day and the past week and it's something I don't do enough of. Maybe that's why I keep forgetting the things that I've accomplished in the past. It doesn't help that I don't like talking about the accomplishments nor the triumphs of years passed. Sometimes they come back in some nostalgic flash of memory because I'm discussing things with friends and co-workers but generally somehow they feel like repressed memories.

*Sigh* by PhotopediaPhotos
Maybe it's a personality fault that I don't put too much value in accomplishing things maybe because before I didn't get praised enough or get praised at all when I give it my best and actually get things done. I've had past relationships where effort didn't matter. Heck, in school effort largely didn't matter -- all that mattered is if you attended the classes, got through the standardized tests, and didn't do anything stupid. Maybe I trained myself to not give too much value on accomplishments because all throughout my professional career it largely didn't matter. Now these are things that I've had to unlearn.

Sure I've gotten my share of reward and recognition in various degrees. But that's not what I'm looking for. A lot of that -- the plaques, the money, the occasional email or public recognition -- are merely tokens that are fleeting. Nothing beats a sincere face to face "thank you for doing this" or "great job". As I write this I feel most of the emotion swell up from inside me, as all I always really just looked for when I worked was to be given the responsibility and the ability to make a difference in any way. I'm not looking to be a hero, I really just want to contribute. I actually don't want to be the hero, I just want to be the guy who helps get things done.

What goes on in my head at times when I accomplish little things and learn new things is really simple: I love the little things. The little personal victories I cherish are really simple like learning something new, finding out that I made a mistake and that I can learn from it, being able to make a suggestion that is valid, or asking a question that helps me and others see things differently. I love finding out that I can be better. I love learning that there's room to grow. I love finding out that every day that I've made the right decision and that I'm exactly where I want to be.

Sydney Symphony Orchestra by ozjimbob
This past week was somewhat of an eye opener to me. This is the first week in a long time that I felt that I was part of something that I really want to be part of. I'm a member of an organization that values the people in the organization, the accomplishments, the learnings, the improvements, and contributions of everyone. Best of all, it's a place where people value each other as individuals that contribute in their own little way. This was the week I was thrown in the deep end of the pool and I had a choice of sinking or swimming -- and swim I did.

I guess I can say I made it out whole and with a better appreciation of what really matters to me personally.



Where was this song when I needed it most?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Appreciating Rizal...

Nope, this is not an academic post. More of a reflective and wrote-because-i-was-enlightened type post. Anyway, I just passed a paper on Rizal's notion of a nation according to Quibuyen (a local writer who devoted a book -- A Nation Aborted -- on his treatise on Rizal). Chapter 6 was an interesting read, and a definite eye opener. Rizal all of a sudden became interesting, especially to someone like me who could care less. It seems that most of what Rizal aims for and wrote about is still evident in today's Philippines as I see it. I wonder why I didn't get to appreciate Rizal and his work when I was still in high school -- might be the fault of the high school and the curriculum, or might be because I was still considerably immature then. I wasn't able to understand most of Rizal's writings though even if I got to reading them basically because they translated from Spanish to Filipino/Tagalog. I don't have problems with Tagalog, until you put it in writing. I

From FOMO to JOMO

Until very recently I believed that I needed to be on top of the latest news and happenings not only in my field (computer science and software engineering) but also in as many things as I can be on top of. This meant subscribing to all sorts of magazines, newsletters, YouTube channels, Twitch streamers, watching TV and live sport events, etc. — I was on top of a lot of the latest happenings, trends, news, interesting developments. I was having fun and I felt busy. What I did not feel was particularly effective nor productive. I felt like I was consuming so much information with the thought that it might be useful someday. When I was younger this wouldn’t have been an issue but I realised that ever since I’ve started taking stock of what I’ve been spending my time on, that a lot of it I’ve been spending just staying on top of things that I really didn’t need to be on top of. This article is about some of the realisations I’ve made in the course of exploring this issue of “FOMO” or

Futures and Options III: Economics, Journalism, or Computer Science

I realise it's been a year since my previous post on this blog, and I've found myself having very little time to do another "brain dump" on the subject of my early choices in life. With that in mind (and as I'll be traveling again soon) I get to think a little more and reflect on a few of the things that have happened. Much like the previous post, this one's set in high school -- where I was part of the swimming team, in a band, had been programming with Turbo Pascal, Java, and then C++ later on, and was about to make a choice that would literally change the course of my life. This one is about the choices I made, and the ones that were made for me. Note: This is part 3 of a series about my early choices in life which have gotten me to where I am today. I would greatly appreciate your feedback and thoughts, as well as for your reading through this series!