As a kid, the rapper Marshall Mathers aka Eminem was one of my favorite artists. In his song “Lose Yourself” he says “You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow, This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo” the bolded part of the text is the verse which I screamed out while listening to it. I always remind myself that this life is the one and only chance I have.
Although it is a fact that we all only live once (YOLO), we do not act as if we are going to die. We wait long hours in a line for some kind of discount, we invest hours in a job we hate and we work the whole week in order to have 2 days for ourselves. What is the output? Some decent money? Why do we need it?
A few days back I visited a fair called CeBIT which is held every year in Hannover, Germany. In this fair, big companies like Microsoft, Intel, Telekom etc. alongside with small manufacturers come together and present their new achievements. Walking through the booths I was thinking if it could be a goal of mine standing there, representing Microsoft or Intel or any other big company. As a student studying computer science, it should be a kind of dream to be in their shoes but frankly I do not feel the urge. Why should I be standing there when there could be thousands of others who are eligible to do the same? At that point, I once again came to the conclusion that I would rather fly back to Iran and live in a small village than being in their shoes. I do not mean to demonize all jobs in every company. I know there are people out there who would love to be in that position and that’s perfectly fine but why should every engineer dream of joining a big company? I think people have different purposes in life. Some can become great software developers and some other can hitchhike their whole lifetimes. But this is the most important part: The hitchhike should not force himself to become a software developer and vice versa. Although it seems like this is what normally happens, its easier said than done. When I absolve my surroundings, I see the total opposite in people’s careers. People do not like what they are doing but still insist on doing it. One of the most common statements I hear is “I have to finish what I have started”. It definitely is a very rational sentence but not for things we do not like to do. For someone who hates what he’s doing it’s very irrational. We hate loosing and that’s the reason we insist on doing things we don’t like. I once read in a newspaper article under the “Economy” section about how our minds work while facing situations like this. Based on that article, our minds cannot equally compare loss with gain. It automatically amplifies the loss compared to the gain we get from doing something. Let me give you an example: Imagine you are planing to take the train and go to the city center. After buying a daily ticket, a close friend spots you and offers you a ride to the city with his car. You drive with him, do whatever you have to do in the city and drive back home with him. When you get home there is one thing on your mind: you haven’t used the ticket you bought before. Although you actually made a winning in getting picked up and driven to the city and back, you still cannot lose the feeling of loss because of that ticket. So you find some kind of excuse to go out and use the ticket. Here you make a big loss because now you have paid for a ticket AND have wasted your time too.
I think the statement “I have to finish what I have started” is like that ticket. Only because you have got it, you waste your time on it.
I have to re-think my life. We have to let go, plan, act, face the consequences and win big.