Are You Passionately Obsessed With Software Development?

Find out why switching to 'normal life' outside of coding might be tough for you.

Tags: Life, Passion, Software Development

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You're feeling emotionally down. You stop what you're doing, reach for your humidor, grab a cigar, head to the kitchen, and light it up with your lighter. You go to the fridge, grab a cold drink, and sit down for the next five minutes, sipping, smoking, and relaxing. You realize your beautiful woman is in town, so you immediately call her. An hour later, she arrives, and as she walks in, you feel excited. You hug her, start kissing and caressing her, and the two of you have a delightful time together in bed. A few hours later, you reach for your phone, call your friends, and head out to an old-time bar. You enjoy more drinks and cigars while discussing what's trending in town and reminiscing about old memories. Three hours pass, and you head back home. You fall into bed, and the next morning you wake up feeling refreshed, energized, stress-free, and emotionally uplifted.

Well, just like you, I was feeling emotionally down. However, I didn't have the luxury of a cold drink, a cigar, a girlfriend, or friends like you do. In fact, I don't drink, smoke, have a girlfriend, or have any friends, and I don't go out to clubs, bars, or any social gatherings. Whether I like this lifestyle choice is another matter entirely. So, to lift my spirits, I turn to the thing I cherish most at the moment - my laptop.

When I'm feeling emotionally down, my latop is my go-to solution. I pick it up, brush the tiny dust particles off, and start it up. I plug in my headset, connect via Bluetooth, and immerse myself in classical music. Meanwhile, I revisit old projects to see what improvements I can make-not out of obligation, but because during those moments I can just stare at the screen and let my brain do its work, while my mind wanders, and maybe help me think and possibly uplift my mood. I've had some success with this approach, so why not give it another try?

This time, the old project I decided to revisit was my website. I considered what changes I could make since I had no new design in mind. All functionalities were working fine, and all dependencies were updated to their latest versions suitable for the project. So, I thought I might tweak some words here and there to pass the time until I felt emotionally uplifted again.

I found myself pondering over the phrase "Industry Certified." I questioned, "Why should I define my worth based on external validation? Why let the industry giants, who many say are undermining the web, be my judges and validators? Why should I adhere to an industry that's more focused on replacing me with AI than innovating alongside it?"

So, I opted to express my internal value instead. The phrase "passionately obsessed" immediately came to mind. I thought, "Yes, I'm passionately obsessed with programming, particularly software development." But am I truly? To be certain, I decided to look up the precise meanings of these words in my browser.

Turns out the first article I came across, Building the Habit Hero, made me reconsider whether I was truly "passionately obsessed" with software development. While I loved software and was passionate about the positive changes it can bring to our world, if I'm honest, I didn't "breathe and live it." After much reflection, I decided that "harmoniously passionate" would be a more fitting description.

The article introduced two types of passion: obsessive and harmonious. The latter resonated more with my view of software. I deeply appreciate software development for its potential to create positive change, its ability to help me discover more about myself, and the good it can do for the world. However, as my elder brother often says, "There's still a 'but.'"

The primary reason I chose "harmonious" over "obsessive" is that I don't want to be defined solely by software development. I have other passionate interests, such as philosophy, religion, philanthropy, business, public speaking, and reading. I didn’t want to be a liar; I didn't want to misrepresent myself; I'd become dishonest if I placed myself on the same pedestal as the heroes of the game who were passionately obsessed with software development, sacrificing other aspects of their lives for it. Instead, I deeply respect and honor them.

Secondly, I saw these multiple areas of interest I was passionate about functioning together harmoniously for the flourishing of my whole being. That is, I am not defined by any single one, but all single ones come together to create the person I define myself as. So if I'm unable to pursue one of these passions, it does not shut down the ability to relish in other activities or life in general. This is unlike being passionately obsessed, where if I stopped the activity, I would lose my identity and purpose.

Fun fact: although I initially considered using "harmoniously passionate" or "passionately obsessed," I eventually settled on "self-taught" as a more straightforward and appropriate description. However, the reasons behind this decision are beyond the scope of this blog post.

So, I ask you again, friend: Are you passionately obsessed with software development? Take your time to reflect deeply on this question. Whatever your answer is, I'd like to know why and hear your thoughts on the matter.

Remember, "hackers hack, crackers crack, and whiners whine. Be a hacker." Take care.

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