The Unclimbable Mountain

Thu, Mar 14, 2013

I was reminded once again today how impenetrable the wall of things to do in life is. We had just hit a big milestone at work and as soon as we hit it, I started thinking about the next steps. And after that the next steps.

Just in the time it took for us to reach this milestone, a list of things to fix and improve before the next milestone was building up. And that list is long enough to take 10 times the time that the original milestone took.

We grow up thinking that next year will be better, or this year you will manage to finish X

Running a business, or working at one, is about fires. Everything is either falling behind, failing, has always been broken or is unusable. The only tool we have is a limited fire extinguisher to dim down the biggest most obvious fire each time.

The truth is, which we all know deep inside, is that life is one giant burning fire. The art of life is to be good at picking fires.

As developers, painters, musicians, tinkerers and builders, we never reach our goals or the end of our ambitions. Not only that, you won't even do half of what you want to do.

In life outside our work, ambitions and our normal cycles of thought, is also another giant set of things to do. Get better at keeping the house clean, getting that weird sound in the car looked at, do your taxes in time this year, giving the people around you room - and on a more macro level - seeing things you want to see, travel to the places you want to travel, try the things you always wanted to try.

But the thing is, we won't ever be able to do any of this.

I'm pretty sure one day we'll all be really old and not have done but a percentage of everything we'd like to.

This sounds a bit depressing, but with this realization comes an opportunity to think through your life and your attitude towards it :)

The most important thing is to learn to enjoy the process.