Constant Improvement with Yourself

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Up he climbs
Amid the frigid air
The weight of the mountain
Pressing down, down

Yet up he goes,
Closer with each step
The mountain shoots up
And he presses upward

Have you ever climbed a mountain? If so, you know how it is: hard. There may be mosquitoes and bugs, and it may be hot. The grass may make it hotter. And there may be cactus and other prickles that hurt.

Yet you went forward. Upward towards the top. And wasn’t it worth it? The great view. And the feeling of getting up to the top.

It’s the same with tech. So many possibilities, so much to do, so high to climb. It’s tough to keep up with all of it. But it’s worth it. Here’s an outline of what to do:

  • Keep up with the latest happenings.
    • Read up on materials
    • Find out and share info among others in your field
    • Get and keep your certifications.
  • Keep your Skills sharp
    • Practise
    • Expand
    • Improve
  • Challenge yourself.
    • Work on your Weaknesses
    • Build up your Strengths
    • Make a Plan
    • Make Goals
    • Make it Happen
    • And when you fall down, get back up
  • Explore new areas
    • Check out that new thing you found last week.
  • Have Fun doing it.
    • Else you’ll get burned out
  • And make time for what Matters Most.
    • Lest you wake up one day and find you missed the biggest, most satisfying challenges.

Break it Down, Build it Up

There are always new things coming out. New and better ways of doing what we’ve always done. So keep up with the latest happenings. Read up on them. Study them. Find out and share information among others in your field. They may have a lot of information of what’s happening. And get and keep those certifications.

Keep your Skills sharp

You know how things work. You learn something, and then you start forgetting it. Not all things are like “riding a bike.” That’s the way it goes. What can be done? Practice. Practice. Practice. And then Expand those skills, and Improve them.

Challenge yourself

Everybody needs to work at things. No one is perfect. So find those Weaknesses and work on them. Build on your Strengths. And do it by making a plan and setting goals. Else what? You gonna magically arrive at the top of the mountain? Sorry, no helicopter rides when it comes to making yourself better.

And then make it happen. Set it to action. And when (not “if”) you fall down, when you get your teeth kicked in, get up, get back on track, and keep going. Don’t quit, but endure to the end.

Explore new areas

Find out things you like, and explore them more and more. You’ll find you don’t actually know everything. But you already know that. And be sure to check out that new thing you found last week. Don’t just sit on it.

Have Fun doing it.

What’s life without a little fun? Boring. So have fund while you improve. And takes breaks. Don’t let yourself get burned out. You want to make it to the top, not get halfway up, and then roll back to the bottom because you wore out

What Matters Most

Sometimes strike that, many times, it is tempting to just go forward, regardless of the cost. We want so desperately to reach the top that we are willing to forsake everything to get there. And that’s not always bad. Sacrifice is needed… unless that’s family, friends, loved ones…. those we care about. Unless we know the all the parts of the machine but don’t know our kid’s interests and what makes them awesome.

We have to be careful, because let’s be honest. While the mountain of {self|computers|systems|code|qa|etc} is awesome, the mountain of family and people and things that matter deep down is so much more awesome. So much greater and larger and more complex.

Maybe that’s why some don’t climb it. It’s too hard and complex. They’d rather stay on “known” ground rather than venture into something that all those who have lived full lives are always telling me is the most wonderful, the most satisfying, the most awe inspiring mountain of all.