This evening, I met with another mentor, and we discussed where I currently am in my journey. They said they were shocked that I wasn’t applying to jobs already! This really caught me off guard, because from most of what I’ve read and heard so far, I thought that I still had a decent way to go before I’d even be given the time of day. I was urged to start applying and getting experience with technical interviews, and to start working on trying to craft and refine my “story.” Don’t wait until you feel like you’re ready, they said, which is good because I do not feel ready! 😂

I also had a great talk with a friend about motivation. The question was about how to find the drive to sacrifice and work towards something when you may not be passionate about the steps to get there, or to find something that you want enough that you’re excited to move towards it. We didn’t come to any immediately solid conclusions, which is probably the anticipated result, but it was very interesting to discuss the surrounding elements and socio-economic conditions at play. With it being the non-stop apocalypse bingo that has been 2020, I’m sure that there is some element of depression involved, as well.

For better or worse, my default state trends towards self-sacrifice for deferred benefit, and I usually need to put in active effort to be more immediately present (something that I’m working towards). There is always something that I am actively working towards and an internal sense of motivation to make progress towards the thing. Even when feeling burnt out, I can’t really stop feeling the internal drive, to the point where I genuinely struggle to relax or feel satisfied while resting. I have my suspicions, but I don’t fully understand why, and that is a little concerning.

We also discussed “learning” versus “building.” The argument was made that it is typically a better practice to not be learning while building - you wouldn’t abandon a tried-and-true method of building a bridge for an experimental technique halfway through construction. This makes sense for products and was an interesting way to look at things, but at the same time, I find it hard to imagine not learning while building…but that could just be where I am in my journey. This will be something to consider again in the future.

After the call ended, something clicked - I design processes for just about everything! With a target in mind, I will build a process or framework to try and hit close to that target, and then will constantly iterate and break and modify the process itself to get closer to that target. The process itself becomes the more immediate and tangible focus and motivator. Learning Log is a good example of this, as I am constantly making tweaks to try and improve the information I am collecting - a process that serves a less tangible and distant goal. Bonus points if it helps make something that is difficult to measure more measurable!