Whew, it has been a crazy year. I’ve not written nearly as often in this journal as I’d originally hoped for but I think that maybe this is a good thing since the root cause is kind of the topic of this post. I’ve been busy doing things. Things that are completely out of my comfort zone. Things that make me travel (not a big fan of travel). Things that make me sweat. Things that make me nervous.
At this point, I’d like to share a
little big life lesson that I’ve learned along the way in my journey. It’s good to be uncomfortable. In fact, it’s the only way I’ve found that I can lead a fulfilling life.
This isn’t a super revolutionary concept and is in fact, pretty well known. For me, I wanted to list/share how this has helped me for personal growth and fulfillment. Now let’s list this year in a nutshell:
Competed in my first BJJ tournament
Firstly, I should mention that I started & continue to train in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) because… that in and of itself was uncomfortable enough. Meeting new people, wrestling with them in sweaty pajamas… not exactly my “comfort zone”. But then I did something even crazier (to me) which, was compete in a submission only tournament. Did this purposefully because it was uncomfortable, I’m old(er) than most of the competitors, and wanted to see what it was like. Didn’t win but I talked to the other grapplers after and it turned out they had far more experience. So, the result is that I had more confidence afterwards, felt a little closer to my teammates/friends at the gym (bonding experience), and gained some experience. It helped me realize what fairly gaping gaps I had in my game and since then - I’ve improved and become much more comfortable/relaxed on the mats. Doing that scary thing made everything else less scary.
Spoke in Brazil to mixed english and non-english speaking crowd
Definitely was a little nervous. Traveling to Brazil. Long flight. Security conference I’ve never been to with people I’ve never met and speaking in front of a mix-language crowd. But, the result was I got to see Sao Paulo & Rio, visit the Christ the Redeemer statue, see a sloth and monkeys in their native habitat- up close, speak with my good friend which meant building code that does pretty cool stuff and hanging out with him, and then obviously its not bad for the speaking resume. I met some new people that were incredible and super amazing hosts and learn how warm the people of Brazil can be. Oh, and I got to take the opportunity to attend a BJJ class in Brazil (which, was also out of my comfort zone but went amazing).
Dove head first into a new programming language (Golang)
I’ve learned new programming languages before but was on the fence of diving to deep into learning a new one but forced myself to pick up a book and write code and figure it out again. This brought me back to a place I love to be. Learning a new language engages some creative part of the brain and is a challenge because while I’m super comfortable in a few other languages - its nice to be pulled out of that comfort zone to learn concepts of another type of programming altogether. So its keeping me fresh. One big benefit was - it helped with work!
To do a podcast means you need to have a semi-regular schedule, be somewhat organized with scheduling and researching topics + keeping up with news, be okay with people (viewers) judging you, and sometimes asking people you’ve never met or don’t know super well to come on the show and open up and share their story…. these are not things that are super comfortable to most people including me. But we’ve done it over and over again and are now booked months out. More and more folks are reaching out - its going amazing. I’ve learned so much in a short time and have met some really great people and learned from their view points. So while uncomfortable and new to me - a net positive.
We’ve not yet given this training so its not necessarily about the training itself. But, because we were accepted to give this training - another opportunity came along after the training was publicized. So we’ll be giving the training (and attending) AppSec Day in Australia which - I’m super excited about. That will be another adventure that wouldn’t have come about if Seth and I decided to put in the effort to build a solid trainig course. The thing to remember about that is - we totally didn’t have to. It’s not a lot of money, it’s not like our careers are going to get some signficant boost, we could have been content and not have done this work. But because we did we have another opportunity to meet new people, share experiences, and share our techniques with other people.
So there have been other changes like my lifestyle/eating habits and leaving a job that was making me unhappy to join a job I love (GitHub) and those things have have major, MAJOR impact for the better on my life but probably deserve their own blog posts. Point being - a lot of what I’ve done over the last year is scary stuff. And I’m so much more fucking happy than ever because of it. Try it. Seriously, pick something you’ve put off or are afraid to do and get after it. ❤️