While looking at one of the social media platforms (Linkedin), I was looking at how some people that I know have grown in terms of the number of followers and likes (and several other metrics that tell how good you are doing on social media).
This made me think, Does it matter to me? If the answer is yes then why?
This made me remember an old instance.
Several years ago during the final(4th) round of a software developer interview the CEO asked – “So do you have any open source projects on Github? Any contributions?”
My answer “I love software development and almost all of my waking hours are consumed by it, but all of it is right now for work, so I don’t have anything on Github yet”
I wasn’t selected, maybe this question had something to do with that.
I was asked for a social proof of my work but I didn’t have any. It wasn’t like I wasn’t doing enough software development work. My answer was 100% honest, all of my waking hours were consumed by building web applications but it wasn’t for the whole world to see, but just a tiny little fraction of it – the clients.
I can fairly confidently say that the people I worked with liked my work and most importantly I also liked that I was giving my best to the people I was working for. I enjoyed looking back at what I built and how it helped the people.
This realization gave me a lot of answers to my questions and some insights.
The world relies on metrics, categorization and numbers
To navigate through the vast amounts of information and for easy decision-making, the world resorts to metrics, categorization and numbers.
There are some very usual answers for various situations. “A” is driving a fancy car, must be well off, maybe they are too much in debt? “B” makes several hundred thousands in their Job, must be living a dream, maybe they are sick of it and totally frustrated because of it. I can go on but you get the point.
The world’s metric might be useful in some cases but not always. Some things you need to experience or maybe observe really closely to understand its true impact.
You pick your own metric
Based on your situation, circumstances and surroundings, you will automatically pick several of the world’s metrics and maybe would mindlessly start going after them.
To avoid being in such a situation and being unhappy with what shows up on the scale for the metric somebody else chose for you, take a moment and understand what really matters to you.
Understand, how your life is different from many others. In a Ted talk I watched recently Brian Little talks about – personal projects, what’s going on in our lives, is what makes us different. You have your unique situations maybe something that works for somebody else might not work for you even if you get it.
For example – as I mentioned initially about how people are doing great on social media, maybe they are spending 3-4 hours there daily, but am I? My situation and actions are totally different from theirs, so the outcomes.
Choose Happiness as the most important metric
Happiness is a difficult metric to choose but if you start paying attention to the moments in your life pretty soon you will start getting some answers to the question – what makes me happy?
If you ask me I would suggest, writing a daily journal. It doesn’t need to be very elaborate but just write about what you remember about the day. Mostly, you would remember things that made you feel good or made you feel a little sad or frustrated. Once you keep at this daily writing, you will start recognizing some patterns. Use these patterns to find what you like and what you don’t. Then start strategizing about how to do more of what you like and less of what you don’t.
Lesson for me
In the past I got influenced by metrics of the world, I still do from time to time, but now I bring myself out from it fairly quickly.
This post is a reminder for me to always make sure that I am valuing the right metrics, it also helps me define the purpose of this blog.
This blog is a place where I come to talk to myself, to remind me of my values or what I valued at a certain point in my life (and maybe laugh at it). To pick up stories from my life which I can tell to my friends and my family.
A place ruled by my metrics and not of the world.