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An Archived Managed World This blog has moved to http://www.managed-world.com/blog

After my last post, I feel that there is something else I wish to share with everyone. If there is one primary characteristic problem with people today, it is that they try to do to much. Trust me, I can sympathize, I am the exact same way. In this quick-rich-schemin', lose-500-pounds-in-one-week-dietin', just-buy-this-one-last-gadget-and-you-can-get-done-everything-you-want-to-get-done paradox of a world we live in, not enough of us take the time to enjoy life. Even when we know there is a problem in our life, we often do not fix the cause of the problem. What do we do? We treat the symptoms rather than the problems. How many of us get stressed when we get overloaded? Now how many of us have invested in productivity-gaining, seven-habits-of-highly-effective-people, guide-to-stress-free-productivity solutions? I would venture a guess that most of us have. Why do we feel the need to decrease the stress yet don't address the issues that are causing the stress in the first place?!?!?

Like the title says, there are only 24 hours in one day. Let's say that most of us work a 9 hour day, sleep for 7 hours (to maintain a healthy life style), commute for 1-2 hours, and spend 1-2 hours a day consuming food. Well, that only leaves us 4-6 hours a day to get other things done (and this doesn't include if you have a family!!!). Why in the world then would you try to do another 8 hours of work a day outside of work? Well, we are humans and we have freedom of choice, so let's take advantage of that freedom! (Remember, just like programming, just because you *can* doesn't mean you *should*).

Can we do more in those 24 hours and be less stressed? It's certainly possible, but only when treating the symptoms and not the disease. I could hop over the fence over to the conspiratorial side, but I wish to just straddle the fence right now :). Has technology made our lives better? In a lot of ways, most certainly! However, has technology made our quality of life potentially worse? I would say yes. With technology, a lot of us our lulled into the false belief that technology makes our lives easier because we can automate more of our tasks, and have more time for ourselves. Has this proved to be true? Of course not. What do we do instead? Give ourselves more to do!!! Why in the world would we do that?!?!

Now, I digress a bit. I know there are many of you out there that absolutely love programming and do not live stressed lives. Those of you like this may be tired of me already and asking “why all this complaining all of the sudden”? It's because I feel like I am surrounded by a bunch of developers who absolutely love programming, live to program, and I am the ugly duckling of the group. I feel like those of you may look at my development talent and consider it largely wasted because I am not taking full advantage of that talent. Please understand that I am trying to make two vastly different groups of people happy and anytime you try to make everyone happy, you are simply asking for trouble. There are those other developers and peers out there that consider me a worthwhile investment as a programmer. And then there are those that know of my jazz talent and feel that I really “have it” as a jazz musician. By trying to satisfy both groups of people, I only wind up letting both of them down.

Here's the dilemma though. Which group do I hold more dear to my heart? And here is the biggest problem. There are people like Rory, Chris Sells, and Jim Blizzard that I feel have invested a bit in me as a developer (whether it be emotionally, physically, or what have you). I feel like I am letting them down and doing them an injustice by not being the best developer I can be. However, I also feel that no matter how hard I try, even if I do make them proud of me as a developer, I will never truly be happy as a person. Why? Because I am not fulfilling the one part of my life that I need to fulfill in order to be happy - music. On the other side of the fence are my jazz peers. Over the last 6 months to 1 year, I have devoted so much time to software development, and so little time to music, that I feel that I am definitely letting them down. Which road dare I take though? The financial benefits and money are in software development. The emotional happiness and spritual fullfillment are in music. It may sound like an easy decision to most of you, but is a decision I have fought with myself over for 5+ years now (ever since I became a software developer).

To some of you, this may sound like a goodbye letter. Is this a goodbye letter? By no means!!! You will hear from me from time to time, and I will still be around as a developer (I'm not going to throw that gift away!!!). I will still be posting to this blog, but perhaps on a more personal and musical level than a developer level. I hope there is at least one nugget of wisdom in this long post that at least one person out there can grab on to. If anyone out there is also struggling with this kind of issue in their life, I would love to have you make a comment here or drop me a line so I know I'm not alone! 'Til next time, God Bless!

Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 2004 5:47 PM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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I second that. Jason, you have to do what makes *you* happy. Find the happy medium that you can live with. Everyone else just has to get on board with that. You can't allow other people (no matter who they are) to dictate what you will do with your life.

I used to feel sorta the same way. But you can't live justifying your behavior to everyone else all the time. Create your own identity.
Left by A Friend on May 20, 2004 8:20 AM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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Don't get caught up in trying to become a .net or blogging "star".

Do your software and music projects for yourself. If you get tired of something put it on the shelf and move on.

ian
Left by Ian on May 20, 2004 10:27 AM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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It may sound trite, but have you considered a model that would allow you to combine the two?

Perhaps your jazz friends could use some technical help? Maybe go work for the RIAA tracking down those evil downloaders ?
How about doing sound work for game developers?
Maybe write and play some music for DotNetRocks. I can only hear ToyBoy so many times :)

I know it's no help in the short term, but it's a thought.

Best wishes, i've always enjoyed your blog.
Left by TomB on May 20, 2004 11:32 AM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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Ian -

That is definitely one of my problems. However, that's not what stresses me out. I get all excited about something, and then someone noteable approaches me about a project and I gladly accept. Unfortunately, after I've been working on the project for a while, I wonder why I took it in the first place. So then I stress out because I feel like I'm letting the person down because of these feelings and deteriorating performance I am having.

That's also just part of the learning process though. Like I stated, I've always had these kinds of problems. Today, I'm much better at managing them than I used to be. Needless to say, no matter which way the pendulum swings, it still will be a large learning experience for me (which is a good thing).
Left by Jason Olson on May 20, 2004 12:16 PM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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TomB -

You are definitely not sounding trite, and yes I have considered it. The problem is just finding the right mix. I doubt he reads my blog, much less any of the comments, but I have been really inspired by Carl Franklin. Hearing about alot of the MIDI development he's done over the years, and such. The real question for me is finding which field I would want to do. Soundtracks for games would be awesome! The only problem with a sound position in games is that it requires a lot more than music (like special effects). I don't really prefer all the special effects and technical mumbo-jumbo that sound engineers deal with. However, I *love* teh actual soundtrack, whether it be for a movie or game. Don't even get me started on how much I love the work of Hans Zimmer, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams, James Horner, etc.
Left by Jason Olson on May 20, 2004 12:22 PM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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"There are people like Rory, Chris Sells, and Jim Blizzard that I feel have invested a bit in me as a developer (whether it be emotionally, physically, or what have you). I feel like I am letting them down and doing them an injustice by not being the best developer I can be."

:) I remember first meeting you at the Game dev group last summer. I noticed that you were a nice guy. I thought, "Hey - he's a nice addition to the group."

To be totally honest, though, I wasn't at all interested in your programming skills. I was much more excited about possibly going out for a beer (or juice/whatever).

I think it's cool that you do the whole coding thing, but I think your sense of humor is much cooler. If you told me today that you never wanted to write another line of code, then I'd say, "Good! Now let's go get some beer/juice/whatever."

In fact, that's how I feel about nearly everybody I've met and grown attached to. If Chris Sells said that he were going to walk away from computers and never touch them again, I'd be all the more interested. I like *him* much more than I like what he does.

So don't go feeling weird about anything :) We're friends, and your status as a coder has no influence on it whatsoever. It's cool that it brought us together, but that's all.

By the way, we should go out soon for a beer/juice/whatever...
Left by Rory on May 20, 2004 5:52 PM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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Rory -

That's exactly how I feel. The weird part is that I feel we've gotten to know eachother over messenger more than in person since you were in CT :). I would love to get together sometime. If your girlfriend or family hasn't already tied you down this weekend, my wife and I are having an open house up at our new place. If you're interested, just drop me an email and I can give you the location. If not, we are looking at a BBQ on the 4th of July also. Whether either day works or not, we still need to get together for that beer/juice/whatever :).
Left by Jason Olson on May 20, 2004 6:01 PM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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Although I just remembered about Tech Ed, so you're probably traveling that day. If you aren't traveling, I know I certainly wouldn't be in the mood to make a voyage to see a friend. I would be wanting to rest up for the great experience, especially knowing you haven't been back in town for that long.

It just gives us a better excuse to get together when you get back :D.
Left by Jason Olson on May 20, 2004 6:03 PM

# re: Remember, There's Only 24 Hours In 1 Day, and Only 1 Life to Live
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Jason -

"Although I just remembered about Tech Ed, so you're probably traveling that day. If you aren't traveling, I know I certainly wouldn't be in the mood to make a voyage to see a friend."

Actually, the only real problem is that I won't have my car, and you're living a little too far away for a taxi ride.

I guess it's true that I should be doing familial things and all that, but part of me really wants to come out.

Still, though, I'm going to be around for a while after TechEd. We'll definitely hook up then (and *especially* now that I've read your chess posts :).
Left by Rory on May 20, 2004 8:41 PM

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