I’m writing this post as a memoir for myself, a retrospect of sorts. I read Seth Godins blog about Unconscious consumption and that post inspired me to write this post.
In the last 3 years, amazing events have unfolded. I helped create a start up, RaiseMore. I moved to Boulder, Colorado. I got a job at Ionic. I met a strong, amazing, beautiful woman who is my girlfriend.
I trained jiu-jitsu 4-5 times a week, I kept working on my strength, and trying to inspire others to do the same. I was striving to always read self-help books, watching informational videos, TED talks, ignite talks, challenging and pushing myself, and helping others grow.
All these new and exciting things kept happening to me. Many times before, I’ve asked myself, ‘how did I get so lucky?’. Things just had a snowball effect and kept getting better and better!
I’d like to think what attracted all these amazing things into my life was from these advancements.
However, something happened during these last 4 months that really threw me in a rut. I developed a poor attitude. I started thinking I was a victim. I no longer work for the company that I had looked up to for so long.
As I sit here now and reflect on the last few months, I know I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. I take full responsibility for that. And due to some of those mistakes, I’m unemployed (and looking for opportunities!) and I know it’s my own fault.
I’d like to stop and take a minute to deep dive and retrospect on what happened. I know, deep in my heart, that it all changed when I stopped respecting myself and making my personal growth a priority.
I’m realizing that while all these good things were occurring, one thing remained constant – I put myself and my personal growth first.
I’d like to deep dive into what really happened, and discover the why.
Questions to ask:
- What did you do right?
- What did you do wrong?
- What can you do better?
What did I do right?
In January, I was jumping head first into the Ionic CLI. I was familiar with Node.js, but wasn’t nearly at the level I wanted to be at. So I jumped head first into blogs, training courses, books, and more.
I learned a ton by failing forward, bouncing ideas off of others, and most importantly, maintaining a healthy work life balance.
In March, I came up with the crazy idea to make the Ionic CLI easier to consume by almost any user by just point/clicking. In my free time after working on the Ionic CLI, I started cranking out Ionic Lab – that would do just that.
It was so freeing to use my creative side and use my intuition, listening to myself as I craved to learn more about Node.js and Electron!
After demoing Ionic Lab to the Ionic team, they were convinced this was a tool that could open the door to more developers and really improve the tooling. Thus, I was instructed to work on it full time. Such a joy!
Then it hit, this thing had to ship. I had to really buckle down and work out the final kinks in integrating Cordova fully into Ionic Lab, which took me down rabbit holes into discovering more about Electron than I wanted to know, fixing stdio errors and things that occurred deep in Cordova library code.
Once we shipped out Ionic Lab in July, I was told to focus on Ionic 2. The rest of the team had been heads down working on the codebase since March, I was the new guy, so I had to really step it up and put in the time to learn Angular 2, TypeScript, ES6, Webpack, and all the other new ground to cover.
It was exciting once again to jump head first into learning and exploration. But something happened that I did not expect.. I became a cynic.
What did I do wrong?
I think it wasn’t until after July that things started to slow down and my personal happiness started to decline. I started working more hours (60 hours was the minimum). I stayed up late working most every night. I slept less. I started working out less (I gained 10-20 lbs). I started putting myself and my personal growth last.
I stopped calling my friends. I stopped reaching out to my support group as much. I wasn’t maintaining my happy upbeat attitude I’ve been told has been so inspiring.
I started putting work first. I started accepting others views of myself. I stopped valuing my work, my time, and my efforts to put that towards a company that at the end of the day, only wanted more and more. We all know what this leads to, burn out.
This all was boiling down to the AngularConnect conference, where we planned to unveil Ionic 2 to the European crowds. I was given a hefty task of learning all that was Ionic 2, adding cross platform functionality in Ionic 2, adjusting the Ionic CLI for v2, helping curate content for a workshop at the conference, as well as building the first Ionic v2 app, the Ionic conference app.
All this was going down and other life issues arise, as they do. My older (15y old) dog was getting worse by the day. My girlfriend was not happy that I was putting her second to work. My friends stopped calling me. My shoulder got injured. I lost confidence in my work because I was burning out.
Then, a personal goal I had set didn’t get delivered to a group of users I was really wanted to, the Windows Ionic CLI users.
This hurt. Failure when placed heavy, can hurt. It hurt even more when I was putting work first, and myself last.
Looking more hopefully at the situation..
What can I do better?
First off – be honest with myself. Tell others I need a helping hand when needed. Going forward, I will look out for myself better (we all know employers want employees that can look out for themselves).
Don’t accept others views of myself unless I first believe them!
Most importantly, respecting myself. I should always take the time to have a 1 on 1 with myself and really get a sense of where I’m at. If I need a break, use that vacation that we are so lucky to have!
We tend to forget that if we dont build ourselves up, the world surely wont. (Unless you are lucky enough to have awesome friends that stick through it thick and thin). Burnout happens when you don’t let your support structure help put out of the flame before you become a pile of ash.
So please, take this time to evaluate yourself and your needs. Be honest with yourself. Focus on caring for yourself. Be compassionate to yourself. Let yourself make mistakes, but learn from them.
Focus on the positive. Surround yourself with upbeat people, ditch the negativity, and remind yourself that your future is in your hands. Take it.
Don’t forget that the only difference between a victor and a victim, is their mindset.
Remember, there is no luck, only the work you put in and the effect you see afterwards.