I'd like to talk about sex.
There now that I have your attention, I'm going to inevitably disappoint you.
Oh yes, I'm going to talk about sex, but as an example and metaphor for how people handle their careers wrong. Come to think of it , that probably provokes your morbid curiosity at the very least.
We all know promiscuous people, the kind of folks who brag about their sex lives, their one night stands, their avoidance of assorted social diseases. You know the kind of people I'm talking about–the folks to whom sex is kind of like racking up the score in a videogame. A hot, sweaty, regret–filled videogame that often involves embarrassing Facebook pictures.
Now I'm certainly no prude, as anyone who has ever met me knows, but people like those I mention always make me wonder one thing; what the hell is the point?
I ask this because it seems emotionally unsatisfying, shallow, manipulative, and in many ways a sheer waste of resources. Yes, I said waste of resources.
What's the point of racking up a “score” with as many people you barely know as possible? It builds no foundations, requires a great deal of effort with very little payoff, and leaves you at best with bragging rights.
Now, how many of our everyday activities are just as pointless? How many of us are keeping “score” by doing things that really don't achieve anything, yet take a lot of time and energy? How many of us are doing things that give us bragging rights or short-term ego hits, but nothing else?
The higher paycheck that we get while ignoring the stress it brings. The expensive car we don't need. The pretentious but boring TV show we peruse to look cool - as opposed to watching Kaiju films with friends. A lot of us are doing things for all the wrong reasons things that don't really matter, a lot of us are trying to “keep score” with things that don't really do anything important in the end.
We can even keep score by working too hard – looking at titles and the amount of publications we're in or something similar.
So ask yourself this: how much of your life is just “scoring” something it doesn't matter to you, your career, or your geeky ambitions? How much is done without a connection to something greater–even the simple connection of having fun and enjoying time with your friends?
Ask yourself what matters.