Oct 19 2017


Published by at 2:48 pm under student

(This post was authored by Mr. John Simmons)

Balance facilitates a productive, ethical outlook. Balance encompasses work, hobbies, and all other things besides. I might say that balancing these activities is an everyday goal, but I believe that counteracts success. Seasonal approaches to life foster the best results in my experience. Of course, I am at the point where getting my foot into the door industry-wise is what truly matters. While living a balanced life sounds all well-and-good, it does undeniably reduce my chances at a successful career from the onset. Getting started on the upward spiral of professional-level labor has lots of strings attached. I need to have the overall capital, so lazing around for any extended period of time will do me no good; it is too carefree for my tastes. I doubt employers will care for my capacity for leisure compared to what I can accomplish with my nose to the grindstone. By the way, I am defining leisure as hobby pursuits that foster indulgence rather than raw output. So again, employers will definitely want to see me at my peak performance and efficiency. Given the competition, that means laboring overtime to come out a cut above the rest. Vacations are secondary when success happens right now. In that sense, professionalism (indicative of success) extends to both on-the-clock activity and off-the-clock pursuits.


For me, those off-the-clock pursuits deduce to more work, except usually these works will end up benefiting mostly me rather than some other entity. There are still plenty of service obligations that must be met to satisfy the soul but realistically speaking, unless it is one’s exceptional calling, service hours comprise a small percentage of people’s time in lieu of what they can do for themselves and others; you can only give what you got in this regard, and I am no different. Mentioning ‘others’ may somewhat cancel out the selfishness of what I just said on a surface-level. Deeper down, however, it is a different story. The best way to help yourself is often means offering yourself up to others whole-heartedly. This could be considered self-marketing. The best way to market yourself, proven time and time again by free trial after trial, involves giving 90% of yourself away for free so that you can successfully yet sensibly charge for the remaining 10%. When I say ‘yourself’, I am not saying that compartmentalizing and selling your soul is the answer; investing your time and energies will suffice. Save your soul for the ones who truly deserve it (family, friends, God, et cetera).

This may be hard to stomach, the idea of laboring to the idle praises of contemporary peers and to no monetary benefit. Well, there is no DIRECT monetary benefit. Back to the idea of self-marketing, helping others often turns into a mutual agreement and perhaps evolves into a substantial relationship if all continues to go well. The best way to prove yourself in the eyes of the masses is to provide value. Yes, value is a product of labor unless laziness for whatever reason serves some unusually productive purpose, but I am not addressing outliers here. Raw value cannot be defined at such a high level without generalizing, so figuring out what value means in any field will require field-specific understanding. Knowing what it means will open the gateway of opportunity. Creating that value will draw people in and immerse them into the creator’s network. Having a network vastly improves one’s chances. There is only so much a single human can do in a society built upon cooperative effort. Kickstarting a career will almost always involve outside help whether that attributes a hiring company or a loyal consumer-base. Personally, pretty much everything I do on a daily basis somehow involves others. Each day I participate in college, work my internship, and pursue passion pursuits—all three of these are socially stimulated.

Passion makes these commitments so much easier to undertake as well. When you strike upon passion, it literally alters the approach you take to life. Motivation hits and it does not matter if you are in a dead-end job, because when not working that job you are developing that necessary skillset. If you are not, then that passion was probably a spur-of-the-moment adrenaline rush rather than a life-changing revelation. Passion fueled my struggle to learn all of what I know about software development over just one summer. There was that desire to be lazy, but my desire to become grew greater overtime, trumping my laziness outright. As of now, spending several-hour sessions coding happens weekly and even daily if there is time for it. A few months ago, I could not dedicate more than a couple hours just coding without my attention-span waning; this happened while I had the whole day to myself. These days, I am hard-pressed to find time for my programmatic passion pursuits. School always comes first both in time-consumed and overall prioritization compared to coding. I am attending college for a degree, after all.


Establishing the seasonal lifestyle necessary for the degree demands habitual health. Laziness causes most people to think in terms of energy and not in doing. Energy is a pretty cheap commodity anyways, so get used to using it up! Goal-setting and scheduling are two possible ways to curb one’s laziness. I wake up each day to a nice array of posted notes outlining the rest of my day. I sit down at my computer with a plan in mind and goals to keep me motivated. Having an established routine facilitates productivity when there are so many distractions around. Different techniques work for different people. For example, posted notes put me on track for the rest of the day while the pomodoro timing technique induces positive workflow; they might not do this for others. Finding what works individually is very important. That way, you can buckle down and get it done efficiently. Playing around with different techniques will pave the way. Whatever the case, it has been scientifically proven that humans learn best through play and experimentation. It took me several years to come into my own with coding, so do not expect an overnight miracle. Do expect that through hard work and grit progress will be made, fulfillment obtained, and balance redefined into seasons.

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