Avoiding the siren's call
I've been extremely busy over the past couple of months, working on a variety of things. What I've just realized this past week though is that I'm not where I want to be. And what's even more frustrating is that I've been down this road a million times before, yet I still stupidly keep going down it, because the siren's call from it is so alluring.
What I'm talking about is web design and how it plays a part in my life. Yes, I enjoy web design and have never ever regretted learning it. And yes, I believe that I'm fairly proficient with it as well, proficient enough to do it professionally. But just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you should.
You see I didn't learn web design to become a web designer. I learnt web design because I was fascinated with the Web and wanted to explore it, play with it, and learn about it. In doing so, I realized it was an open platform that could empower people greatly through social sharing and interaction. Thus I wasn't fascinated by the technology so much as I was by what the Web could do for the people as an empowering platform of social interaction and collaboration.
I'm not learning a technical skill to master it and do it professionally. I'm learning and using it as a tool to help me to achieve my own greater passion, purpose, and vision in life.
What I've realized is that this same thing applies to any type of technical skill that I've come across and learnt. I'm not learning a technical skill to master it and do it professionally. I'm learning and using it as a tool to help me to achieve my own greater passion, purpose, and vision in life. Thus the technical skill is like a stepping stone that gets me to where I want to be and doing what I want to do.
For example, at the same time the Web was rising in prominence in the early nineties, so too were immersive online multiplayer games. Fascinated by these immersive 3D environments and the emergent collaborative nature of these games that required real teamwork to pull off, I jumped in head first to explore them. Again it was here that I used my newly learnt web skills not to build websites for others but to build them for myself. In effect, I used web design as one of my many technical skills to create the empowering community and cultural environments that I wanted to play and learn within.
So yes, web design is important to me, as it allows me to build the online communities which are a part of my passion, purpose, and vision in life but again I can't focus on web design so much so that I lose myself within it trying to master it completely. Again, I must remember it is only a means to an end.
Illustration via Wikipedia