A different story

I usually have a picture here and talk about tech. I talk about some cool stuff that I learned, or some amazing new technology I want to learn about. I do believe that writing is therapeutic and it can bring change, bring hope, and express emotion that is retained for years, especially with cloud storage now.

I have lived in several place in my life, Florida, New Orleans, Seattle, and Atlanta to name the main ones. Throughout my journey I have met some amazing people. I have taught kids how to dance, some how to read, and some how to code. I believe we are here to help each other grow, help each other be aware of opportunities, and learn from the wisdom of those who came before us.

Recently I have encountered a number of 20 somethings that are so disconnected to what it takes to succeed and have such a sense of self-confidence that it baffles me. I think they are so connected to social media that everything is available to them. “I want to talk to Justin Bieber”, “Oh, I just tweeted him yesterday, he’s good”. But is he? Do you know how he really is? Is Kim Kardashian your friend because you follow her on Facebook? Do you have 10k+ followers so you are a media-success, or do you just post and re-post, for a year until you get that not knowing what you are even sharing. Is your goal to get 100,000 followers, or to actually make a change in someone’s life? Are you just trying to make a million dollars, or are you doing something that is really helping the world?

I often hear that as soon as I make my first million, I’ll start giving back. As soon as I… lose 10 pounds, run my first marathon, publish my first book, get my 10,000th follower. That is not how time works. We always talk about precious commodities. Your only precious commodity is time. It is what you are doing right now. It is planning your next thing, it is DOING your next thing. Stop waiting… and realize that you can’t do it alone.

You can’t wake up one day and be on the Justin Bieber tour (props to @CCHANDLER89 ) It takes work. It takes practice. You can’t just wake up and be a developer, you need to practice, you need to study, and you need to write code A LOT. You are not entitled. You are not special. You are as special as everyone else. Develop your work ethic, learn to listen more and talk less, don’t drop buzzwords and think you can get away with it like you know something.

Just because I’m generally nice, does not mean I am not aware of manipulation you are attempting. I am just allowing it because it is what you need at this time to make you feel OK. I listen a lot to people. I talk a lot too. I realize that when conversations become monologues communication is not happening, and it often becomes a competition of who has done more, has more, looks better, knows more people, or whatever.

I can’t compete with you, I can’t be you. I can’t even come close. More importantly, I want to share my precious commodity of time with you to help us both grow. Who I know doesn’t matter, what I know matters a little, what I can teach matters a lot, and what I do at this moment matters the most.

You will hit difficult times and I think those who haven’t hit it yet, may have a harder fall. I am grateful (now) that I hit some rocky spots early on in life. It is those falls that matter more than any success. Why? Because I’m still here, and I’m still doing something. I’m not a world-class public speaker, I’m not a politician, I’m not a millionaire, I’m just a developer who loves to teach and help.

So to the world, stop talking over each other, stop trying to prove that you are amazing on your social channels, stop sharing only the best… but share the truth. You may not be OK right now, but no one will know. If you pretend long enough… that won’t work. Ask for help. Be honest. Be honest about the worst thing in your life. Watch how you feel when you truly trust someone else.

Don’t put on this false bravado, but help each other. Competition is great when it is friendly. I have done jiujitsu, played basketball, and was an avid swimmer for years. I love that competition. However, I leave it there and then bond with my competitors because they are going through the same thing I am. You are not alone in your challenges and it will only help when you stop talking about your fake self and become your true self on who you are actually meant to be.

Stop the entitlement, the fake communication, and let’s get real with each other. I think we have had enough of the disrespect, apathy, and lack of awareness of others around us.