Normally I’m immersed in technology and juggling bits and bytes in different form factors around in what you might call an echo-chamber of like-minded people. I’m not sure that this is all that healthy, but honestly, I do enjoy it. This been something of a calling since my dad brought home a Commodore 64 back in late 1983.
For me, it’s more than a job. It’s not something I do, it’s who I am. It defines me.
It’s not all pure tech though, much of my job also revolves around creating value of that tech. Optimizing the usage of IT to create business value, and this mostly involves talking to real human beings. I enjoy that part of it as well, I can count my self lucky — I get to interact with both technology and people, and both interest me immensely. The problem arrises when live and breathe your job, and the lines between work and personal time are so blurry that you can hardly see them. Sure, you might have family, kids and all that good stuff, but some of us are hot-wired to let your work take over your life. Especially if your work is also your passion.
When that happens, how do you “break out of the cycle” and recharge your batteries to prevent occupational burnout?
For me, the relief valve comes in the form of coaching football. Real football, not the handegg style. I’ve been a coach for the teams my daughter has been playing for since she was six. That’s nine years and running. The hours upon hours spent on the training field, matches and trips around the country or even abroad has been well worth it. Firstly because this makes me shut out all the tech. It forces me to focus on something completely different, something non-tech. Something more basic, something more human.
During these nine years, I’ve learned a heck of at lot. Mostly about myself, but also about others. How I handle different situations and most importantly other people. How we interact with each other, how others react when things don’t go their way. How some parents seems to completely lose track of why their kids are playing, even that it is they’re kids that are playing, and not themselves. I’ve witnesses how parents, especially fathers, try to live their own childhood dreams through their children. Believe me, it’s ugly. Happily I’ve also seen how some people step up and support everyone, not just their own kids, but everyone on the team or even the opposing team. Selfless support is a powerful thing;
The most important lesson I’ve learned is this; we’re not created equal. We are not all the same. We react to things differently, and we have different opinions. We aren’t all cast from the same mould. And it damn sure is your responsibility as a human being to acknowledge that fact.
And this is where the perspective comes in. If you immerse yourself in too much non-human things, I think you lose a bit of your own humanity. You lose a bit of yourself. Dare to let go of your passion some times, dare to question things and most importantly: