On a cool evening walk, my mind was racing with thoughts about work, and the associated pressures that come with them.

Are we building the right product?
Are we building it fast enough?
Will the industry move in the direction we believe?
How is the team doing?
Am I messing up?

You know the list.

My heartbeat steadily quickened as more thoughts whirled around in my head. Mistakes I had made, or could make, took over. Negativity and concern began to consume every thought, turning a calming activity into an exercise of numbing stress.

Suddenly, sirens began ringing (similar to those used for nuclear alarms in the 1950's), and my mind went blank. Every thought evaporated.

Slowly, thoughts of my wife and family flowed in: memories of good times, concerns for their safety. I realized where I was again, snapped out of it, and began walking back home. My mind was calm.

It can be far too easy to become overwhelmed, especially from work. The simple sound of a (terrifying) siren was a wonderful reminder of what truly matters in life, and to take immense joy in having them.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Kevin Yien’s story.