It’s 3:43 am… I’m completely sober, sleepy, but not tired enough to go to bed.
Instead, I’m thinking of the duality of the human mind, both beast and benevolent. It is a quantum consciousness that we possess, and that we struggle to come to terms with. How the exact same act can be good in one scenario, but evil in another. For a less extreme example, this is something I deal with often…
There are two states of life: Growth and Decay. If you are not growing, you are decaying… dying. The crest of that curve is Comfort. If you follow me around long enough, you’ll hear me say things like “comfort is death” all the time. Getting comfortable is the moment you begin to decay. Yet, being content with whatever it is you already have is the true secret to happiness. If you follow me around long enough, you’ll hear me say things like “when is good enough actually good enough?” I’d love to hear your thoughts, because I have no idea.
How do we find this mysterious thing called Balance? A fine term, as it really is a balancing act on the high wire that represents what we pay attention to. Do you see optimistically, or do the fears of uncertainty scare you away? Is there a calm center that can be found when one has mastered their craft well enough, or is it a constant teeter-totter, leaning side to side to make up ground lost/gained. A tug of war between pride and guilt, confidence and insecurity, trust and paranoia, pizza or burgers… I think you need a little time for each, cuz if you throw all of that in a blender and drink a hardcore smoothie, it will be most unpalatable.
Some of the choices I’ve made, even I find them to be unusual. Instead of a 2-bedroom downtown apartment with an 800 sqft deck I could have built a hockey rink on, I live in a teeny 450 sqft hole in the wall that overlooks the beach. No regrets! But I do realize all the function and extra space I gave up, just to be able to stare out of the window at something nice. This is also the first time I’ve ever lived alone without roommates. Despite the most ideal location and living situation, I am not comfortable. Nor am I uncomfortable. Maybe that’s because I’m always at the office? Hmm…
In any case, I must not get comfortable or my performance and ambition will begin to decay. I cannot think “I’ve made it” yet. At some point in almost everyone’s life, they complete a critical stage and feel like now things are in place where they should be and that’s how the rest of their lives will be. Whether it’s related to school, career, love, starting a family; it doesn’t matter. It’s a satisfaction and stability that comes with the achievement of completing a previous life stage. As good as it feels, it casts a shadow that we drag our feet through.
<!Tangent… Back in 1998, there was a virus spreading around EFnet called through a file titled Life_Stages. Of course, I never got caught, but that was the very first time I thought of the different stages of life, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. />
A good example of this is championship hangovers in sports. Once a team wins the championship, logic would suggest that they would be the odds-on favorite to win again, as they have literally just proven they are the best team. However, the results are quite the opposite. Many championship teams miss the playoffs entirely the next season. Even if they did not lose any key players; what they lost is their hunger. A starving man digs deeper than a curious one.
Before XYO, I worked 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, for four different companies. I did not see my friends for months at a time, or leave the house except to get some In N Out for dinner. I began doing this because I was sick of failing to complete the current life stage I was in. My best friend told me something along the lines of “your whole life, you’ve been talented enough to get by giving only 40% effort.
I wonder what you could actually do if you gave just one thing your all.” It really stuck with me, because I also wondered that my entire life. Because of that quantum consciousness, I was always floating between so many different things at once, that no one thing could ever get my entire effort. After that conversation, it was clear that blockchain and crypto was going to be my future, and I needed to find a home.
I’ve made minor contributions to projects such as Waves, Skycoin, Arqma, and DAV Network. I’ve designed my own exchange (coming soon). I’ve written a book on crypto mining. You all have seen the rigs I built with A-B Engineering — but it was all to see what would stick. Would one thing emerge from the pile that stood worthy above all the rest? Sure enough, something did. That one thing is XYO.
I don’t work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week anymore. My work schedule now is Eat, Sleep, Breathe XYO. There is no time clock or mileage logs. I woke up at 10am today and have spent almost this entire time (on a Saturday) writing. Not this article, something else you’ll all gawk at soon enough. While that paper is now done, I continued onto this, because I felt there was still something more I could do.
Why do I do this?
I work hard now so I can be lazy the rest of my life. Anyone who has followed me around long enough, you’ll hear them say things like “Aaron is one of the laziest people I’ve ever met. He has negative-zero discipline.” That same person then also added, “I’m so proud of him for finally giving it his best. He deserves his success.”
Why did I pick XYO?
Scott, Arie, and Markus are a few life stages ahead of me. They could easily say “I’ve made it” and live in a much bigger place than mine, next to a nicer beach. Instead, they decided to work 16 hours a day, 7 days a week, together at one thing. As a community member, I came to the office several times and saw for myself what wasn’t being marketed; the real dedication and work ethic of the team. Tireless, passionate, and always optimistic.
It puts my own metrics to shame. I signed an enormous NDA to not talk about what goes on, but the developers, Arie, Scott, and many others regularly work over the weekend, not because they always have to, but because they want to. They’re too humble to say it, so I will. As a competitive person, it is inspiring (and frustrating) to be outworked by more people than I can count on one hand.
Even though we’re on main net, and have created apps for Android, iOS, Web, plus hardware kits and the COIN app all in our first year, we will not get comfortable. We will not feel like champions or throw celebrations. We will stay hungry, digging deeper, working hard. The season isn’t even close to being over yet. Everything we’ve done up to this point, that’s only the pre-season. The real game begins now. That game is mass adoption and providing services real people actually use.
It is now 4:43am. I’m finally satisfied with my days’ work, and most uncomfortable as I type that phrase. Whatever. I’m going to bed.
So for any of you out there with game, come contribute and be recognized one day in our Community Spotlight. And if you’re not entirely sold, don’t worry, that’s a good sign you’re not crazy. It’s just the normal duality of a healthy mind.
Aaron Malone, PizzaMind