It's Monday, marking the beginning of yet another week. Another week of wondering if we're on the right track. Sunday night reflections are the worst.
I often question myself if it's too late for me to become this or do that. And the funny thing is, a lot of this comes down to a preconceived notion that I need to have achieved X by Y age. It can feel like telling a fish to climb a tree by Y date – it absolutely makes no sense!
"It’s an odd question, because it implies that past a certain age, we’re unable to adequately learn new things, as if our brain becomes static and who we are is who we’ll be forever. This notion is supported by proverbs like “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and the idea that it’s impossible to learn a new language past a certain age."
The deeper question is one around tradeoff. That is, if I start now, will I be guaranteed success by Y date?
"What I really think people are asking from the question, though, is, “Will I achieve success in this field, given my late start?”"
Who can really answer that question but ourselves? And yet because of the uncertainty surrounding this future, we're unwilling to try new things.
Infamous millennial pharmaceutical entrepreneur Martin Shkreli was once asked how he was so smart and "accomplished" and his answer was strikingly humble and direct: life is about trade-offs. While Shkreli spent most of his life building pharma companies and understanding that space, he doesn't know much if at all about history.
It's never "too late" to start something. We just have to figure out what tradeoffs we're ok with.
"You’re not someone who has wasted however many number of years, you’re someone who has X years ahead of you. What will you do with them?"
We often misattribute burnout to working too long or hard, but that's just a vague umbrella. Ultimately, "burnout results when the balance of deadlines, demands, working hours, and other stressors outstrips rewards, recognition, and relaxation.” This notion led to researchers coming up with six components of the workplace that could lead to burnout: workload, control, reward, community, fairness and values.
To overcome burnout, the primary remedy is to focus on our daily care – eat well, sleep well, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Use exercise in between long work days to mentally reset (pro tip: if you're at a tech company this means hit the pingpong tables).
Second, break up the work – large projects are vague but if we can break it down into sizable chunks, we may feel more accomplished at each checkpoint.
Lastly, do something new this week – try a new restaurant, take a new exercise class, or pick up playing piano at night. These new experiences can rejuvenate us.
Got that friend or co-worker you talk alot about "life" stuff with?
Fad diets be damned. One year it's keto, the next year it's all about being gluten free. It's hard enough keeping up with them much less actually doing the diet. Most diets have pretty confusing names, but non more misleading than the Paleo Diet.
Gym girl: It's just whatever a caveman or cave woman would eat.
Bro #1: It's all about laying off the carbs, brah.
Now let's think about that for a second. If both phrases were true, that would mean cavemen sitting around a campfire, asking each other to "pass the protein" but lay off the legumes and potatoes.
We're no experts on cavemen, but we're pretty sure they were eating whatever they could find to survive.
Fight or flight. Paleo or die. Rah Rah.
Here's to conquering our 20s and 30s together. See you back in your inbox tomorrow!