One year ago, I stumbled upon The Dip by Seth Godin.
I wrote earlier about it (but well, deleted it together with the rest of my old blog, Organized Chaos) - and how I got something new out of it each time I read it.
Without knowing that it's been a year, I recently started rereading The Dip again. Somehow, I felt compelled to re-read it as part of my attempt to understand and discern (a 'deep' word these days in this phase of my life) whether I should make a move or not.
And again, I got something new out of it: If you can't be the best in what you do in a certain situation, either re-create and redefine the situation such that you can be in your top form or get out.
That's exactly what I did - I tried to redefine the rules with the hopes of redefining the situation I was in so as to get a sense of accomplishment, or being remarkable at the end of each day.
So I got out.
A lot of my friends and even colleagues and former bosses told me I was making a stupid move. It was - in one of my ex-bosses' words - what every one was looking for. It was, as Nigel and Emily from The Devil Wears Prada (yes, that movie again) defined as "the job that a million other girls (and boys) would kill for".
And I could see where they were coming from: I come in at 9am, I plonk myself in front of the PC and do my work, I log off at 6pm, head to one of my evening activities - Spanish classes, readings in Stats and Econometrics, readings in Philosophy, visits to the library, dinner with friends, partying and a little bit of drinking, and gym (not on the same night...).
But that, I told my ex-bosses and colleagues who still work 12-15-hour days, how I want my life to be. I want to be able to use whatever talents I have been blessed with - and make full use of all the learnings I have gathered from 12 years of working with other people (making mistakes, perfecting processes, perfecting the art of asking questions and quantifying them, making sure that things are "perfect enough").
Anything short of that is, well, not for me.
Sure, it's also about the money. But it's not just about the money - or even tenure or security or whatever else you can think of.
It's personal fulfillment - and the chance to be good and remarkable.
Seth Godin made a request - "take it off the shelf and lend it to someone".
I am sorry, Mr. Godin, I can't. It just is too useful for me. Don't get me wrong - it's not the best book I have read. It's amongst the better books, for sure. If I were to be stuck in an island for a year and can only bring 10 books, it sure will be one of those 10 books (alongside those books by NNTaleb and Mark Buchanan, and ET Jaynes). I tend to be very protective of my books (you should see my apartment shelves - they're full of books). I am happy, however, to tell others about it. In fact, I have bought a couple of friends copies of your book. And I would even gladly buy some of my friends one for their birthdays and anniversaries and farewells and all. But sorry, I just can't part with my copy just yet. Perhaps next year.