Adulting 1 - Remember, No-one actually knows what they are doing:

One of the results of writing this kind of self-absorbed nonsense on a regular basis is that you do start to remember things from the past. And if you're anything like me you then start to reconsider them.

That's me all over you see I overthink things. It's probably a feature of everyone's life that we gnaw at the past even though we were different people then, can change none of it & wouldn't be the people we are without it.

The occasion I remember is one of those schoolyard conversations between 7 year olds. It was the “What are you going to do when you grow up?” conversation.

Amongst the group that were there were the typical answers "I'm going to be a footballer, policeman, soldier, doctor & train driver".

I don't know why I said what I said it was probably the first thing that came into my head but I said "I'm going to build robots" Bearing in mind that this was probably around 1978 and the ZX81 didn't come out for another 3 years. I was understandably laughed at for many days for saying such a stupid thing.

Robots were from the telly, they were a future fantasy, very rarely benign, sometimes paranoid and usually the bad guy's assistant.

Fast forward many years later to the realisation I had recently. While it's true that I have never in fact built a robot. I have spent the best part of the last 20-years in my professional career selling and project managing process automation for the welding industry which increasingly these days is using AI.

In one of my previous posts I celebrated the positive effects of the mad idea in the pub (Places 8 - Malin Head, Inishowen, Co Donegal, Ireland).  A very positive thing happened at that point because of a mad idea that we all followed through on.

So while I'm not in a laboratory wearing a white coat bolting robots together at least part of that silly statement has come true. Furthermore it's been an important part of my career to this point.

I'm only in touch with two people from that time in my life. I can't remember when either of them had chosen to pursue as a career at that point.  Given that as a 48 year old, I still don’t know now, this is probably not a big surprise.

In that sense the liberating thought for me recently has been to remember that no-one actually knows what they are doing, it’s everyone’s first go at this.

So build the robot, or chase the unicorns, but always dream the dream and chase the Butterflies.


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