The Call to Adventure

Zan. August, 2023

3 minutes

My friend Kevin following me up Star Chek (YDS 5.9)

Lost at Sea

These past couple of weeks, I've had Van Neistat's words revolving around my head:

"If you haven't figured out your life's purpose, then your life's purpose is to figure it out. But if you reach the age of 25 and you're not hot on the trail, then your life's purpose might not be your career. In other words, 25 should be your cutoff if you're trying to find your thing - the thing you do for a living. And if you reach the age of 25 and you haven't found your thing, find the thing that will pay you the most money for the skills you have. Forget finding your passion." [-1]

Over the last six months, moving to Canada and embracing new passions like skiing and rock climbing have given me the space to ponder life's big questions. What do I want to do? What am I genuinely good at? What fuels the fire in my soul? With so few commercial endeavors aligning with my personal values and my mission to use software as a tool for intellectual empowerment, creativity, and connection, I've meditated on the notion that perhaps software isn't my true passion - my life's calling.

This uncertainty, compounded by the AI revolution's impact on the field and my lack of resonance with projects leveraging it, has left me feeling somewhat paralyzed.

A Misty Cove

I've learned this year of the importance to give myself space. Getting out into the forest and up in the mountains a few times a week to climb has done wonders for me. While climbing I feel expansive. I feel like I'm ready for anything life throws at me.

I feel like I'm getting an idea of the shape of the developments in AI, and I have some inklings as to where we might end up. I'm not as lost as I was six months ago. At the end of the day, experience takes place within us; there's no way to short circuit that. The prospect of working with LLM enhanced tools for increasing connection, joining the dots, helping with writing, helping with project management, having better ideas and iterating faster have me fired up.

The Trailhead

I've been going back and forth on how hard I actually want to work, whether or not software can fill the passion component of work, or if it's going to be a stable career that gives me the freedom to do other things. For the right project, I'm ready to dedicate myself, work really hard and do something meaningful/worthwhile—tightly interwoven concepts for me—in the software space. I need to step outside the hype and into my values.

Just because people are constantly booting up low effort cash grab start-ups in AI and investors are forking out cash hand over fist to every other LLM powered x or y that's out there doesn't mean that I need to resent the technology or the space. At the end of the day, products that build genuine connection and capability are going to survive. Harnessing the power of AI and LLM's to provide new perspectives and find analogies is where I find my calling now.

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