I've been duped.

For pretty much the whole year, I've been under the false assumption that in order to become the best version of myself possible I needed to focus on one thing and one thing only — my career. Being a web developer, that transpired into endless hours of coding — weekends and weekdays — reading articles exclusively with a focus on learning new tech and allowing very limited time to focus on some of my other passions; such as writing and not becoming obese. (Still need to go for that New Year's Day run 🏃🏾‍♂️)

It's taken me 12 months to realise, but now I see that this obsession with becoming The Ultimate Coding Champion is unhealthy and in all honesty, just sad.

My Ultimate Fighting Champion equivalent

But it's not the first time I've done something like this. Back in 2013 when I was studying for my A-Levels, I focused solely on getting the best grades and very little else for that whole year. In fairness, I had some ground to make up for with just average AS results, so I was always going to push myself. But in doing so, I alienated my dreams. I stopped thinking about the kind of man I'd wanted to become by now. I simply let my education take over my whole life.

"But I hear you went to a pretty decent uni, so what's the beef?"
True, but the feeling of regret from neglecting my dreams is still strong.
"I hear you fam."
Safe.

The worrying thing is, both now and then, this happened all too easily. Almost like clockwork I slipped into the lie that if all I do is work, nothing can go wrong in my life. I'll always have money, I'll always have something to fall back on and I'll always have money.

That ain't right.

I'm wise enough to know that work and money is not and can never be the ultimate goal for my life. Any feeling of happiness or success is short-lived; replaced by the feelings of failure that come from the inevitable mistakes made the following day.

So outside of my 8-4, I'm starting to face my dreams again: writing books, creating a YouTube channel to inspire & encourage people, living somewhere abroad like America or Canada and as mentioned earlier, grabbing some sweats and going for that run. Just six continuous minutes and I can finally cross that off! (Start off small right? 😉)

I know I need to check myself and now I'm asking if you'll do the same. I get it, levelling up career-wise is exciting and fulfilling, but there's so much more we can explore during our short time on this planet. And I know I don't want to waste another day focusing on that one thing alone.

Family, friends, beautiful strangers — whatever your relation is to me — hold me accountable. I never again want to fall victim to The Deception of The Grind.