What is your philosophy of life toward work?
If you asked me this 20 years ago, my answer would be vastly different than today. When I was younger, I was always looking for that next step in opportunity, responsibility, etc. Since HS, I worked multiple jobs at one time and if I wasn't making "forward" progress, I viewed it as sliding backwards.
Well that was f*%#[email protected]
It didn't take too long into my professional career to learn that even in the best of company's, you're still just a number. Having been laid off, passed over, and d*%$#% around more than I care to even think about, I have very much adopted the "I work to live, not the other way around" approach. Even when I was running my own company, my drive was very much "do what you have to do, not do all that you can do".
Although I'm well paid, I could easily be more well paid, pushing more to move up the career ladder. Truth be told, it is just not something I'm interested in, at least at the moment. While my (and my wife's) current position gives our family a lot of financial freedoms and flexibility, what makes me happy is being able to do the things we want, when we want, and not being a slave to any company. I like being able to focus on what is important, and for me - that's my family and friends.
What is your philosophy on life?
This one is a bit harder to put into words. There's a lot that I could say, but it's probably easier to me to list a few things that are important to me...
The first would be speaking up for those who can't (or won't) speak up for themselves (be it humans, animals, whatever). I've always been a "big brother", even before my younger brother was born. I could take personal teasing for days and never care. However, all the school yard fights that I got into in my life were always when someone was picking on or attacking my friends.
I'm not a religious guy, even though I spent years going to church and CCD classes. I even took biblical study classes during my undergrad years. While I can certainly see the value in having a larger sense of community, it's mainly just bull$hit to me and has likely done more harm than good. That said, I have helped a local church rebuild their softball field seats, have volunteered at church-run soup kitchens, and even spent my own money to make a multimedia cart for the church that one of my best friend's went to. The fact that it was tied to a church meant nothing to me, my focus was always on the community. The multimedia cart was fun to build and I enjoyed it, but the main reason for doing it was because it was important to my friend, so by extension it became important to me (he was going to make it with OSB board and nails... ewww!). I guess that's probably another motto of mine - I care about the things that those that are close to me care about, and I try my best to be genuine about it.
A younger me would have probably given a response about "responsibility", particularly personal responsibility. As an older, wiser version of myself, I think more about accountability. More importantly, I understand the differences between the two.
I think, at times when pondering about life, what I would say to a younger version of myself, especially during the rough times (and there were many!). If I only had 30 seconds to distill it all down, I'd say...
1) don't sweat the small stuff
2) blood =/= family
3) you CAN do it!
4) for every criticism, give 10 praises
5) enjoy every day - even the shitty ones
What is your philosophy on failure?
Failure is the Great Teacher. Failure is as humbling as it is motivational (or perhaps it should be with a healthy view of it). As a parent, it can be hard to see your kid fail, especially without interjecting. But when you understand that failure is part of building coping mechanisms and is one of the many fuels that fans internal fires, it's value becomes increasingly apparent.