Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that I stopped sending my weekly readings summary. So yes, I stopped doing it, and not only because I have been somewhat busy with both work-related and personal issues, but also because I stopped enjoying it.
About a year ago I decided to start sending a weekly update with the best articles from that week. It started innocently as just something that I did with an added value for myself, my team and anyone reading my blog. But slowly, very slowly, it became a kind of obsession. Every week I would read and read, trying to find great articles to share. I subscribed to loads of daily and weekly mailing lists to get more material to read, added more RSS sources, more twitter accounts to follow. Not having enough high value material to send every week depressed me. It simply stopped being fun, and became a burden. So I decided to stop doing it. Even if it has loads of value, improves my reputation or whatever.
There is an ongoing theme in the tech world of “do what you love”. My personal view is that you can’t. Most of us want security, a steady paycheck and a place where we can work hard but not worry if tomorrow the money is going to stop flowing. We need food, clothing, a house, car, 5 phones, 3 pads, 2 laptops… and don’t get me started about the cost of kids. Most of us simply can’t say one day “Hey, I love working with Lego so I’ll just leave my job and start a Lego building/training/teaching/whatever shop, and since this is what I love, then things will just work out”. Maybe some can, but not everyone.
But at least we can stop doing what we HATE.
Another example that comes to my head is TDD. I tried doing TDD a while ago and after 2/3 months I really started to hate programming because of TDD. And Wwile TDD may help create better and more robust software, it reduced my desire to program. So I stopped doing it.
So when everyone writes/says that doing something is important (i.e. daily routine, running in the morning, task lists, etc), and they even have proof that it is good for you, but you hate doing it, know that you can stop whenever you want. Happiness makes everything better, and doing things you don’t like kills your happiness. So stop doing them. Maybe then you will find that without them you are already doing something you love. It may not be your dream or your ultimate love, but something that you are happy to do everyday and that makes you happy.