Do something else, become better at what you love

Ok, time for a short “professional development” post to balance out all of the technical stuff.

For a couple of years, I worked as a spin instructor on the side. It was initially something I wanted to try for the challenge, it proved to have a lot of other benefits to my life besides the obvious health impact.

Performance tuning, IRL edition.

I picked up a huge amount of tricks and patterns along the way. Some of them may appear a little abstract, like working with diverse groups of people, dealing with motivations and meeting expectations, getting comfortable with public speaking and managing nervousness. Others are much more tangible, like microphone skills.

Then again, there are plenty of superpowers that will probably never be very relevant to my (current) line of work, like counting in a beat of a song.

But I digress: Having that extracurricular activity has an immense potential to improve your ability to do other things that you love or get paid for. You don’t have to go and apply to your local gym, and it doesn’t even have to be very expensive – just pick anything that challenges you.

You’ll find that even though the specific superpowers from your hobby may not apply at all to your work, there will be unexpected, derived skills and understandings, that will help you grow as a human and as a professional.

I’m sure there’s a management book on the topic, but this is my short version of it. Now, go and do awesome things!