searching for meaning.
The motivation for finding meaning and why this discourse is important.
Depression and I have known each other for as long as I can remember. She’s a homeowner inside my mind — a nagging and humbling neighbor. Through these ongoing and cyclical battles (denial, victories, defeats, acceptance), I’ve developed a habit of trying to find reason and motivation for this existence.
Humans have an innate desire and habit to find purpose in everything we do (professionally or personally). Defining “meaning”, in whatever context, allows us to feel a sense of reason and motivation for action.
As data practitioners, we look for meaning in numbers, strings, booleans, and charts. We spend time building scalable infrastructure to reliably deduce questions into answers. As humans, we look for meaning in our day to day interactions, in our career choices, in what we do when we’re not working (if we ever give ourselves the chance to).
Discussing this topic is like boiling the ocean — impractical and arguably pointless. But if we forget to ask ourselves these impossibly big questions, then we’ll lose sight of the reason behind the work we do and the fulfillment behind the life we live.
This argument is very “big picture” and vague, so let’s dive into what this looks like in practice:
When we’re building and managing a team, what is the purpose of the manager and why is it so difficult?
What is the purpose behind the problems (and indirect problems) we’re solving and how does this contribute to the company’s big picture?
Why is there tension between data teams, our stakeholders and, more specifically, the executives?
The distaste for Silicon Valley’s culture and yet continuing to play the corporate Squid Game
Finding beauty and recluse in “the little things”
Defining and searching for personal fulfillment
Understanding what we do, why do we do it, and reexamining if we should
These writings will be told in the form of stories and experiences. I will not give answers, but propose more questions. The motivation behind this “newsletter” is to stimulate discussions that stem beyond the tactical work we do and hopefully give recluse that no one knows what they’re doing. But the hope is that we can all join the journey to that destination, albeit knowing that the destination is subjective to what meaning is to you.