Thursday, February 12, 2009

Work Like Hell

It's confirmed...

This is probably the most uninspiring and stress-inducing title to start a post.

But yet, this quality is certainly a cornerstone for every legend that the world has come to know of, and for every hero that lives in our hearts. Extracting from an article in CNN - What it takes to be great & other interesting reads:
  1. Warren Buffett is famed for his discipline and the hours he spends studying financial statements of potential investment targets
  2. Tiger Woods started golf at 18 months and is constantly practicing and improving his game
  3. Winston Churchill comments on his speech practice that "If I don't practice for a day, I know it. If I don't practice for two days, my wife knows it. If I don't practice for three days, the world knows it."
  4. Lee Kuan Yew is a workaholic and we all know that
  5. "Diligence is the mother of good luck." - Benjamin Franklin
  6. Steve Jobs got sacked, continued working like crazy, came back to Apple and took the world by storm and then gets sick (most unfortunately)
  7. The list continues for another 134,487,349 pages (I'll put a cartoon here instead of boring you)

Of course, putting in that extra effort and yet maintaining an interest and staying happy is often easier said than done. But the real point I'm trying to drive is not only should we bury ourselves in our core work (our main job or course of study, etc) but also be active in aspects outside of this core role we have.

I was doing Computer Engineering while in NUS but I went on to take some extra modules "for fun". In particular, I had an interest in Java ME and mobile games and despite a possible risk to my overall grades, I decided "what-the-heck". I took up CS4344 and together with my buddy pieced together something playable and took away some great experience with it. (We created the site a day before submission so pardon the crappy feel and as it's hosted on a really old page, some links might not be working already).

time spent working on Elemental Legend (mobile game for CS4344)

Things get worse when we step into the working society. We have more responsibility, endless datelines, and an inbox that should be labeled as "the only box in my life". And sadly, this is often the time we fail to continue learning. To this date though, I must say I'm probably 50% close to what I envision as working/learning like hell. Despite being a Java person, I'm dabbling with python on the Google App Engine and just monkey-ing around with the iPhone SDKs (YES! I got myself a new Macbook).

So, to have a matching ending to this boringly titled post, it's time to get on with work...

- dmon

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