Probably not the best of ideas.
It’s crazy to not feel overwhelmed by how fast the world is accepting and adopting digital technology. The repercussions of which play on our minds; whether to run the race or to leave everything behind and retire to the forests. The answer, thankfully, lies somewhere between the two.
The five stages of grief model (or the Kübler-Ross model) postulates that those experiencing grief go through a series of five emotions: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In my journey of acceptance of the tech driven world, I went through all of them. Having entered the design world as an artist, I felt that I was far behind when it came to tech knowledge and curiosity. I grew up painting, sketching and doodling in my spare time and during class hours in school. I’m a design generalist in a sea of specialists. I graduated as an industrial designer, did a bit of graphic design and textile projects in university. I enjoy trying a bit of everything; combining different ideas and looking at the outcomes in wonderment.
Though I keep myself updated with what’s happening around the world, I lack the innate curiosity in digital technology. With the world progressing ahead to adopting digital technology at a mass scale, I suddenly felt as though my skills and interests were not relevant anymore. I felt the world had adapted to change faster and left me behind. I spent a good amount of time trying to catch up and try the things that were “hot” in my field of work; NFTs, blockchain, programming and user experience design for apps. I did my ground work; reading about them, watching videos, taking courses, trying them out; the whole deal. However, I always came across people who were passionate about these things and hence, surpassed me in every which way. No matter how hard I tried, I just could not compete with them. This left me feeling completely demotivated.
No one can complete with you on being you. Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most” — Naval Ravikant (Co founder and Former CEO of Angelist and avid investor)
It took a while for me to understand that my whole approach to this was wrong. I was trying to compete when there was no competition. I was doing something I didn’t fully understand. I was trying to outperform and best people who had innate passion and talent in the these fields. If I was just not a hundred percent into it, somebody else who is at hundred percent could simply outperform me; by a significant margin.
“Specific knowledge cannot be taught, but it can be learned” — Naval Ravikant (If you have not checked out Naval’s tweets and podcasts yet, you are missing out on gold)
In Eric Jorgenson’s compilation of Naval’s words “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant” a guide to wealth and happiness, (this is a brilliant read) he talks of specific knowledge as figuring out what we were doing as kids almost effortlessly; something we never considered a skill but people around us noticed. It can be anything from sales tactics to spreading gossip.
And maybe, I realised, “what’s hot” may just not be my thing; and if I was not spending my free time googling and digging the internet on these topics just out of curiosity and interest, it probably just wasn’t something I was meant to do and focus my life on. Instead, I should be focussing on channeling my specific knowledge into fields which are more accepting of these innate skills, and making the most of them.
The great thing about being human is that we are all good at something; being our unique selves. And before we try out something that’s “hot” we must make sure that we first understand what it is and then, look for scope to channel our inherent specific knowledge into it.