The Power of Doing

05. January 2014 Uncategorized 3

Today my beloved Kansas City Chiefs were on the wrong side of the second biggest comeback in NFL playoff history. They were beating Indianapolis 31-10 at half time. The very first pass of the second half was intercepted and Kansas City went on to a 38-10 lead.  From that point on, they were out scored 35-6 and lost 44-45.  It was their chance to break their playoff drought. They haven’t won a playoff game in 20 years (1994 was the last victory.) They set the record for most consecutive NFL playoff losses at 8.  Like I said, they were on the wrong side of an amazing game (more amazing if you’re a Colts fan or really a fan of any team besides the Chiefs.

I’ve been a Chiefs fan my entire life. I’m somewhat used to these feelings. I remember heart wrenching losses when I was growing up. Times where I would be literally upset after a loss. I’d be mad, not want to talk to anyone, angry etc. I remember getting upset thinking that they weren’t really trying very hard.  All of this was around the time I was in middle school.

To be honest, I didn’t have a lot going on for me in middle school. I wasn’t very good at sports, I did good academically, but that wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t really all that popular. I honestly think I was living through my favorites sports teams, if they were good, then I was good. My identity was in being a fan of the Chiefs.

But tonight I’m experiencing none of that. Am I disappointed? Sure. But I went upstairs and lamented to my wife (who is a Broncos fan, by the way) and then ate supper. I then got on reddit and was cracking jokes about the game.  As I was reading twitter after the fact, I had this exchange with another developer:

This gave me pause to think about why I might be less upset about this than thousands of Chiefs fan across the country today who were cussing, yelling or fighting because of the loss.  One thing that dawned on me is that I’ve got a lot more going on in my life now.

I’m married with 2 kids, I have a job that I really enjoy and I’m learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ).  I think each of these contributes to me having a more balanced view of sports. But one of the main reasons, I think, is because I do things now. I compete in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, so my actual progress in that sport has more impact on my mood than a group of grown men playing a game.

But this isn’t a blog about BJJ, for that you have to check out my other blog. This is a blog about coding. So how does coding effect my mood and attitude about sports? When I’m coding I’m being productive and creative. I’ve written apps that help track diet and nutrition, help learn Biblical Greek vocabulary, are to-do lists, or track the amount of time I’m training in BJJ. I could sit down right now and write an app that does something. I can create something with my ability to code.  Will any of these apps make me financially independent? I seriously doubt it. But it will improve either my quality of life, or someone’s that I care about. It will make a difference in someone’s life.

If I wanted to, I could do some work for my 9-5 job that has a real impact on real peoples lives. Some of the projects they work on directly effect a persons quality of life.  I have the ability to do all of that right now. And chances are if you’re reading this you can as well. You could sit down and improve your JavaScript, learn functional programming, writing a library to make others lives easier, or writing an app to solve a real problem.

What I’ve found is when I do things, instead of just consuming activities (like watching sports or movies) those other activities are balanced out by my ability to accomplish meaningful tasks.