Note: I’m currently in Paris on my way to India for my business partner, Kunjan’s, wedding. I’ll be traveling until after his wedding, working almost every night, and returning to the US during the first week of February. Wondering how this is possible or how I could keep up with work? Check out my next post about how Kunjan and I are able to do what we love and keep productive no matter where we are in this world! Hint: It starts with having a passion you live for every day.
Dec 14th, 2011
30,000 ft in the air above the Atlantic
Flying over the Atlantic. It seems so calm the vast ocean below. The slow wave of the current seems motionless from above. It seems extraordinary, as massive an expanse that an ocean is, that we as humans have crafted a way to traverse this body of water with ease. Building large metal birds to carry us that now create migration patterns if you look at popular flight paths over different seasons:
A lot of small ideas, discoveries, and inventions over time coalesced to reach the reality we are at today where we can jump on a plane and be anywhere in the world within a day or two.
It begins with a single seed; someone looking up at the birds flying overhead and imagining the impossible: “how can I fly?”.
Our ideas, our visions, our creations allow the most unbelievable possibilities in this world. If you imagine, just 100 years ago, the commercial flight I’m taking to Paris was unheard of.
Now we live in a world where collaboration can happen between talented individuals from all over the world, all coming together for one idea, one vision, one belief. The internet is allowing for the mom and pop clothing store around the corner to reach a global audience by connecting with those interested not just in the local neighborhood, but across the world. Customers are now only limited by their access to a computer with the internet rather than geographic location — and the definition of computer with the internet is slowly becoming all our mobile devices we carry in our pockets and purses.
What software engineers have seen since the very first computers programs were being written was that this gap of geography meant endless possibilities in the digital space. A developer working in the Europe can produce something just as valuable as someone in San Francisco because the raw materials(code) and tools(text editors) are digital. As computer programmers, we’re literally shaping the foundations of this digital world. We plant our seeds, our applications and humans across the world interact with them, growing with them, and changing the initial application based on their needs. For instance, looking at the history of the web browser (wikipedia), we can see how it has evolved from the early 90s to where it is now as a great example of how a simple idea and creation can flourish and grow based on the needs(inputs) of those who interact with it.
Anything is truly possible in the digital space.
I can put out a seed, a thought into this little blog of mine and it can potentially reach people all across the world at the click of a button. Think about the value you could be sharing. Think about what invention or creation you could be making. Each one of us is like a vessel. We hold thoughts, ideas, experiences in it and throughout our life we pour them into other people’s vessels when we interact. Sometimes we keep our vessels tightly guarded because we don’t want others peeking in and our vessel leaves this world without watering others.
What the digital world has shown us is what has always been true in the physical world — we make this world we live in. We do. All of us. Together. As individuals we deliberately can choose how we contribute, how we interact with each-other, and how we go about our daily lives. As human beings we have free will under any circumstance as long as we have the courage to use it.
We are here for reasons. Live it. Believe it. Do it. And then share your inner wisdom the way only YOU can.
It can be in the smallest or largest of ways. As small as a simple affirmation of truth or acceptance you decide to show your co-workers, or as large as a vision you want others to adopt to change the world, it all starts from one little dent you try and make. That little dent can grow from others who want to also make little dents with you until it becomes a larger, more visible dent.
Henry David Thoreau famously said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them”.
As we approach this festive christmas weekend and closing days of 2011, sing your song to the world. Sing it loud and proud and don’t let it die within you.