No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.
~ Some Green Dude
That's solid advice right there. You shouldn't try to do this. Just do it. Or don't, if you decide it you don't want to for whatever reason.
Another movie had a similar philosophy: "You either karate or you do not karate. Karate so so. You beat up."
Here's the thing though, that advice is absolute bollocks. We live in a probabilistic universe - even if you do do instead of try, you are at the mercy of probability.
Our actions are stochastic, so are the actions of others. Even the basic physical forces acting on things are ... stochastic. Ever studied the development of robots? Most of it goes into dealing with probabilistic actions in a probabilistic universe.
Most of the time when we "do instead of try" we aren't even dealing with just ourselves, there are many moving pieces. People even. With their own stochastic thoughts and decisions.
Whenever you decide to do what you're really doing is something more like: "Okay, I will do everything within reason to achieve this. If more information reveals it isn't worth the effort, I won't. If something more important comes up, I won't."
Sure, commit yourself fully, but remember you're only trying and hoping for the best.
- All Of Statistics: Part I (wmbriggs.com)
- Stochastic Pattern Recognition Dramatically Outperforms Conventional Techniques (technologyreview.com)
- Reverend Bayes, meet Countess Lovelace: Probabilistic Programming for Machine Learning (channel9.msdn.com)
- Active Learning and Contextual Bandits (machinedlearnings.com)
I write articles with real insight into the career and skills of a modern software engineer. "Raw and honest from the heart!" as one reader described them. Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Both successful and not.
Subscribe below 👇
Join Swizec's Newsletter and get insightful emails 💌 on mindsets, tactics, and technical skills for your career. Real lessons from building production software. No bullshit.
"Man, love your simple writing! Yours is the only newsletter I open and only blog that I give a fuck to read & scroll till the end. And wow always take away lessons with me. Inspiring! And very relatable. 👌"
Senior Mindset Book
Get promoted, earn a bigger salary, work for top companiesLearn more
Have a burning question that you think I can answer? Hit me up on twitter and I'll do my best.
Who am I and who do I help? I'm Swizec Teller and I turn coders into engineers with "Raw and honest from the heart!" writing. No bullshit. Real insights into the career and skills of a modern software engineer.
Want to become a true senior engineer? Take ownership, have autonomy, and be a force multiplier on your team. The Senior Engineer Mindset ebook can help 👉 swizec.com/senior-mindset. These are the shifts in mindset that unlocked my career.
Curious about Serverless and the modern backend? Check out Serverless Handbook, for frontend engineers 👉 ServerlessHandbook.dev
Want to Stop copy pasting D3 examples and create data visualizations of your own? Learn how to build scalable dataviz React components your whole team can understand with React for Data Visualization
Did someone amazing share this letter with you? Wonderful! You can sign up for my weekly letters for software engineers on their path to greatness, here: swizec.com/blog
By the way, just in case no one has told you it yet today: I love and appreciate you for who you are ❤️