John Mann

John Mann

Creating something that lasts

We all want to be heard, want to be seen, and want to be recognized for what we have contributed to society. That is the ultimate goal for a lot of us. Life is not about how much money you make, who you voted for, or how much you can dead-lift. It is about being seen for you are and appreciated for who you are. That is why I titled this, creating something that lasts. I am a teacher, a software developer, a manager, a husband, a veteran, etc... but what I taught last week doesn't matter to most. What I built last week doesn't matter a month later, and what I write doesn't matter a year later. In today's society, people want to know what is happening right now and how they know it before everyone else so they can talk/judge/share/ridicule before anyone else does.

I want to create something that lasts

When I started coding, I wrote code that I thought would last for a while, but technology changes so fast, people want newer technologies, and faster delivery, and scalability that didn't exist in the early 90's. When I started teaching, I was excited about having a curriculum that will educate developers for years about the technology. Technology changed and the curriculum needed to be updated, training materials were out of date within months, and everything became obsolete.

So I asked myself, what is something that I can create that will be applicable from now until the year 3000?

People

People

People change over years but the interactions, the needs, the wants, they generally stay the same. I can write about people. There are new ways to interact, snapchat, twitter, instagram, etc... but the goal of the interaction is the same, we want to be recognized. I love the term "adulting" not because it is practical, but because it came into existence to define what millenials should strive to do. I was never told that I need to do adult things when I turned 18, I needed to pay bills, I needed to earn money to pay those bills, I needed to replace batteries when alarms chirped, I needed to get my oil changed so my car would run, I needed to buy groceries and cook for myself.

Those things happened because I created additional responsibilities for myself because I wanted to be part of society, not just watch it from the sidelines. I can tell you stories of mistakes I have made, successes I have had, and some crazy escapades. However, what matters isn't what I have done, it matters what you are doing! How can I help you interact with others, help you grow as an adult, help you plan a career, setup a budget, change your oil (ok, I'm not a mechanic, but somethings I can do), plan a little bit.

Communication is key

I realize the strength that I have is communication. I love to talk to others about their life and share some of my experiences to help them avoid some early pitfalls in "adulting". America claims to be more divided than ever, but I don't believe that. We can focus on the negativity of a few vocal people, but let's focus on how we can help each other succeed and make their dreams come true.

Altruism is the best source of happiness. There is no doubt about that. - Dalai Lama

So let's start helping people... because it feels good to do that. Ask about others, don't tell others about yourself, stop the narcissistic behavior that is creating blindness to others. Imagine if we all communicated openly, let the hate and anger go, but actually communicated, not yell, but listen, and talk. "Listen with the intent to understand, not to rebuke".

To create something that lasts for me is to help other's communicate, help other's feel good about themselves inside, not the over-compensation through social channels.

Create something that lasts... a relationship, a friendship, a community, a society.

That will outlasts today's technology, today's problems, and potentially even solve some of them.

Go communicate, by listening to understand... and build something amazing, like a new friendship.

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