[ DAY 145 ] Pick the tools because the world is your toolbox

I think languages are just tools. It helps me connect with others, because through languages I tell them what I think and they tell me what’s on their minds. I’d never love languages if it means I can only do grammar exercises or rewrite sentences. That’s not what words were born for. They are tools, not the goal in themselves.

Programming languages are the same. It doesn’t really matter what language you’re learning, even though they all give a different starting point if we pick one over another. Better tools are obviously better. Yet, it doesn’t mean anything to the world if I code day and night and make no project. They aren’t born to be the end goals.

When I think about the destination, the final products, the ultimate goal, I realized that many things we are striving for, despite how crushing they are, will be just a mark along our way to do something meaningful. I follow a number of people on LinkedIn who graduated from “elite” schools or worked at huge corporations. Many people admire them because they made it to the big names, but I admire them because of the side projects that they did, because of the impact they made in their community, and ultimately the mark they left in the world.

Big schools, big corps, they are tools along the way that prepare for these people the right mindset, the necessary skills, and the relevant knowledge. They will fly high, to make big changes, and that’s what made them significant individuals on this planet.

If you have always looked at the names when you evaluate someone, please reconsider it. Tools and products can’t be messed up. Better tools and better minds can make big hits, but they are just the means to an end. Remember to look around one more time, see what other things that these so-call nerds made, and admire them for projects they had done that maybe make your life a little bit better.

Published by Thi Le


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