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Ask HN: Help (no life thread)
56 points by burnerAddress 6 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 36 comments
Hello all, I made this burner acc on HN to try and ask people without showing exactly who I am.

So in short, I am going down the hill, I am starting to loose interest in almost anything but sitting and staring at the wall.

Now I am in this state in which nothing really interests me, I do not cook anymore, I do not go to the gym, hell if I leave my flat..

What is wrong with me?

I am a 26 year old, have been working in web dev since 19 trying to make a startup for the past 2-3 years, but I fail to see any progress. I just do not know how this life thing works! I have ambitions, I do not want to remain in a 40-60k job (this is Europe) for the rest of my life, but through my work experience I was always seen as the young one and given no choice but to quit and get a new job in order to advance a bit further.

On the other side, I have made 3-4 projects, first solo and then with other people and all turned to ashes. I understand that the chances are incredibly low, but I cannot even find people that want to try and make something. It is literally insane, I have this feeling that I cannot find the people that I should be working with, either in a company or for a startup.

I used to work in 3 companies in Berlin and people were 9-5 and thats it. I had to keep on going to my bosses and ask for more work, more difficulty etc and when they all failed to deliver it, I quit.

I finally found out what I am actually good at. I consume a problem, find the solution, apply it and move on. If I dont do that constantly I get bored, but not like "oh this again?" I can handle this, but please! if you see the same thing over and over again let me automate it!

In my first work, I told them lets automate the provisioning and hibernation of our QA servers and save 2-3k per month. I got a no..

I could go on forever.. is this a normal thing?

It sounds like you're depressed. Apathy or lack of interest in things is a common trait of depression.

Start cooking again, get back into exercising. They may seem pointless to you right now, but their purpose is twofold:

1) Your mental health is connected to your physical health. Maintaining good physical health is a way to bootstrap your mental health.

2) Doing so will constitute a series of small wins. Small wins serve as a sense of accomplishment that tend to self-reinforce, which will only motivate you further.

Beyond that, try to pinpoint the source of your unhappiness and take measures to negate it such that you're happy. The reason I say "negate" and not "fix" is because reality sometimes doesn't allow you to immediately fix things, only to negate them.

Going by your post, it seems you have a lot of dissatisfaction with your career and are possibly experiencing burnout, or perhaps simply boredom.

Some people view work as a means to an end and compartment it as such, with all the suck it entails. Others seek fulfillment in part via their work, and as such let work have a high impact upon their emotional well-being. There's no right or wrong answer here as to what approach is better, only what's better for you given your current constraints and situation.

Start being social again, find a hobby you enjoy, anything really to break the cycle you're in. Small wins build upon each other.

If you square away your personal life, you'll be in a much better position to introspect and improve your professional life. The converse might be true, but you definitely have far more control over the former.

I am old enough to be your Father. If you were my son or daughter I would say give yourself a break. I would also say don’t think that 2% of success stories you read about on hacker news are most people’s experience. I would say give up trying to be right all the time with your colleagues, it will exasperate them. I would say find a boy or a girl who adores you and is also happy to get in your face when you are being a pain. I would say you’ve got tech skills other’s don’t have, well done. I would say if your ambitions are just about money you will be dissapointed. I would say if someone says you can achieve anything you want they are trying to sell you something. Then I would take you for a walk as life has taught me it’s good to walk when you are anxious.

I think you associate life with work too much. You should probably take a vacation, and get a hard look at yourself what you want to achieve in life.

The way I understand it is you want to be recognized for the work you put in, but shit happens. You want stuff done, but others don't see the same way. You might just not be seeing things from their perspective. You seem to have a very opinionated view of what your life should be. Maybe these opinionated views stem from what others, (friends family coworkers, society etc) expect.

What are your expectations? I wouldn't be surprised if you are having an identity crisis right now either or some form of delusions of grandeur. A company at the end of the day is just a company. Its not your sole identity and being.

If you walk in a room full of random people, and the first thing you introduce about yourself is how you work for XYZ company and only talk about all the great things at XYZ, then this is a pretty good indicator. Think FORD (Family, occupation, recreation, dreams). You only seem to be talking about occupation nothing else, thats 1/4 of what defines you

Related article I wrote in this hackernews post about lack of motivation


and knowledge worth knowing


As a person who recently felt the same way as you, what helped me was recognizing that there's nothing "wrong" with you and you shouldn't feel that it is your fault.

I don't mean to sound presumptuous, but I'm going to make a few assumptions...

You sound highly ambitious and you want to achieve more, but maybe you feel the world isn't letting you achieve your full potential. You might feel lost or unsure what to do next. And this prolonged state of unsureness and your experience with your bosses has demoralized you. And now, you just don't want to do anything.

If this is what you're feeling, I want you to know that this feeling is more common than you think and most people don't talk about it. The way to solve this is to not overthink this and surround yourself around positive peers (perhaps even ideally non-tech peers) to get away from our usual comfort zone and to give you a chance to breathe the fresh air of the world outside and enjoy the green trees. Remember to take everything one step at a time. Here's a relevant motivating story from Arnold Schwarzenegger from yesterday. https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-45168200

You sound like you need a short break away from your usual routine to give you a chance to clear your mind. You're in Berlin. Maybe take a spontaneous solo trip to Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, or Switzerland for a week. Perhaps stay at a Youth hostel, meet cool people, and explore around. That should give you a chance to breathe.

Once you have a clearer mind, make a roadmap of what you find meaningful in life and slowly work towards that goal, even part time if necessary. I promise you you'll find your way.

Hope this helps. :)

Exact same thing happened to me. Also a developer, also struggled in Germany, always wanted more and needed a challenge.

Let me tell you how things progressed for me going downhill from where you are now. The boredom transformed into depression. The depression into anxiety. The anxiety into constant panic attacks. I was not able to leave the house and go to the office. I was under the constant impression death was around the corner, I was having pain all over my body. I struggled like that for 2 years.

I ended up in a hospital twice, they were constantly telling me nothing's wrong with me. And then I knew something has to change.

I packed my stuff and left. Started seeing a professional and after maybe two months I was back on my feet. She helped me get rid of the panic and anxiety.

Still afraid to get back to work, I took another year and just did whatever the hell I wanted. Traveled a lot, slept like crazy, spent time with friends. Even did a bit of work, but only on my projects, and always being careful of how hard I push myself.

Fast forward 3 years. I am back on track with my life and career. I am freelancig now, working on my own stuff, and consulting.

What I learned in the last years:

A job is not something worth killing yourself over. Yes, some people do a 9-5 mediocre job, but I can't change them.

Divide the work/personal life with a thick line. Find a good balance between the two.

Stop trying to make millions with my next big startup, and just have fun going forward. Things will happen on their own.

Connect with people like me.

Be really really pragmatic when it comes to my job. Avoid bringing in emotions and avoid pushing too hard.

That being said, take care of yourself. Don't let it go downhill, the sooner you fix it the better. There's a fix for you, no worries, just have to find it

Remember one thing: You can't do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.

There is already a ton of good advice on this thread, so I will try to avoid sounding like a broken record. But something that really stood out to me is you not leaving your flat. I think by just staying in your apartment during all your free time is really hurting you. I found that even if I take a 15 to 20 minute walk outside, I will usually feel happier and refreshed. Give it a try! Good luck!

Everybody is saying start cooking again and start exercising and what not. Those things are important, clearly you know they are but these people don't understand how difficult it can be to do that, its actually pretty insensitive having been there myself. But if you are actually capable of doing those things then definitely do them.

One thing that is non-negotiable though is sleep, keep it consistent and try really hard to let yourself wake without an alarm.

What worked for me was detaching from work for 4 weeks or so and just be a human being whose self worth isn't tied to work. I would make sure I get out of the house, even if that meant browsing reddit at a coffee shop, or just walking around, really bad idea to take time off and spend it all in the house.

After that, getting a therapist was a tremendous benefit. Getting a professional outsider, who can not ruin your life (by sharing the gory details of whats going through your head with others) feels really good. Sometimes you can be locked in a fog where you just spiral down and can't see why. Having someone there who can look at it objectively, without that fog, and can deliver some insights while both of you try to figure out what is wrong.

A lot of times in mid 20s mental health issues will reveal themselves. I think the best way to go about that is see a therapist who actually believes in medicine being helpful (some therapists will advise their patients to avoid drugs but if thats the only thing beyond extreme will power that will fix the issue, do it). They will get to know you over a long period of time and eventually may suggest you see a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists usually don't spend that much time finding a diagnosis in my experience, its just a description of feeling, he trusts what you are feeling and slowly try a medication according to the symptoms.

Finding a therapist is probably the best way I was able to get out of my funk. Without her guidance I would've just been wallowing until I finally take drastic measures.

Maybe you are just a spoiled european kid. (I just want to grab your attention).

Jokes aside, I'm from Berlin as well and share the same problem. We want to build interesting stuff, and the market doesn't have enough money to feed all that innovation.

I'm on the 9-5 job route for a while, until I can set up my own shop. Just as starting a company, growing it, selling etc. Life got many phases that we need to learn to accept it. We need to put a real effort to become good at 9-5, then become good as well as an entrepreneur mindset. Those are two completely different things and we need to learn to work on those things.

You seem to struggle to maintain things when they "become boring", and that is very important to run your own company as well.

Maybe contact me. Maybe I find what you make interesting and we can build something together, I dunno. E-mail is on profile. I can probably say what are your problems, what are the solutions, but it's up to you to do it. That's the problem. That's even the problem that I have with myself. We need to work on those things.

Anyways, to wrap up, you need to dedicate some effort in order to handle the bullshit. When the bullshit hits you, you need to work with it. If you let it go, it will eventually take you down. You need to work on those things.

Seek out a clinical psychologist or better. Not a therapist who will just offer you emotional support, no. I'm talking about someone who can diagnose you with different mental conditions. Because, as someone who has had depression in the past as a byproduct of my ADHD, the way you're speaking in your post makes me suspect you may have one or more conditions that are outside of your control.

I want to add to this.

I was recently feeling the same as OP, starting to feel depressed, uninterested in doing things or trying things anymore, not interested in hobbies, etc. It was really wearing on me.

I started thinking about it in depth and realized that I came to a point where I kept attempting things (projects, companies, hobbies) but never followed through with them to completion. I would get to a point and settle on the project not being feasible for some reason, and move onto the next thing. This has been a pattern for as long as I can remember, but I kept naively trying, until one day I realized its never going to happen and I felt like giving up.

I ended up seeing a psychiatrist. I know I struggled in college, and in relationships with something like ADHD in the past, but I avoided any sort of treatment. Eventually the ADHD had caused an unhealthy spiral in my personal and professional life, that it was causing depression. I got diagnosed with ADHD and started on medication, and everything has been so much better.

It was interesting once I looked into it, how much ADHD has impacted my life. It comes down to a need for constant stimulation, which caused impulsivity, and things quickly get old, and something else becomes enticing. This endless hunt wore on me. I feel like even just taking the time to read and understand it, has helped me be aware of why I feel/think about things in certain ways. Anyways, getting help and medication has helped, and I feel like I am satisfied with what I am doing and where I am going, and feel like I can actually follow through with goals.

I think a lot of people mentioned this, but getting help and assessment from professionals helps.

Many have correctly commented on the possibly depressive state, so I won't. But I'd like to react to some keywords in your message. I don't know either how this life thing works, it would be more my frustration speaking, I definitely haven't followed this advice when your age.

Difficulty can be easily found in any company anywhere, no need to look hard. It is doing the same even better and faster.

If asking the boss for more work doesn't work, why not to ask your colleagues? You are high-performing -- get spare time from regular job, identify the people who contributes the most to the success of the business, go see them and be open, tell them you want to help but don't know how.

Your message sounds to me like getting closer to your colleagues might not be your thing -- then find by yourself what cries for improvement that would benefit the maximum of people, and start working on it alone. Hopefully people will notice and will let you know.

Last thing -- if you are ambitious as you say, then changing companies frequently is good, but only up to some point. Past that point (I would say, 30-something), to be able to evolve you need to grind down to the core of the activity of a company, be that from the business or from technical standpoint, and that takes lots of time and lots of trust from other people. The trust takes many years to come.

I think we evolve only in the eyes of people around us (we already are what we are), so working alone / keeping to oneself / frequently moving on undermines this evolution.

In short -- plan for long effort, have patience, don't be afraid if things don't look today like they should, and try to get more from people around you -- help, fun, recognition, empathy, whatever.

>... then changing companies frequently is good, but only up to some point. Past that point (I would say, 30-something) ...

I know multiple people that have changed employers every couple years throughout their thirties. Each time it was a better deal. There's absolutely no reason to settle in at a particular company just because you're old. To hell with long-term trust building, either a company empowers its senior talent to get shit done regardless of their tenure there, or to the company's own detriment it doesn't.

> I know multiple people that have changed employers every couple years throughout their thirties. Each time it was a better deal.

I actually myself did exactly that -- my _average_ stay at one place is under 4-5 years, all over 35+ years employment history. And a better deal it was, in some way anyway. But it still hindered my evolution, and secondly, let us not forget that the OP seems to be based in EU, finding a good-match employer might be harder next time.

This is why I didn't recommend it.

When you find a solution to your work related problems, please let me know. I have the same problem (am also from germany). I just want to "automate all the things", I don't care what it is: software deployment, infrastructure, proprietary business processes. I always get sick when i have to do things more than one time if it doesn't need to be "that" way. But from my experience one of the three things can / will happen:

1. you work in a big company the processes are so static and haven't been touched for decades. Every change is seen as a risk and therefore dismissed.

2. you work in a SME that actually is in need of someone that can automate different processes but the time will come when everything is done and you only get to work from time to time and get bored.

3. you work in a small company / startup and your skills are needed but it lacks of work life balance, job stability and sometimes a competitive salary.

As of now I'm (again) looking for a new job but have little to no hope that I'll find exactly what I'm looking for.

Germany eh? Apply for jobs at one Deutsche Telekom sub companies, or any startups they support. Telekom Innovation Laboratories, immmr, T-Systems.

They have very engaging jobs and projects, work life balance is very important and you will find a future proof opportunity

Yes, you will need exercise and sleep as so many threads suggest. But in your current state, just seeing the laundry list of things you need to do, yet knowing you just can't find the motivation to stick to any of this will just push you back further.

The number one thing you need to do is think of one person, just one person, who has supported you unconditionally in the past. They should be someone who can give you a positive outlook, someone who could buoy you up. Talk to him/her to vent out your feelings. If you can't find such a person or if this exercise does not help, meet a professional.

Once you are a little bit on the road to recovery, incorporate exercise. That will automatically regulate your sleep and push you towards healthy eating without much effort on your part. Exercise regulates your hunger and craving for sugar. The positive cycle will build on itself. Just take it slow.

First, just talk to a trusted person, hopefully a friend who has seen you at your best. They can help bring out that person in you.

You're 26 you are young you have plenty of time to create your own products/company.

Work, well that's why they call it work. Keep the dream alive of building your own company/business.

Checkout StartupsForTheRestOfUs.com, listen to the archives.

You've tried 3 or 4 projects? Most projects fail so it sounds like you are right on track.

I would focus on the Stair Step Approach. Create a product or service, charge money for it and level up from basic to more complex. Set a goal of running your own show by the time you are 36. It's a long process.

Having your own projects will give you something to occupy your time and feel that satisfaction you crave.

Remember to check your employment agreements that they don't contain any we own everything you create. Don't use company time/resources of course. But you don't need to discuss what you're working on in your own time either.

You also need to explore what you enjoy doing. Hiking, Travel, Relationships, Drawing, Writing, Nature, maybe Cooking, Pets, Legos.

You need to balance Life, Work and Side Projects. Work is pretty fixed, enjoy Life explore new things, for your Side project give yourself a fixed amount of time each day/week and stick to that. Having limited time you will be more productive.

For you side project, learn new things, automate, this is where you can be creative and do things your way.

Getting a no from work? This is typical, work is complex, most people are looking out for themselves. There is all kinds of behind the scenes politics. Companies will let you go in a heartbeat (in the states). Employees are cogs in the wheel and are interchangeable. I enjoyed my time working in a company setting. Mainly my coworkers, but I've seen companies let go all types and levels of employees without a thought. So don't feel too much loyalty to them.

You only get one shot at life so find and do things you enjoy.

Good luck.

There's working to live, and living to work - it sounds like you've been focused on the latter, as opposed to the former. If you're focused on the latter, your relative happiness will be directly connected to the success of your work.

If however, you can change the mentality to working to live - you have other options for success, and happiness. Success might come from anywhere between things like taking a walk daily, or even hearing a piece of music that day that sets the tone.

Try working to live, and let a little bit go every day. Pick one thing to enjoy that day, whether it's a cup of coffee, a book, or X. One glimmer of happiness begets the next one - it's really the first 90 days affect, applied to mental health.

Hey, I just posted this in another thread, but here's what has helped me a lot with mental health having just been through a rough time in case you find it useful...

- Exercise, exercise, exercise.

- Sleep quality. Look at all the sleep tips out there and make sure you are getting good sleep.

- Meditate (Headspace app, Calm app, Insight Timer, Oak)

- Improved diet, no caffiene, very little alcohol (one drink if out with people)

- Socialise more. Make sure to check in with friends in person and on the phone regularly. Social media doesn't count.

- Try new things, go new places. Meetup.com is great.

- Learn controlled breathing to help when tense. The 4-7-8 breathing when done properly and for 8 good breathes helps me a lot. Be sure to breathe with your stomach (diaphragm breathing) not your chest.

- I took up brazilian jiu-jitsu which has been awesome, ticks a lot of the above boxes for me.

- Look at Maslow's heirarchy of needs. Start at the bottom and start working on improvements for each thing. The world is great with lots of opportunity. If your feeling bad your first port of call is to look at what things your brain and body needs that you aren't getting right now and take action.

- Go and see your doctor and a therapist and talk it out with someone. It helps a lot just to talk about it. See if there's an undiagnosed condition contributing to things. Don't face this alone, there's no need to do that and there's lots of support and services out there.

- The Youper app is pretty good.

I'm 22 and I can empathize with you. I'd suggest seeking a psychologist to talk about your possible depression is the best thing you can do.

Otherwise, get into a routine? Try to include waking up on time, work , gym and exercise into that routine.

I've been trying headspace for the past week. It feels nice.

I've been thinking of project ideas to work on or people to work with. I wish there was a better way to find this. Maybe talk to your friends who are into such things?

Perhaps the best way to find co-founders and ideas and interesting work is to work for a startup? It allows you to learn about startups at someone elses expense.

Hopefully, you don't have clinical depression but find out.

I recommend Stephen Covey's book: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The whole book is excellent. Start with Habit 1: Be Proactive.

Seek to be 100% responsible for everything you do and currently have. Do not blame others or situations, take full responsibility. For when you blame others, you give them control.

Becoming proactive means becoming highly accountable, subordinating your impulses for your real values. The opposite of this is "Reactive" which is when one is swept away by externalities, the heat of the moment. This habit will hopefully kick-start your life.

Hang on in there buddy, I've been where you are now.

I've got experience with exactly the feelings you're dealing with, the apathy, hopelessness and the desire to start something and finding no one with the enthusiasm required to go on. Also, I'm located in Berlin.

What helped me the most at the time was talking to and really connecting with people who were in my shoes at some point in their lives.

I've just created an empty Discord chat, if you want you can use a throwaway account and find me there https://discord.gg/4zm7TT

All the best!

On the work itself, if it isn't being micromanaged, there's an opportunity to adapt it to what interests you. What do you want to get better at? It doesn't matter if it's generalization or specialization, the company likely wants a low maintenance solution regardless of how you get there. In the long run, an important part of work is making it your own, getting what you can out of it so you don't feel stifled.

Hey man, I work at a startup in Karlsruhe, Germany. Check out our career page https://zenkit.com/en/careers. We're looking for people exactly like you. Our stack is Angular in the frontend and Node.js in the backend ;).. Would be awesome to hear from you. You can also email me and we'll arrange a call. patrick@zenkit.com

There's always a big strain when expectations and reality doesn't match. Be careful that social media & startup porn are not pushing your expectations too far from your current reality. It takes great mental effort to keep your sanity in such cases. I'm not saying not to dream, but also stay grounded in reality.

Success takes time. Nothing great comes easy. Most successful entrepreneurs are over 40 year old, contrary to the media bs. You have to fight for the things you want in life.

Yes, it's normal. But you don't have to live your life depressed. Your life is in your own hands.

A “no” from them is disrespect when we are talking about automation and save more money. Do NOT work with people that dont respect you. Do not feel guilty when someone gives you a no. All humans think with that forever term. There is no forever. Everything dies sooner or later. Just listen to your thoughts that are fading away. Dont let them. Use them as they are spoken in the back of your head, no matter how stupid they seem. The whole depression thingy comes from a person rejecting its thoughts that seem right and best for you. Righteousness and truthfulness its what makes us US. A persons aura/energy is higher when they speek with their friends or coworkers with high volume voice. A high volume voice makes people believe that they are trustworthy. Many people aren’t trustworthy. Just use that voice. Speak the truth and how you feel and dont let just everyones thoughts be your own thoughts.

yeah, that sounds pretty normal... so the good news is there are probably a few people here that know how to work through it.

Regarding not being able to find people that want to make something, you may want to cast a wider net demographically and also define how people can contribute, i.e. what do you need help with, so they can scope their effort on your project. Nobody wants to get dragged into someone else's obsession, and if you are a founder then you will want to have primary control in the early years.

I also encourage you to go out and meet other people socially, focus on building a wide network of social acquaintances.

Find a hobby that doesn't involve the computer. Vegetable gardening is my go to send activity. I have citrus trees too, which are wonderful when flowering indoors during wintertime.

You may want to look into having your hormone levels tested. A lack of drive may be attributed to that. If not, listen to the advice regarding depression.

Hello all, sorry I actually lost the burner password. I will look now over the comments.

The only way you can get a raise really right now is to quit your job and find a new job that's willing to pay you more.

This has been happening for quite some time you can blame neoliberalism or you can blame CEO's who earn more. There's some truth to every lie.

So yes you will get a lot of jobs; and quit a lot of jobs. It sucks; it stinks; I remember when I was making 13$/hr and excited. It may not excite you but it should pay the bills.

Work on your startup on the side and keep trying

Life is about hard work; it's never easy. Keep striving

> This is the hardest thing to do sometimes you will stumble

A quick blast of thoughts cause I'm short on time...

> I do not want to remain in a 40-60k job (this is Europe)

look into indiehackers, make your own side projects

> So in short, I am going down the hill

Watch some Jordan Peterson talks about making a meaningful life, avoid his political stuff if thats not your leaning, but as far as I can tell he's bang on about "sorting yourself out".

> I am a 26 year old

You're young, stuff is supposed to be "hard" until your about 35 .. Then you get old and you have it all sorted mentally but your body begins to rebel :P

> I do not go to the gym

Go to the gym. Good. Look up jocko willink

> > I do not go to the gym

> Go to the gym

Or, if you find it easier, get out amongst nature and go jogging / cycling / etc.

So true. Having a myopia of what is "Exercise" doesnt help anyone .

The first part of the post sounds like an episode of depression is coming over you. Please seek some help. It's impossible to tell from across the internet whether this is a 3-day funk or the onset of a more serious condition. A professional psychiatrist will help you. Going alone may work, but will be much more difficult and the chance of a screwup is higher.

The second part of your post sounds like an existential crisis. You're ambitious and are coming to realize that life is more complicated than it initially seemed.

I'm 50% older than you are. What you are discovering is normal. It may seem depressing to you, as you've imagined the world to work differently. That's just the first reaction. The world works in ways that are more complicated and beautiful than you could imagine.

You've taken the first step and realized that the world does not work exactly how you thought it does. Now spend some time (like the rest of your life) trying to figure out why that is.

It's not all dark and bad.

Maybe your boss does not want automation built as he knows that if you leave, he will not find another bright person like you to maintain it. Nor does he want to. Maybe he is planning a reconfiguration of your QA infrastructure to meet some new requirement, and automating the current setup would be a wasted effort. Maybe he is just dumb, but you can't change that either. Think of this through his perspective and try to imagine five reasons why that may be.

Most of your projects will fail to be financial successes. This is normal, and you know it. Work on things that are interesting to you. It may not yield financial successes, but it will result in personal satisfaction, learning, and scratching that problem solving itch that you have. Perhaps one will be so cool and interesting that people will come out of the woodwork to work with you. But likely not.

There are more reasons than you can think of why someone is not buying what you've built or does not want to work with you. Switch perspectives. Ask yourself why you are not jumping at the opportunity at joining project X that you learned about yesterday. It may be that it is because it is being run by a person who rubs you the wrong way, or the project is trivial, or the subject matter does not interest you, or does not have a chance of success. Behind each of those projects that you chose not to join is a founder who is asking themselves the same questions that you are.

If you're not challenged at work, do what needs to get done and spend the rest of the time in a way that is rewarding for you. Read books. Take long lunches. Don't be "in your face" about it with your bosses. Look for another job where you will be challenged.

Treat yourself with respect. Respect others around you. Learn. Try to see things through other people's perspective. Realize that you can't change the whole world, but you can change tiny infinitesimal pieces of it. These tiny changes will add up in unexpected ways, and one may even blossom into something larger.

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