Larry Wall (creator of the Perl programming language) famously said, “Most of you are familiar with the virtues of a programmer. There are three, of course: laziness, impatience, and hubris.”
In one brilliantly succinct phrase, Mr. Wall took three traits commonly understood to be a character flaw and re-framed them as virtues.
As I sat and thought about how acceptance is generally seen as a positive trait in life, I realized that in IT it could be just the opposite.
Accepting the status quo, that the system “is what it is”, that things are (or aren’t) changing (or staying the same) and there is nothing that we can do to affect that… all of these are anti-patterns which do us no good.
As I sat and pondered it in the wee hours of the morning, I heard the voice of Master Yoda whisper in my ear:
NOT accepting leads to curiosity
Curiosity leads to hacking
hacking leads to discover
discovery leads to innovation
innovation leads to growth
When we refused to accept, we grow.
Bringing this back around to personal growth, I think there is a time and place when refusing to accept – our perceived limitations, our place (whether that’s in the org chart, or in society at large), our past failures, etc. When we refuse to permit those external forces to define or limit us – that is when we find the path toward personal growth.