I’m a big Star Trek fan. I started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) and Star Trek: Voyager (VOY) with my father when I was a child in the 90s and grew to like all of the other series. I’ve always been fascinated by the life lessons and philosophy that many episodes present. However, there is one particular episode from TNG that stuck with me: it’s the episode called Tapestry.
In the episode Tapestry, Captain Jean-Luc Picard is killed on a mission. He then awakens to find himself in a sort of “afterlife” with Q, an omnipotent being who makes appearances throughout the Star Trek series. Picard expresses life regrets to Q, who then gives him a chance to restart his life and make different choices. In the alternate life, Picard no longer takes risks or chances, and subsequently experiences a dreary life unnoticed by others. Picard tells Q that he would rather die the man he was than live the life he had just seen.
“There were loose threads, untidy parts of me that I’d like to remove. But when I pulled on one of those threads, it had unraveled the tapestry of my life.”
Imagine yourself 5, 10, even 15 years from now. What would you tell your past self? Will you regret stepping up, taking risks and chances to get noticed? Will you regret voicing your concerns or having your questions be heard? Would you have preferred to live a life of near-silence and solitude, not having reached your full potential? Had you gone back and undid some of the things that made your future self successful, you’d be unraveling the tapestry of your life.
It is imperative to take leaps if you want to push forward and have your work get recognized. It’s also important to understand that we have to face failure in order to grow, and that’s okay. We’re not here to be perfectionists. We’re here to learn and grow together. As my mentor at Perpetual Education, Derek, says, “the goal isn’t to do it right the first time; the goal is to see the different ways people think about it.”
Keep this in mind as you pursue your programming path, or whichever path you choose. Get out there and give it your best. Make mistakes and learn from others. You can do this.