Nerd Life Balance Part 4: The Choice

Our history sparkles with the works of great people such as Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Markus Persson and Jonathan Gillette (a.k.a. why the lucky stiff). Did they have some magical powers or supernatural intelligence? No. But what they did have was a choice: they could choose to be mediocre or they could choose to be exceptional.


This is the same choice you and I have. For me, being exceptional is making sure that I share my passions with my wife, kids and friends, and that I put my heart into everything I do.

I realized something when I started riding a bike to work. I hated it at first, but the bike nerds at New Relic continued to encourage me and after a month of doing it, I noticed something about the people that I shared the bike path with. Whenever I looked at them, they were always smiling, runners and bikers alike. I didn’t get it initially, but as I leaned into biking, I began to smile too. This was my revelation:

Passion does not have a reason. In fact, I believe that it shouldn’t! If you find yourself enjoying something so much that it begins to show on the outside, then you’ve probably found your place.

I didn’t have to ride a bike to work; I could work remotely, ride public transportation or even drive. But I began to love riding the 24-mile round trip to and from work, and the best part is there’s no good reason that I should – just like when I write software or spend time with my family.

You might be reading this and realize that what you’re doing right now does not make you smile uncontrollably, and it might be time for a change. I want to encourage you to go find what you love and do it – you’ll know you’ve found it when you find that you are smiling for no reason while you do it, and you cannot help but share it with the rest of the world.


For More Nerd Life Balance Wisdom

  • Read Nick’s first post (Part 1)
  • Read Nick’s second post (Part 2)
  • Read Nick’s previous post (Part 3)
  • Watch Nick’s FutureStack13 presentation here

Nick Floyd is a lead software engineer at New Relic. He works on the .NET Agent, Nuget packages, Azure solutions, and cloud-based services. He and his seven kids are often found contributing to open source, soldering boards, and building backyard ballistics all in the name of "nerd life." Author of Nerd Life Balance. View posts by .

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