I'm presently reading No Easy Day by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer. It is written by one of the Navy Seals that was involved in the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden.
I find the following really inspiring.
- He is part of the DEVGRU group within the Navy Seals. The Navy Seals are widely respected as the best-of-the-best in the US military. The DEVGRU group is the best of the Navy Seals. The non-ending life devotion to be the best at your craft, and even be the elite group within that best-of-the-best is very inspiring.
- To direct that goal of perfection in a manner that is completely selfless. The use of your skills to better your tribe is something that seems very sadly lost in today's society. If you are only working for yourself you are working for nobody and your life is pointless. PERIOD.
Here's two things I could never do.
- Devote myself to killing others. The goal of bettering society by killing those deemed needing to die is a snake eating itself. This has continued to bring impermanent peace, but it is never sustaining. It also necessarily means many innocents will die in your goal.
- The inability to say no. I'm not interested in being a tool to be used at the whim of someone else. I could never completely give myself up, my body, life, and actions to someone else. If I can't say "No" then I'm not a human. I am a puppet. That doesn't interest me. In fact, I find it absolutely abhorrent.
It would be nice if there where other organizations that worked like the Navy Seals, but accomplished the betterment of society through other means.
In my its own way my current job does provide some of that. I work as a government contractor writing applications for the state. I feel very strongly that what I do is building a better state government. I believe that I bring real value to the tax payers in the state of Florida. Given how completely backwards the government can be in its implementation of technology I feel our group is relatively progressive.
However, there is absolutely no feeling of being part of the best. And I am certainly not the best of the best even in my group of mostly average coders.
Most of my self-betterment is done in my limited spare time. My free time is often directionless and shifts too fast for me to ever actually get really good at any one thing.