Un-Acceptable

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 character flaws 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 I.T. 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 discovery
  • Discovery leads to innovation
  • Innovation leads to growth

When we refuse 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.

Anonymous
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  • I am too stubborn to accept others opinion of me. 

    Back in 1993 while working as a Sales Assistant at a small South Texas VAR, I was told by an arrogant/ignorant Novell Engineer that "You will never be able to do what I do!"

    I scrimped and saved to buy enough parts to build a Novell Netware 3.11 Server with software mirrored drives, a ten Mb hub and used my home PC as a Novell client.  In 1993 this was a full Netware Lab!

    I would go to the book store every week to see what new books came out that I would need.  Being single I would study all of the time.  In May of 1994, I was pushed to start taking tests by the sales guy I worked for and my father.

    Three months later I was a Novell CNE!  In the next six months I passed the tests to become a Compaq ASE and a ECNE(MasterCNE).

    That arrogant/ignorant guy had moved on and I took his place.  I never heard from that guy again.

    RT

Comment
  • I am too stubborn to accept others opinion of me. 

    Back in 1993 while working as a Sales Assistant at a small South Texas VAR, I was told by an arrogant/ignorant Novell Engineer that "You will never be able to do what I do!"

    I scrimped and saved to buy enough parts to build a Novell Netware 3.11 Server with software mirrored drives, a ten Mb hub and used my home PC as a Novell client.  In 1993 this was a full Netware Lab!

    I would go to the book store every week to see what new books came out that I would need.  Being single I would study all of the time.  In May of 1994, I was pushed to start taking tests by the sales guy I worked for and my father.

    Three months later I was a Novell CNE!  In the next six months I passed the tests to become a Compaq ASE and a ECNE(MasterCNE).

    That arrogant/ignorant guy had moved on and I took his place.  I never heard from that guy again.

    RT

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