I was having an email conversation with my accountability partners about some decisions I was making for the future. Among them is the choice to forego the PASS Summit this year, the premier conference for my career path. This was before I became ill last week and was unable to travel and speak at another conference, SQLRally. I was really looking forward to going to SQLRally because I was going to catch up with old friends, including one who I haven’t seen in about 13 years. However, a stomach bug that has hit others where I work finally hit me and I was done in and unable to travel.
The temptation is to look at the fact that I didn’t go to SQLRally and then make the choice to go to the PASS Summit. I obviously didn’t expend much of what I had set aside for SQLRally, to include time off, meaning I could make a justification from a monetary and personal time off perspective to go. However, my choice not to go to the PASS Summit this year has to do with the two guys you see pictured.
They are my sons, ages 14 and 13, and earlier in their lives I made a lot of decisions for my career and it cost them. A few years ago, after a lot of discussion with my wife about priorities, about these guys and what kind of men they would be, and other things of that sort, we set some boundaries on my professional aspirations. As others have said, my job isn’t who I am. And my job is not as important as these two boys or their two sisters or my wife.
The PASS Summit is what I classify as better. It’s better than a lot of other alternative choices. The networking and learning opportunities can certainly advance my career, and most of the time it would be the best choice. However, when I sat back and looked at my goals for this year, attending the conference doesn’t further any of them, or at least, not to an extent where it should be chosen over other options. And while I’m tempted to say yes and go, I simply need the time for those other goals. Options centered around those other goals are best to the conference’s better. And therefore, I need to stick with my earlier decision.
When making choices with your time and resources, consider good, better, and best. Never let better outweigh best because of emotions or because of a bad break or an unexpected event. Instead, reconsider the options and weigh them out again. It may be that the choice previously seen as better is now best. It may even be that a choice seen merely as good is now the best one of the ones available. Always try to make the best choice, even if it means giving up something you’d like to do. While the better choice is not a bad one, and even a good choice meets that definition, still look for the best choice to maximize your time and resources and to further your previously set goals the most. It’s about being intentional and pro-active, but that’s a post for another time.