One of the things that rejoining LinkedOut has done for me is indirectly link me to a lot of former coworkers - every time one of your "connections" likes something from someone, it shows up in your feed. I tend to just whip through such things in general, but one last week caught my eye.
The like was for a former employee of my company. I sort of remember the young gentleman (almost everyone is "young" anymore, or at least younger than I). He left, as I recall, three or four years previously, seemingly just another in a long line of people that have worked there and gone to something different. This happens I think as you grow older: you move around less in your career as the "younger folk" are establishing theirs.
His post was about his completion of his medical degree and announcing his residency.
I just sort of sat there and looked at the post. In the last period of time, what had I really done?
I supposed I could put all sorts of caveats around things: my parents, the Plague, my job change.
But really, what had I done? Or more importantly, how had I changed and become better?
The answer, I fear is, "not much" or "nothing at all". If I compare myself to three years ago I find myself to be largely the same. Same position, same place, same activities (mostly), same me.
For some reason, that really bothers me.
Yes, I understand that this is probably an extreme example, and that inherent comparison to others is not necessarily the best thing. At the same time, I think it is fair to ask the question - be it daily, monthly, annually, or even just randomly: "Am I a different person than I was the last time I asked this question? Am I a better person than the last time I asked this question?"
In theory at least, we should only stop improving ourselves somehow when we die. The fact that I at least feel exactly the same as three years ago is, frankly, not a comfortable feeling.