Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

A year after taking the left fork


One year ago I made a big life decision. One of those ones where you KNOW you are at a cross road. And I took the path less travelled. The scary path. The unknown path. I blogged about it here.

So why am I making this dramatic decision?

I like working with development teams. I even like the chaos of a difficult customer, ever changing requirements and broken processes!

But the thing I love? Making all the small changes to turn the above into a roaring success. So what defines success? That the project was delivered on time? That is part of it – a rather small part though. To me success is when the each member of the team (developers, analysts, testers, managers) love what they’re doing. When they are so passionate about the team/project/company that they don’t think of it as ‘work’. When each person on the team – regardless of role or title – feels that they are special, valued and cared for. When the process of getting the project done is enjoyable, and understood by all.

I truly LOVE what I do. And in order for me to grow and become the expert I’d like to be in the above area – I need to break out of my box and experience different projects/ people/ teams.

Many people smirk at this. I’ve been told its a pipe dream that people will love their ‘work’. Nothing is perfect. I’m confused. I’m having a mid-life crisis. I just smile at them and say “Maybe”.

When I read that post I smile from ear to ear. I am really proud that I was brave enough to resign and take a step in the direction of my dreams. Yes – it still feels like work, but its not a schlep. Its a pleasure. I spend time on it all hours of the day and night and over weekends – and not because I have too much work and its stressful, because I love it and I want to. Because it is part of my everyday life now. It is part of me, of who I am.

It makes a huge difference loving what you do. It also makes a huge difference loving yourself and allowing time to do things for yourself. For me this translates to my time getting healthy, and becoming a runner 🙂

Directly related to agile is the attitude I’ve tried to make mine over the last year.

Hell yes! otherwise no.
I try and only do things I love and want to do. If I’m not so sure then I say no. Well, I try to at least – I am getting better at this 🙂

Do the right thing, now.
My time is precious and I need to focus on things I want to do. I also try and do the right thing for right now. So stop thinking about all 1 million things than can go wrong or right and catering for every scenario – just do what is right, now. Again – this is a learning process – which I’m getting better at.

Fail fast, often.
Fail. Often. Fast. This one I need to work on more. I am definitely trying more things and failing more often, but I know I’m still being overly cautious and careful.

Notice opportunities, take a chance.
Take time to notice whats happening around you. Take the opportunities offered.

The above few things have changed my outlook on life completely. Being agile – living it – has turned my world upside down. I’ve accomplished more in 1 year than I would have thought possible in 3 or even 5 years. I am amazed that I missed out on so much because I went through life with work stress blinkers on.

I have more time to myself. I am healthier than I’ve been in years. I fit into clothes I last wore 3 years ago. I have money left over at the end of the month. I enjoy my hours at work. I am excited to go to work. I love talking with fellow Agile people. I am a trail runner. I eat healthily. I don’t feel guilty about eating chocolate. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink that often anymore. I spend a lot of time outdoors on the Mountain. I read every day. I am happy and full of energy.

I wonder where I’ll be in a years time? Hopefully writing something similar 🙂



6 responses to “A year after taking the left fork

  1. Caryn November 23, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Love this post!
    Awesome Sam xx

  2. Aslam Khan November 23, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    One year from now, one year older, one year younger.

    Recursive life functions also causes stack overflow.

  3. alwyn November 26, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    brilliant, Sam!
    inspiration pours from every word

  4. Karen December 17, 2010 at 9:23 am

    Glad I met you while you were on this journey, and that I’ve been able to be a small part of it and watch you achieve so much and be happy. You have enriched my life since I met you 🙂

  5. Jonathan February 19, 2011 at 6:23 am

    You’re so one of my favorite agilistas Sam. I live agile and UX and development and creation too, except when I’m working out or with the fam. Always great to see your passion for life shine through. Keep running!

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