I like mountains. I like the challenge that they represent. I love miles of rigorous hiking over boulders and through muddy streams and thick brush to get to the top of a beautiful mountain vista. Sure, the scene is beautiful, but it means more because of the work and effort it took to get there.
The struggle makes the triumph over the struggle mean something. One feels the gravity more at the top of a mountain than lying on the couch staring at the ceiling. I love challenges and building towards something. When you finally reach a milestone and look back at the effort and work that was put into achieving that milestone there is a great feeling of satisfaction.
When I feel like turning my brain off, I like putting my copy of FIFA 19 into my PlayStation 4 and getting crushed by the game at the hardest difficulty. Nowadays, I pretty much dominate the rather lackluster AI, but those first few wins at that difficulty felt very satisfying. I will probably look for another game for a challenge, but I've never been into technical grinding for grinding sake (those Souls games are still undefeated).
Running has always been a interesting challenge. Running is probably my main hobby, but I don't particularly enjoy running that much. Get started often times the main struggle, but once you get in the groove of a run it is nice to coast and have your legs just do their thing. Of course running wasn't enough of a challenge, so I enjoying running marathons. The thrill now chasing times and enjoying the ups and downs of disappointing runs and new personal records.
My career has been sneaking challenges through different coding puzzles and engineering different solutions to unique situations and problems. One of the most satisfying feelings there is is to jump into a project knowing nothing and then through puzzle solving, analysis and experimentation constructing an understanding and then being able to build upon that understanding and seeing whether your new creation integrates correctly with what is currently there.
My job has gotten a little repetitive and dull. The problem with being the lead engineering is that you are expected to know everything and understand the problem from a higher level perspective. You climb the mountain and then teach others how to climb the same mountain. It's fine, but gets a little dull when the junior engineers are constantly needing you to chart out their path, when all the fun is charting your own path, failing and learning from that failure.
That's another thing that dulled things a little for me as well. The low tolerance for failure. Because if you challenge yourself, you are bound to fail. Which is perfectly fine, but nowadays it seems like it is tolerated less and less. I get that your project is important to you, but if you take modest risks you will always receive lackluster rewards (or are incredibly lucky).
But success tastes better when flavored by previous failures. If success was guaranteed it wouldn't be that special.
Something something something the journey is better than the destination. Which is partially true. The destination reflects the journey. The willingness to climb means more than the view at the top of the climb.
Let me take the road let traveled. I'm not there to pull my phone out and take a picture claiming I was at the top of the world. I'm there to traverse the wilderness, confront doubt in the most dire of moments and be content that I took steps that people don't take anymore. The willingness to climb, even when it's not needed. The willingness to failure even when paths to success are already ready to take.