Earlier this year I was honored to be asked to present at the SQL Inspire event that took place on November 12th, 2011 in New York City.
My talk was titled “SQL Someday”, and was based on this quote (which is not mine, it was something I had stumbled upon the day or two before I submitted my abstract for the event):
There are seven days in the week and someday isn’t one of them.
I thought how great that was. It really spoke to me, made me realize how I needed to stop living for “someday”, and get up and take action on things now. I started thinking about all of the things I had told myself would happen “someday”. And being a database professional and lover of all things set-based, I noticed something interesting about my somedays: I could categorize them.
So I put all of my somedays into three groups. I found that there were somedays that were mostly controlled by others, somedays that were mostly controlled by me (and my selfish wants), and then somedays that were more about others (and less about my wants and desires).
I also noticed that these groups had a loose correlation to my career and therefore to my life in general. And then I noticed something else about my somedays, something that wasn’t all that uplifting: many of them were never going to happen.
Not exactly the kind of thing you want to tell a crowd of people at an event with the word “Inspire” in the title, huh? But I pressed onward, built my slides, and eventually delivered my talk. When it was over I realized I needed to give a little more structure to the words that had come out of my mouth that day. Thus the reason for this page. It is here that I want to help others to identify their somedays as well by providing you with a general method.
So here you go, my way of helping you figure out where your “somedays” actually lie. You’re welcome.
These are the wishes and wants you have that are far outside of your control. For example: hoping that someday you will get that promotion. You can work your ass off and still not be recognized for your efforts in the manner as to which you want. It is quite possible that you do your job so well that you aren’t allowed to leave your role because nobody else could possible do the job as well!
If you look at your somedays you will likely see many of them that are controlled by others. You can’t force how others are going to treat you. No matter who you are, or how you treat others, you cannot control how they will treat you. If your someday lies outside of your control, in the hands of others, stop wishing for it to happen and move on with your life.
These are the ones that you had more control over and have likely happened already but you either (1) didn’t notice it at the time or (2) were so driven for success that when your someday happened you were already onto the next thing. For example, a new car is something you might have as a someday goal, and is more in your control to make it a reality. But many people get the new car and are then already thinking about the next car, or a second car.
And, of course, many people also forget that a new car was even a someday to start with. Chances are you can look back and think about all of the somedays you have already accomplished, but forgotten. Things like a diploma, a job, a car, a house, a family, etc. They were all a someday at one point.
This was a group of somedays I found that had less to do with my selfish wants and desires (such as a new car) and more about others around me. They weren’t necessarily controlled by others entirely, because I cannot control how others feel, but they were working in coordination with others somehow. In my talk I mention walking my daughter down the aisle someday. That day is not my day, it is her day, and I have but a role to play when the time comes.
These are the somedays that tease us. When they happen, we start to believe that all somedays are possible. The reality is that the first group, the ones controlled by others, are likely to never happen. And yet we all get sucked in believing that they will. You can live your whole life waiting for someday, but that doesn’t mean you should.
This group also contains the somedays that were just entirely within my control. For example, I could learn to speak Spanish if I had the self-discipline to dedicate the time. So, that is a someday that may still happen, it isn’t controlled by others, but still may be more about yourself. But as I get older I have fewer of these wants and desires and find I have more somedays that are about others. And maybe that is just me, or a result of getting older, I really don’t know.
Lastly, my method is not scientific. Please, no wagering!
Also, here is the video from the event.