When I was a kid, everything seemed far away. In my head, Europe looked like an endless place that was pretty much my whole world. Poland, the country where I’m from, marked the boundaries of my cognition and crossing it even for a second felt like an adventure. America was a different, distant world and Australia seemed so abstract that I thought about it the same way as the Moon. I remember my first flight to Norway, later to Spain, then finally crossing the continent border to Marocco. It always felt like pushing the boundaries. Whether hiking 10cm on the Slovakian side of the Tatras mountains or surfing in Australia 15 thousand kilometres from home, it was accompanied by a similar feeling of adventure. Something that earlier was out of reach suddenly became very close. Something that earlier was an abstract concept of a far land and culture suddenly became a living reality that I could touch and experience. Nowadays, I think about Europe as a small cozy place. You can fly between Oslo and Lisbon in 4 hours. Australia feels like my second home.
Some say everything is relative, and you can’t be sure about anything. I was tempted to think this way, but I don’t believe this is either practical or useful at the end of the day. Constant doubts won’t lead you anywhere and will stay on your way while working on your goals. The right approach depends on the context, true, but in a particular context, some things work better than others. I firmly believe that even though we don’t know for sure, it is often more practical to behave this way unless someone proves us wrong. Being confident is not ignoring reality but acting in a way that shows the world around us that we know what we are up to. Once we see that our actions are harmful or not effective, it is practical to take a step back and look at ourselves from a perspective.
While programming, I see a lot of cockiness. People usually with little experience act in a way that they know everything and do not listen to the advice. Finding the balance between being productive and humble is hard and takes a long time, and you see it more when you chat with the older generation. On the other hand, some of us are too timid and are paralyzed by the fact that we could be wrong. Both approaches are harmful, and as usual, it is crucial to find something in between.