Captain’s Log. Daddy Chronicles. Diaper Date 1652. Sunday morning I watched an interview with Reid Hoffman (of LinkedIn fame). He said something that stuck with me. He said that he is in a state of permanent beta.
Beta (in techno terms) means still testing, not finished, incomplete. He continued to say that despite being a billionaire he was not a finished product.
Give me a billion dollars and I will be just about any finished product you want. But I think I may get what he means. Actually, this reminds me of fatherhood. You work out the bugs and you expect more to come, but you don’t stop rebooting, updating, improving.
Until I was a father, I never:
- Combed hair into a ponytail.
- Dressed in a boa and tiara.
- Shoveled a dead cat out of my street because I was afraid my kid would see it.
- Drove to work listening (and singing along) to a Little People sing a long CD only to realize I had already dropped my kids off at daycare.
- Knew that Briar Rose and Sleeping Beauty were the same person.
- Intentionally looked for poop or choreographed a dance to celebrate its arrival.
- Sat in a hospital holding the hand of an 8 week old then driving home to be with his 3 year-old sister.
- Contemplated the safety features of the passenger seats of a car.
- Thought of creative ways to remove stickers from the walls.
- Looked at my house, or any other for that matter, as baby/child proof.
- Learned the power a pack of fruit snacks can have over an afternoon.
It is one thing to be a kid. It is another thing to have kids. You go from thinking the world revolves around you to knowing that some small worlds not only revolve around your guidance, but depend on your very well being. You go from thinking you may be all that matters to realizing a lot of what you thought mattered simply doesn’t.
Most importantly, you learn that mistakes don’t lead to disappointment. They lead to wisdom and understanding…provided you don’t continue to repeat them.
Hoffman was right on a number of accounts. You have to continuously invest in yourself. No matter what you accomplish, you can’t think of yourself as a finished product. My grandfather always said, “You learn something every day. The day you stop learning is the day you die.” I never asked him if he meant this literally or metaphorically. But does it really matter. The point is pretty clear.
Or as Hoffman put it – stay in perpetual Beta mode. Keep striving. Never consider yourself complete.
So, does this make me a liar if I still tell Mrs. Captain, “You complete me?”
The Captain sets sail for Spring Break 2012 in a matter of days. Come join the fun and bring a friend. If we make you smile feel free to share the link. J
Here are some other things you can do:
Follow the Captain on The Twitter @acjlist