I am not the best developer that I could be today.
There, I said it. It’s hard to say or write it, but of course the list can go on. I am also not the best athlete that I could be today. Or the best writer. Or the best poker player. I have the potential to be better at any single one of these and probably many more.
It’s important to pick out your priorities and follow them without guilt. I am not the best that I could be at any of the above, because I believe strongly that splitting my focus between multiple activities makes me a better human. I could be a better developer, but that would require less sports, less reading and writing fiction, less time with friends, less time with family. There is nothing wrong with choosing that, if that’s what makes you happy, but I know that would not make me happy.
For many years, I struggled with guilt for not spending as much time as I could towards my professional goals. In the mean time I have learnt to live with the reality that my ultimate goal is to be a better person and there is a lot that goes into that mix. To ignore some goals in order to make more room for another might mean succeeding at a smaller goal, but it would hurt the bigger picture in the long run.
Whatever mix of goals makes you happy, that’s up to you and there is no right and wrong answer. The only wrong approach is to let others dictate this for you. Carve your own path.