A Go Programming Notebook

Web Design and Being in a State of Flow

For someone who considers himself skeptical and rational, I’m a huge fan of self help books. Naturally, given my skeptical and rational bent, my taste in such books leans heavily toward those that either really are somewhat scientific or at least make a pretense of being that way. Lately I’ve been reading Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence, which is the kind of intelligence I don’t have as much of. I have a good supply of the other kind, according to such measures as the Stanford/Binet IQ test and the SATs. But as regards Emotional Intelligence, I rank somewhere between “average at best” and “hopelessly out of control”, depending on what test I take.

The test that predicts I’m hopelessly out of control suggests as possible “favored careers” such possibilities as psychotherapist, philosophy professor, or web designer. Among careers that are disfavored are fighter pilot and construction manager. Interestingly enough, being a CEO is both favored and disfavored for me.

The implication is that if you’re a bit of a kook, you shouldn’t be flying planes or building buildings, but it’s OK to mess with people’s heads or build web sites, and no one is sure if you should be running a company.

Perhaps Howard Hughes kept the door open for us.

Fortunately, Web Design is On The List

I was delighted to find out that Web Design was on the list of acceptable professions for unacceptable people, since I really like doing it so much, and often find that I can work on a site for many hours at a time while becoming completely engrossed in what I’m doing, a state that Michael Csikszentmihalyi wrote about in yet another self-help book, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Of all the web sites I’ve built, only a few have actually paid me, and if you work out the hourly rate and compare it to my day job as a programmer, it turns out that not being creative actually pays a lot better.

I suppose that if my day job were to become web design, I’d have to develop systems and repetitive product offerings so I could make a decent living at it. In other words, I’d have to treat it more “practically”.

I wonder what the personality testers would make of that.