Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American philosopher and writer, and his essay on Self-Reliance talks about the necessity of individualism and avoidance of conformity. While the book seems to be writing for a predominantly male audience, I believe the book speaks to everyone who wants to become a formidable thinker and person.
We crave solitude but love companionship. It is the cruel paradox of the human experience.
"It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness ...
"It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude."
One of the most important career lessons I've learned is to pursue a career and not a job. At first glance, you might think, "What's the difference?" I also didn't get it for years. That's how I finally ended up in an IT job that I wasn't passionate about.
My friend is a product manager at a popular consumer tech company, and he was lamenting the rise of metrics-driven development. "If we send a single push notification, 7% of people open the app," he said. "But if we send two push notifications, five minutes apart, 12% of those people open the app."