Intermezzo: Finding What You’ve Lost

Much can be made of that point in life – or two, or three – where you have that existential crisis moment. Life, God, The Universe forces a pause on your chained moments. You stop. And for the first time in who knows how long you look up. What do you see?

It is as important in this crisis moment to look back – not dwell, look back – as it is to look ahead.

For me, I’ve lost something along the way. I’ve always been driven by passion. If I’m not passionate about a subject, I’m just not going to engage or do it. Some people may have the talent to do so, it’s not one of mine and important that I do so.  My passion doesn’t gut out quickly either – I tend to like to start and finish things – delivery is key for me and always has been as software engineer and a manager of software engineers. First, ship version 1.

I’ve got twenty-two years in computing. I’ve been a coder and a CTO. I’ve built data centers. I’ve delivered shrink-wrap products and IT projects. I’ve done one from just about every major column of technology platform. I’ve done startups and large multinationals. To be clear – in each and every instance I’ve had a solid team of developers, marketers, finance, HR – it’s been a group effort in each case.

But I’ve lost the zeal and drive to own, improve and deliver. How much is due to politics and how much is due to the personal worth I derive from it is an open question I debate. Incubation & startups still excite me. Technology in general remains something that excites me. But the rest of it? The jury deliberates.

I know the older generations would pale at the thought of not spending their entire lives at one organization. The younger generations work gigs not jobs. What about my generation? Are we stuck in the middle? I do wonder if this is a common affliction.

I know that what comes next will have to be different. I know I have to find a new passion. What that is remains to be seen.

What about you?

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4 thoughts on “Intermezzo: Finding What You’ve Lost

  1. […] going to riff on an earlier post in this post. I’ll also drop mention of Mike Rowe’s TED Talk on Learning from Dirty […]

  2. […] all those pieces my hindbrain keeps working on clicked this morning. I think I know why I’ve lost my passion and why I’m casting about for what comes […]

  3. douglasscasto says:


    Great post and you make heck of a statement about your generation, regarding gigs or jobs, does it really matter as long as your are driven by passion and challenges? I know about that loss of passion, it doesn’t go away, there is a time and a season for everything, you are being prepared for that next whatever it is thing that will restore your passion. I’m in the midst of a similar experience, but to be honest, I’m looking forward to that next whatever to arrive. Hang in there, your next passion is not far away.

    Take care

    • Sam Adams says:

      Doug – spot on, so glad to see I’m not the only one working through this phase. I definitely appreciate the kind words and guidance.

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