I did bouldering for a few years. I remember seeing kids half my size nimbly tackling problems way above what I could manage. Lacking technique, I overcompensated with strength. My lack of finesse was obvious after each climb. It didn’t take long before I was exhausted, my hands bruised, and my arm muscles aching. Often, I would be out for almost a week due to injuries from previous sessions.

When I see engineering teams pushing hard against a problem, it makes me wonder. There’s a romantic notion that hard work and long hours lead to success. To an extent, this might be true. But a constant burst of energy leads to burnout. A more reasonable approach is to steadily make progress toward an outcome. It’s better in the long term, though perhaps not as exciting.