David Heinemeier Hansson

March 2, 2022

Diversify your life

If your existence is all about work, and work goes to shit, then life goes to shit too. If you live for your hobby, and your hobby hits the wall, then your life crashes too. If everything else is waiting until you hang with your mates, and your mates fade away, then you fade too. Betting your drive to get up in the morning on a single path will leave you completely stuck if that one road is blocked.

Don't bet all your happiness and purpose on a single square. 

It's fine to lean on one pillar or another at different times in your life, but you'd do well to make sure there's a few others holding up the roof if the first one crumbles. Yes, rock it out at work, but reserve some evenings and weekends for a hobby too. Sure, enjoy that tight-knit crew, but realize that life eventually changes for them some day as well.

Diversification is resilience in action. It's having something in reserve. It's knowing that everyone, everywhere, doing anything, will eventually suffer setbacks, frustration, and despair. And planning for that by packing a bag with more than just hammers.

It doesn't have to be 33/33/33, but you aren't prepared for the likely life if it's 90/5/5. And it won't help you that one in a hundred can hit glory for a while betting it all on 100/0/0. You'll only ever see their highlight reel, and you'll never see the other ninety-nine who crashed and burned.

Diversify your life.

About David Heinemeier Hansson

Made Basecamp and HEY for the underdogs as co-owner and CTO of 37signals. Created Ruby on Rails. Wrote REWORK, It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work, and REMOTE. Won at Le Mans as a racing driver. Fought the big tech monopolies as an antitrust advocate. Invested in Danish startups.