Uncomfortable #illumedai

Hey everyone, it’s Whatever Wednesdays again. Today is just going to be a short post about “Uncomfortable“.

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay



I’ve talked about it before, but medical training is almost a constant state of being uncomfortable. 3rd year of medical school is kind of like a microcosm for the whole doctor experience.

It’s the first experience of this where you do a few weeks in multiple different rotations. Just when you think you’re finally beginning to understand, feel like a contributor to the team, and be a little comfortable — you switch to a different rotation. This rotation may will be completely different, and may even be a completely different hospital or other setting. You will need to relearn everything again.

This whole process happens again in internship, residency, and fellowship. In fact, it keeps happening to a lesser extent throughout your career as medicine continues to change and evolve.

Then I also talk about being comfortable. In this I mean financially mostly, where I don’t have to worry about money on a daily or monthly basis anymore. If something was to happen, I could find the money to weather the storm for a few months or maybe even a year. Part of this comes with just getting older and having more experience. The other part is just having more money in general to use, if needed.

That said, I’m just not uncomfortable anymore… I wouldn’t say I’m comfortable. Maybe after my student loans are paid off I may feel a little bit of comfort.

Ok, so what is uncomfortable now?

Well, I’ve written about it recently, but I’ve created a stakepool for Cardano on the testnet. To be quite honest, other than “wanting to do it”, I really had no idea what it would entail. I recruited the help of one of my colleagues who is more technical than me to help out. However, since he really doesn’t understand how cryptocurrency works, I had to learn to do some of this technical stuff on my own — and step out of my comfort zone.

At the forefront of this was getting rid of Windows 10 and learning to use Linux. At first glance, Linux isn’t too much different from Windows if you’re just looking at pictures of the Desktop. However, what really separates Linux from Windows is its reliance on a command line interface and its access to pretty much everything.

If you’re not careful, you can really mess up a lot of things in Linux pretty easily. In Windows, it’s a lot easier to not mess things up. However, if something goes wrong, it may be difficult to fix. Linux is kind of the opposite. The user needs to understand what he/she did which caused the problem and usually is able to fix it themselves — since they caused it.

Anyways, when I first started using Linux, it was tough. I hadn’t used a command line interface since the MS-DOS days. It was a little daunting to say the least. However, with a clean computer and no real important data to lose — I set to work learning how to do things. I could always just format it and start over if it came down to it.

I see…

Once you get started, it actually isn’t too bad. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS is a really stable Linux distribution and is the one I use. However, I had some issues getting it to recognize my wifi card right from the get go. This required a lot of troubleshooting on my part which eventually let me to blacklist a certain driver in order for it work. It was a pretty frustrating way to start to be honest. I mean, I hadn’t even done anything yet and there was already a problem. However, it was very gratifying when the little wifi icon popped up after I fixed it. A small victory, but I was proud of myself for fixing it.

It’s been a few weeks now. I’m geting pretty comfortable with the system itself and it’s command line interface. I’ve been able to get the stakepool up and running in the nightly testnet 0.8.0 rc11 and have been pretty active since 0.7.0 rc. In fact, I’ve even helped a few other people get started — something I never thought would happen.

There are really great people over in the telegram channel:


So then, where are we now?

After doing a lot of catching up, I’m pretty much on target to have my stakepool up and running for the first day of the incentivized testnet – which should happen later this week (for stake pool operators). I’ve learned a lot about both Linux and staking in general. Overall, I’m pretty happy with what I’ve been able to do and learn these past few weeks.

If you’re interested, you can follow my progress here:

Cardano Hawaii Pool

While this little project isn’t a huge deal, I’m pretty proud of myself for learning something new. I never really believed that I would learn to use Linux and run a stakepool. I considered something like that to simply be beyond me.

However, like most things, it doesn’t happen all at once. Every journey begins with a single step… right? I think just saying “I’m going to learn to do this.” gets you a lot farther than you might think.

Every failure is a learning opportunity — and every learning opportunity is its own small success.

I think the most important thing is that I’ve realized I can still learn to do things that I felt were beyond me. Maybe after getting this stakepool running I’ll look into higher level stuff like learning Marlowe for example:


And maybe even Plutus someday:


What’s the take home message?

Long story short, I think it’s good to step outside of your comfort zone and learn new things. I should probably try to do it more often.

For example, I’m also going to beef up my own home security system soon as well as install some new solar lights. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go too crazy and like try to renovate my bathroom by myself or something.

Now I just need to convince myself to finally try to monetize this site too…

Update: While I did learn a lot of Linux and running a Stakepool, ultimately a much more tech savvy colleague of mine took it over and runs it. I just stake my small amount of ADA to his pool. (Aloha Cardano)


Life is a balance of being both uncomfortable and comfortable.

We strive to establish ourselves and be “comfortable”.

However, we learn through coming out of our comfort zone and being placed in uncomfortable situations.

Even after you’re comfortable (or not uncomfortable), coming out of your comfort zone will allow you to grow even more.

Don’t be so set on being comfortable that you stop learning.

Whatever Wednesdays Sensei


Agree? Disagree? Questions, Comments and Suggestions are welcome.

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