Discipline is one of the ingredients for success but, it can also be the cause of failure.
Once we incorporate a new habit in our repertoire, we feel solid. It helps us to perform actions quickly and effectively. For example:
- Meditation after waking up, every morning.
- Lunch at 12:30pm, every noon.
- A nightcap before going to sleep, every night.
If performing them accomplishes the goals – a clear mind, good digestion, relaxation, etc. – then, that’s great!!!
But, …what happens if, after years of performing them, we realize that meditation doesn’t clear the mind anymore, lunch at the same time turns social instead of based on our metabolic needs or the praised nightcap interrupts the quality of our sleep???
Repeating the same useless actions over and over (even when clearly the actions don’t have the expected outcomes), is not a sign of discipline but a sign of myopia.
When I was a kid and I used to send hand-written letters every week to my grandparents by mail since phone calls between cities were expensive. Nowadays, I could definitely continue doing that and wait days to get a reply, or I can use WhatsApp, Skype, or a simple call. The point is, knowing how they are IS the goal, the medium is irrelevant and up to my choice.
The second ingredient of success is adaptability – the capacity to change according to new conditions.
Even challenging, analyzing our actions in hindsight and performing necessary tweaks will increase our chances to improve our lives. In other words, being disciplined to constantly change is what guarantees our evolution.
Keep on learning…
Yes… You – the least techy person reading this – You Code.
Here are some examples of common scenarios where we all code:
- When a couple listens to a song and makes it theirs, they are unconsciously programming themselves to later associate that song with the love they feel for each other.
- When you kindly (and repeatedly) ask your kid to look both ways before crossing the road, you are programming him/her to keep her safe when you’re not there.
- When mom cooks my favorite meal. Anytime that I smell or order that dish in a restaurant, who do you think comes to mind?
- When you press snooze on your alarm every morning, your programming your body to procrastinate. (On the other hand, getting out of bed immediately programs your body to get ready for a new round!)
- When you program yourself to score every time you catch the ball, like Jerry Rice – the greatest wide receiver in NFL history – did. (Bo Eason explains how/why Jerry did that in minute 20:10 of this video).
- Last but not least, when you listen to/see a notification on your phone and you react reading to it immediately. …well, let me introduce you to Ivan Pavlov and his cute dogs to explain what is called Classical Conditioning – another type of programming.
As with technology, we always have the chance to refactor the process – to restructure our initial behavior and responses to certain triggers.
Keep on Learning…..and Refactoring.
When we apply for a job, the potential employer asks how many years of expertise do we have…. and, like any human applying for his/her first job, the answer is Zero.
…. if that’s the answer, then what have we been doing with our lives before that moment?
The moment we leave our mom’s belly, we start adding time to our “human expertise counter”. Whether we wanted to or not, breathing was the most difficult task at hand at that moment and we succeeded (or you wouldn’t be reading this).
From that moment on, every second count. It would be foolish to say that we have no expertise in living. …Yeah, anyone can do that, right?!?!…but, does that mean that every that everyone is good at it??
That made me think if I’m making good use of my human skills and time so far. And so, I ask you: besides your “job experience”, what could you say that is your expertise area as a human?
Keep on learning…
Stand up and fight.
The battlefield is not in other men’s land, but it’s in our own minds.
We fight against the egoic mind, the one that says “I can’t”, “I am too old”, “I am poor”, the one that yells: “I am superior to…”, “I am inferior to…”
Stand up and fight.
We will use our courage as the shield and our intelligence as the sword, always alert because our own enemy plays never overt.
Like software, we uninstall our personal tyrant using crafty weapons and upgrade ourselves to newer versions. That’s how we create upgraded versions of the world we live in.
Today…We Stand Up and Fight!
CI/CD or Continuous Integration and Delivery is not related to software and technology exclusively.
CI/CD means – overall – Continuous Integration of lessons into our minds and Continuous Delivery of digested knowledge for the benefit of something bigger than us (our family, society, planet).
Both of them are enabled by a key principle – Continuous Learning – and their output is much more than simply mobile apps or websites; they create Kaizen (Continuous Improvement), that kicks dopamine in our brains and triggers curiosity to learn more in an infinite loop.
Keep on learning…
Life taught me that there are three ways to learn:
- The easy way
- The hard way
- The wise way
The first one – the easy way – is ephemeral. Usually, when we easily succeed on any task, we got to that point because we learned the minimum required to get there. Some will call it “The Principle of Favorability” or Beginner’s’ Luck (…it whets your appetite with the taste of success). Chances are that lessons learned this way will fade away soon.
The second way is through failure and pain. As Tony Robbins says: “When we succeed, we party. When we fail, we ponder.” But, failure does not mean a breakdown at all, it’s only a reminder that what our initial strategy didn’t work and that we need to adjust the course. So, the faster that we fail, the faster that we learn.
The third way, or what I call “the wise way”, is learning thru the life experience of other people – let’s call them “mentors”. They are humans with ten to fifteen years of experience ahead of us in anything that we want to learn about. Sometimes they’re older, sometimes they’re younger than us. Sometimes they’re in our social circle, sometimes they’re on a different continent. Sometimes they’re gone and we learn thru their legacy.
Remember, any way is the right way as long as you Keep on Learning…
Whatever we say, people will like or dislike us. Sometimes they could even love us and suddenly hate us. No matter what’s the circumstance, being true to ourselves is what counts at the end.
It’s always good to disrupt people with our conscious actions than without them. And it’s even better to cause positive effects in the minds of the people that we “disrupt” because that may start positive chain reactions that we never predicted.
Do good and Keep on Learning…
Yes, we’re all Arnold Schwarzenegger in some way.
The more dumbells and bench press that we use to exercise, the stronger our muscles will grow; but … how about our minds?
Consciously or not, we’re constantly reinforcing behaviors on every new opportunity that we have to exercise them and, like with our muscles, our behaviors grow bigger and stronger (…and sometimes, uglier).
What we call our habits, are one kind of programming – like in software – that our minds adopted to be more efficient, that is: spend fewer resources in processing some input. (Charles Duhigg – The Power of Habit)
We have the freedom to choose whether we’ll be the next Mr. Universe of pessimism, self-defeating and procrastination, or we’ll take ownership of our fate by becoming our own mind programmers.
Make your choice and Keep on Learning….
It’s not about adding years to your lifetime on every birthday celebration but instead, it’s about how much time remains.
Most of the time, we humans allow our indifference towards time to fill most of our lifetime (Parkinson’s Law) and we waste precious time and energies in less than relevant activities.
Have you ever taken a short vacation to an exotic place that you have been planning to go?… Once you get there, the pressure of knowing that we have a fixed date in the place motivates us to enjoy the trip as much as possible. An intense Carpe diem takes over us, an almost “back to childhood” feeling where we’re completely present and without worries.
Life is already a short trip. What if we enjoy it?
Keep on learning…
Why is it that we get that dopamine rush when we’re on a short trip?
We’ve all had that adventure, that even may last for a weekend only, it makes us feel like we are completely alive and living to the fullest. We try to discover, try to enjoy the place that we’re visiting and, every experience and moment there.
What’s funny, is that we don’t realize that we’re traveling at 30 km per second (around 18 miles/second) around the Sun or that we’re moving around 250 km/s around the Milky Way Galaxy!!
It’s up to us to choose the micro or macro perspective of the situation.
Enjoy the Ride and Keep on learning…