The jurney not the goal

The jurney not the goal

R) One of the biggest mistakes people make when starting a new path is too much concentrating on the end goal and not enjoying the way.

Proper mindset

E) Meet Anna. She is a junior programmer doing pretty good work. Although just as most youngster developers she is surrounded with concepts she do not know about. Some routera and DNS, best practices, functional programming, … The list goes on and on. So she is frustrated, and she spends every spare moment on learning. As I observed many of my friends becoming developers from start, I see this patterns emerging again and again.

R) I am not standing in opposition to learning. Just the opposite. But the key is to enjoy it. The key is also to have a proper balance. Without it, learning is not only a painful experience, but also inefficient in long run.

Enjoying our lives

M) Think of hiking mountains. Conquering mountain peaks is a great form of leisure. But it requires a proper mindset. Those thinking just about being at the top will not enjoy the journey. Maybe they will reach it a bit faster, but is it worth it? On the end we spend only a moment at the top. Maybe we sit and reflect a view, we can drink a cap of tee, but soon we will get bored and feel it is a time to find another mountain to conquer.

E) The same in life. The funny thing is that after a few years those people will learn all that, and they will face the opposite problem - what they do will stop being challening, and they will start looking for a different job. At this point many developers either switch to management positions or change their field (for instance switch from backend to mobile development).

R) We spend most of our time on the journey. If we do not enjoy it, we do not enjoy our life. Our life is a journey, the obstacle is the way. Enjoying our lives is not enjoying the moments you were at the top. It is enjoying every moment.

Taking your time

M) I once observed a person really ambitious in reaching the top. We first seen him running at the top, to later outrun him as he was fighting for a breath. In mountains people quickly learn that this is not the best way to go.

E) Apparently in the real life it is not so clear, and we all know people who first work on something like a crazy to be later burned like a crisp. The time of relaxation, and the time of obsessive working. I myself was like that for years.

R) The key is in the balance. We should not rush some things too much. Take our time. If you have a dream, think about realizing it well over years, instead of doing it ASAP. It feels much better than.

Enjoy every moment

M) What if, in the middle of the hiking, a weather would get bad, and a rescue services would come to get you back. Would you be happy with the journey you had, or would you be upset that you couldn’t reach the peak. If the letter, you should reconsider your mindset.

E) This example is not abstract at all. Whatever we do, we might experience that. Maybe we learn a new technology, and then out of the sudden from some reason no one is using it anymore. Like in Android most developers learned RxJava, and soon after that it stopped being trendy and everyone started switching to Kotlin coroutines.

R) Ask yourself, would you be angry “I spent so much time on that”, or would you rather think “I had a lot of fun learning that, and now I have occasion to lear something new”. You know which mindset is healthier for us. Especially when we realize that nothing is certain and we might need to change our path at every moment.

R) I am a programmer. I might feel that this skill gives me stability. But what if I would lose control in my fingers, and I wouldn’t be able to do my job? Or if some crisis would make the world stop using electricity? Or if an AI would replace developers? To be prepared, I am enjoying my job now. If I loose it, I will honestly say to myself “This was a great time, now I can look for another good way of spending my life”.

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Marcin The author of the Effective Kotlin and Android Development in Kotlin books, founder of the Kt. Academy and Learning-Driven, programming trainer, speaker at international conferences, experienced developer.
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