Habits from programming that are not always good in life

  1. Get things done— “I need to get it done”

Getting things done is so valuable in work that we never ever doubt whether we should apply it all the time. Life is not a basket for us to keep putting things inside. There will be time we are so overwhelmed that removing things is much more important. Treating everything as an achievement, we may also miss out its journey, the journey is what that matters. Being over-productive is not good either. There are days that I got so productive yet when I looked back on what I accomplished during that day, I did not see much fun out of them. Having fun and joy is as much important as having things done.

2. Logical — “That does not make sense”

A common reaction from a programmer is “that does not make sense” because we as programmers rely on logics to justify everything. Nevertheless, sometimes “logic does not make sense” as one of ex co-workers used to tell me, especially in dealing with people. Humans are the most complex living thing that we sometimes do not even understand ourselves how we behave or think the way we do, how could we expect others to understand for us or vice versa. We are all different and unique, so to put ourselves into others’ shoes and to empathize with them requires much of our effort. As much as we cannot control other people, we cannot control what happens to us in life, if we just stay there and wonder whether it makes sense, we in fact omit all the meanings of those omens. In any situation, good or bad, there is an opportunity to learn and a chance to excel. When things do not work out the way we want, it is a great occasion for us to sit down with ourselves, to say to ourselves that “it is okay to not be okay”, to go deeper inside to define the feeling or thinking, to see where it may come from, to be a friend with it. To me, those are when I feel most conscious, when I understand myself the most and when I can develop my self compassion. As someone says “to be happy all the time is not normal, it shows a disconnection from reality” like when we are having drugs. Life has within it ‘lows’ and ‘highs’, just be grateful for both.

3. Solution-oriented — “I need to find a solution”

Programmers are always in quest of solutions. Having a problem not solved is like having a needle in their asses. This habit in a negative way tends to invoke our discomfort in facing with problems, the feeling that “I do not want to be in it, I want to escape”. Things like un-wanting emotions are not supposed to be comfortable yet we should learn to touch them, to be with them, to understand rather than to run away from them. Expectation to find a solution right away can also stress us out. It takes time. Especially when we tend to turn outward to search for a solution “should I meet more people?”, “should I go to this or that place?”, however, sometimes the answer is within us that we need to instead turn inward to listen to our own feelings and thoughts. Turn on the mode of “there needs to be a solution” can also make us really exhausted. Sometimes, it is good to just let it be and let it go then over time, you will get what life is trying to tell you.

4. Systematic — “I see the pattern”

Life is not a formula, sometimes random and spontaneous things are what that give you excitement and positive energy. There are so much in life that we can explore if we get out of our own head and our fixed mindset. If we keep relying on patterns we are indeed missing out and there will be a point in which we feel totally empty. A simple example is that “eating this makes me happy does not mean if I keep having that food, I will feel the same”. This also means that if any point you do not see a pattern (like when things are messy), do not be frustrated and feel like there is something wrong because it is life. Instead, try to collect things one by one, to reorganize, to accept it as a new pattern if that makes you feel more comfortable. As in the way of how we perceive others, understand for them if they do not behave consistently without judgement is a good practice. That is when your curiosity should come in “huh, that is interesting”. This should also apply for how we perceive about future, where we are now might not tell us much about where we will be in the future. Covid has taught us that things can be turned upside down, yet, what remains is our cores — our courage, our basic goodness, our hope and our basic connection. Live so that you do your best for the moment and get excited for what may come tomorrow :) Cheers.

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone!”