Plan to get fear done

The problem: Worries are escorting your daily life.
Often, when decisions have to be made and when things have to be done time is lost while "fearing around". If you look at your daily life there can be plenty of little fears that accompany plenty little things that you are doing or thinking of.

The reason: Missing plan how to deal with new issues.
Looking into detail there are multiple reasons for the problem: Missing alignment, missing priorities, missing goals, missing knowledge, open decisions, sticking to things that passed away, Missing acceptance.

The solution: Have a plan to get things done and close the file.
When new issues - new problems, new goals, new phases of life - show up then you should deal with them correctly in order to solve them. Otherwise they will remain open somehow (even if "only" in the hidden basement of your brain). The final intention is to "close the file" - to make a checkmark the completed task or issue.

Although the issues might differ a lot in detail what they have in common is that they are open issues - they are consuming "brain force" and hence blocking you. As for recurring things you should have a procedure, here is a proposal:
  1. Become aware.
    Other than with emails where it can be clearly defined when there is a new item in your inbox for your personal mind it is not so obvious. Get sensitive for the blocking status - get a feeling for your mental "inbox". So that you can be conscious of new issues that touched ground of your mind and keep staying there. Look at yourself, step back and name the issue - definition is an important thing. Then become also aware of the related fears that come up when you think about the open issue.
  2. Get the facts.
    When you know your problem you can examine the facts that come along with your problem. Stick to clear facts at this stage because you are currently making experience. It is important not to make unproven assumptions at this stage. Facts can be related to the current effects you are experiencing as well as to the reasons or the environment you are in.
  3. Set goals and priorities or remind on them (if there have been set already priorities for such a type of issue).
    Goals and priorities are two different things that shouldn't be mixed: A goal mostly implies or comes along with the definition of an outcome and can be that you arrive from point A to point B but the solution can be very different depending on your priorities which can be for instance to arrive as soon as possible, consume less energy, pay less, have opportunity to know new people and so on. Depending on the priorities the variety of solutions is narrowed which later makes decision easier.
  4. Do research.
    Gather knowledge about the issue, about the effects, side effects, reasons and possible "cures". Separate clear and proven facts/rules (during practical use) from theoretical knowledge and from theories (unproven theoretical knowledge). And put aside your hopes and desires. Only with a clear separation of the knowledge item according to it's "strength" good decisions are possible. The research part is often the one that cannot be satisfied completely - especially when issues are urgent or not expected to have strong impacts. The time invested into the research phase should be adequate to the size and impact of your issue.
  5. Evaluate possible solutions.
    Find existing/known solutions or invent new solutions. This is the creative part. Then summarize the expected effects, side effects, benefits and drawbacks of the most applicable solutions. Think of a worst case scenario also.
  6. Review.
    Depending on the sum of facts, goals, priorities, results of research and evaluations it might be necessary to "go back to the start" or at least some steps back. Depending on what turned out in the previous steps it might be necessary to go back to point 3 - Set goals and priorities. Depending on urgency and impact the review phase might be skipped.
  7. Choose your way.
    Make your decision, choose the best fitting solution for your issue. It can also be a set of actions and strategies that can lead to solution of your issue.
  8. Accept the consequences.
    You have chosen your way and actions from best knowledge in an efficient way. All the consequences give you new experience and it is not worth crying if something happened in a different way as you expected. Remember that there is no wrong or correct decision - just actions and effects and as you have chosen your way the consequences are just bringing you the results of what you have decided to do in your life. So, why worry?
Related posts: Crappy guesswork, The fear, Something more important, Primary motivator.


To-Do-Lists and the calendar

About a week ago I read about to-do-lists at lifehack ("Back to Basics: Your Task List").

And then I also watched some videos of David Allen about the GTD and how important it is to get the things out of your head (see an interview with David Allen here and a presentation held by him here).

I do also feel better when writing things down and when I make lists (of what to buy, what is still to do in our new flat and so on). Until about two years ago I was using mostly To-Do-Lists but I used the calendar only for noting down appointments with external people.

Now I use GTD like methods (see "GTD - E-Mail Folders or Tags") - see also See also "A Two Minute GTD Overview from Success Making Machine".
But: I make also intensive use of the calendar.

Mr. Allen points out, that actions that take more than two minutes should be done immediately and others should be deferred. One "destination" for the longer tasks may be the calendar. I want to point out that using the calendar is even more important than creating to-do-lists!

When I used only To-Do-Lists I had the following problems:
  • When asked for a particular project finalization date or asked for possible schedules for new projects then I could never tell real dates instantly.
  • I wrote down the things to do but mostly did not write a time duration estimation to each task.
  • I set priorities but no deadlines.
  • I had noted an order by in reality it is usually not possible scheduling bigger tasks always one after the other. The reality is that I have to work on different projects in parallel.
  • I was not in Sync with other people relevant for a project.

When you use a calendar and schedule everything you need or want to do then the problems mentioned above are all addressed:
  1. When you are about to put a task into the calendar you automatically think of the task length because on most calendars there are written real times. As you need to find free time for each task you will automatically fill up the next days. You can see free space (gaps) and when your last task is scheduled. Tasks taking longer than a day must be split and you have to schedule another day and another. - The big advantage is that you are dealing with fixed dates. So you have an overview about your time (spent) and not "only" about the things that need to be done.
  2. Priorities are set implicitly by moving or deleting a task to make fit in another. It is also a decision about priorities but you don't have to figure out a number (as it is usually done).
  3. You can schedule two hours working on project A and afterwards scheduling two hours working on project B. Next day can be the same time splitting and so you can make progress on both projects. Such splitting is usually not showing up on a to-do-list.
  4. As I note down also the vacations of other important people at customers I also have an overview of not-available-times of other people and can sync my actions accordingly.
You can also schedule for instance 1 hour each day for all the small tasks that you get notice of (un)expectedly - for example review and act on the items in the action folder.

Related posts GTD - E-Mail Folders or Tags, Network planning. The benefit of planning.


Procrastination and interrupts

I am definitely not feeling to be a procrastinator but lately I found myself procrastinating a bigger task. - The very strange thing was that I was not fearing that task and I either found it to be meaningful. So I could not find a reason why I procrastinated that task.

I analyzed the situation and came to the following conclusion:
  1. I experienced a lot of interrupts before and I was already expecting the next one.
  2. To get back onto the task after an interruption can take a while if the task needs intensive concentration and therefore needs time.
  3. When too many interrupts occur it is frustrating because you waste your time with getting back to your task and before you achieve a mentionable step forward you will be interrupted again. So you work and concentrate but without progress. That is really frustrating.
  4. To avoid that frustration you stick to little tasks that can be finished between two interruptions. Those little tasks are often not so important but it is more efficient to get them finished than trying to advance in a bigger task without success.
  5. So my subconscious brain made that decision to proceed on the small tasks. And it was not procrastination! - It was improved efficiency as far as possible in that situation!

What I learn from it:
  • Eating the biggest frog first (working on the biggest task first) is not necessarily the best choice. You should schedule the biggest task at a time where you usually experience less interrupts which is not always in the morning hours.
  • You should try to get some isolation when you want to work on a bigger task. - In my working environment it is quite difficult - as I wrote earlier here - but not impossible to reduce interruptions anyway.
  • The subconscious brain tries to help you and is not just repeating bad habits learned in the past.
Related post: Why not multitasking howto.


Dissolved Aggressiveness

In an earlier post "Stop war by stopping defense" I proposed to stop defending activities because in the believe to defend yourself you can create war - or let's say now - you can trigger aggressive reactions of others.

There were two problems I faced when practicing:
  • There is aggressiveness already boiling within others or already in progress to cause them to action - aggressiveness that is not caused by me (oh what a discovery ;-) ).
  • Not defending me implies that I get hit and hurt by the aggressive (re-)actions of others.

The solutions:
  • You can deal with aggressiveness the same way as you can deal with suffering as I wrote in "There is suffering": Just let it go - Emotions are not strictly part of yourself - of your spirit. They are just like sun and rain - they come and go.
  • In the film "Karate Kid" I have seen many years ago the old teacher says (don't know yet how he tells in the English version because I have seen the German): "Best defense - don't be there". - Don't be where the hammer hits. Don't have your self-esteem - your ego - there where others want to attack you personally.
  • Imagine that every sort of aggressiveness dissolves when touching you from outside or is about to grow inside of you.
  • Sometimes it is really necessary to use forces to avoid big suffering. In such cases remember to never use forces against creatures in general! Use the forces only against violent actions! - See also my earlier post "An eye for an eye".
Be the one where aggressiveness is stopped, where peace evolves.

Related posts: Stop war by stopping defense, An eye for an eye, There is suffering, Stake your claim, Best defense, The wise talk less, The fool gives way without borders.


Economy Performance and Empathy

I don't know how it is in other countries but in Austria in the news you can hear and read about the economy performance about every two weeks. Sometimes they tell that the performance improved but my impression is that more often they tell that it is decreasing and people worry about the economy development.

When people talk about the economy I can see similar patterns as if talking about the weather. It seems that economy is a strange thing which cannot be influenced much. Well, there cannot be a big influence created by a single person, but everybody of us takes active parts in a lot of ways and hence can influence. In particular those who moan most: The companies with poor performance.

Well, yesterday I wanted to buy a medicine for my wife and the response at the shop was: The product is currently unavailable. In a second shop with another product the same. Then I remembered that I ran out of compact flash cards on my last holiday where I had to run around to find a shop where to buy one - in two shops they told me that newer cameras use different cards and hence they don't have it any more - if I want they can order it for me. I had several similar experiences in the last weeks. - Mmmhhhh - companies wants me to buy things and then they cannot serve me...

I see that performance of companies has to do with empathy. Management should put on the shoes of the consumers and find out the lacks and needs of the people around.


How to eat less

Additional kilos are often collected especially (but not only) with the evening meals. In many cases getting additional kilos is done by simply eating too much.

I discovered a way to eat less (maybe I could have read it already somewhere ;-) ): Get a very comfortable and stress free environment when taking meals. You will eat less, when you are relaxed!

For example:
  • Eat outside on the balcony or in your garden.
  • Put flowers around and turn on candles.
  • Avoid TV or other "activities" while taking your meal.
  • Meditate on your eating.
  • Drink water in between then the next bite will be fresh flavour.
It is very important to eat slowly! - It is another time I cannot resist linking to www.slowdownnow.org. :)

Remember that in a lot of cases eating is a substitute action to get satisfied! Try to be satisfied in your life in general and you will eat less.

Related posts: How to be happy, Urging to forge at full speed, Slowing down.


Reduce the stress factors

As it is not long ago that I have been on vacation, I wondered why I already looking forward to take a rest. This week I was (already) very active (again). One of my intentions during the last days was to find out what does really stress me.

It is not only having few time for doing many things that causes stress. It is also some particular situations that can stress or either particular persons. And it can be elements of your life in general or just a specific way you are doing something. As I found more and more stress sources I got aware of the horrific downsides of stress:
  • Reduced quality of what you are doing now and what you will do in the next minutes
  • Reduced motivation and therefore also reduced happiness
  • Reduced health in the long run (One can stand a stressy week with ease, a month is possible, 3 months is exhausting, 6 months of stress will reduce your life expectancy)
  • Because of the restricted view when under stress:
    • Trapping into pitfalls
    • Missing important information
    • Doing things wrong - making errors
    • Danger of doing harm to others (while choosing wrong words, producing incidents while not concentrated on the traffic while driving, ...)
    • Not seeing smart alternative solutions for the current problem
    • Missing opportunities (that could have positive effects on a thing that is important for you but has not to do with the thing your are currently occupied with).
  • You get a bad image (people think you can't manage your life well)
And the worst: All the above produces either more stress! It is a doom loop, a vicious circle!

So cut off your stress factors!

A first important step is to be very attentive of what is causing stress for you, it can be
  • Too much to do in too few time
    You have to plan your time well and plan at least double of the time for a thing as you would expect. And do leave free space in your calender. And unclutter your life. Do less things to have more time for the more important things.
  • Situations that are linked with fears
    Find the reason of your fears and solve them or avoid the situations (find a patch not to get into that exact situation).
  • Situations that are new
    Get familiar with new situations - take them as a new opportunity to learn and gain knowledge.
  • Things that you might have thought they are for your comfort
    Not everything we have got with the intention to improve our life (comfort or quality) does (still) give what it gave in the past or what we expected.
  • Methods we use to solve particular daily problems
    Because of old habits we might handle specific events in the same bad way we did it for years. In most cases bad habits worked well in the past or worked well for similar situations (but not for this one). - Be flexible and search for new solutions producing less stress.
  • Particular persons may produce stress
    This can be co-workers, your boss or even friends. An important tip here: In a lot of cases you are producing stress (also) for them. So do not stress others and they will stress you less. And sure, where possible you can also avoid contact to those people.
  • Moving or being fast in general
    It might be because of fears, because of a manic phase or simply because you think that you will not survive if you don't do everything possible to accomplish more or earn more money. Doing things slowly does not mean not to do them (don't mix that up with procrastination).
Not convinced so far to cut off stress factors immediately? - There is one sentence I was soooo glad to read at www.slowdownnow.org because it helped me so changing my intentions:

If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly.
Read the Slow Manifesto at www.slowdownnow.org.

Related posts: Why not multitasking how to, Why investing enough time rules, Change hype, Urging to forge at full speed, The present moment, Hurry home ... no more running, When to strictly avoid multitasking, How to be happy, Slowing down, About drugs, Speed, Productivity limits, External success factors.

Change hype

I lately read a lot of blog posts about change - to be the change, life-long learning and hence changing, not to stick in the past and so on.

People feel stressed by all the new things they could and should learn, by new situations they have to get familiar with, by all the new products rising, opportunities they probably miss. In the end everybody feels stressed because time is going on so fast and they have to adapt. Everybody is a victim and nobody feels responsible and nobody feels himself cause and reason.

I often wonder how fast people decide to adapt new things without analyzing the benefit. And even more often a new thing is the trigger to take action and not a particular problem to solve. So people get used to things they didn't miss before. There is much written about people don't really like to change but I think they change a lot. I see it from words like "beta testers", "early adopters", "trend setters" and others - especially in email newsletters there are many words used that should create a good feeling because getting some really early and still secret information. People want to be cool or simple fear to be left behind if they do not get the newest things.

As working in IT I feel overwhelmed by all the technologies I get told to be so exiting new and I should learn. But people are often neither asking for the major benefits of migrating to a new product, service or way of living.

I am not against change - I already changed several times my mainly used programming language for instance. But I ask for benefits and costs of the change. It does not make sense to continuously being in change because the change/migration phase is not the peek of productivity. The arguments are:
  • Migration to something new costs time and often also money.
    New products must be bought, people must be trained, ...
  • New products or paths usually do not work very well at the beginning - there are usually some "patches" required after a first test period.
  • New is not always better.
    Sad, but true - there are a lot of new things created that are not having improved quality. - Sometimes new things were just produced cheaper and hence do have less quality.
Change can be a good thing and I am not against change. But there must be clear benefits and the costs may not be exaggerated in relation. When something new has been adapted/implemented and it works well then it should be used a while to be profitable.

So analyze the real problem, the benefits and risks of possible solutions as well as their costs. As you do look at different sites, compare prices and qualities before buying a new car, why not also for your personal development?

To change or not to change - that is the question. You have to set the benefits, risks and costs in relation to each other.

As we are all part of the whole we must start slowing down the change speed if we want to reduce the stress of change requests and requirement. I good site to start slowing down is www.slowdownnow.org.

Related posts: Quickly change a habit, Hard exercise, You can learn fast. Decision planning, As it would be the last day, Direction over goals, Slowing down.


Stop war by stopping defense

The problem: You are feeling getting involved in a war.
War can be fought on several levels, it doesn't have to be physical war. It can be fought on economic level, on psychological level, in a discussion (see also How to Keep a Relationship at ThinkSimpleNow), by mobbing and so on. It hasn't to be plenty of soldiers running against another plenty of soldiers. War is already started in the small - when two people cannot live in peace next to each other. Although you in general do not want to fight or trigger a war you sometimes suddenly feel already within a war without either noticing how it happened. This can happen even although your philosophy is very far from starting wars.

The reason: War is mostly started during defense and defense is practiced because of fears.
Mostly a war is caused by defensive actions in the will to survive. While the will to stay living is a legitimate idea life is often not threatened. Defensive actions are already started when the idea comes up that something might happen that in the long run can threaten not only your life but also your resources and either your ideas. Defensive actions are often an exaggerated reaction to some others action interpreted as an attack or interpreted as the possible preparation for an attack.

In your daily life there can be many actions interpreted as an attack or as a threat by others without your notice and so you get fought and don't know why.

The solution: Stop actions that hurt others and don't act defensive where not necessary.
You need to improve your empathy ("try other ones shoes", imagine yourself in the situation of the other, listen with attention) to find out how you are hurting others. Pay attention not only to your actions, also to your words. Find out your fears - they might be completely exaggerated. Don't respond with defensive reactions where not necessary. Step back and look at the situation. Imagine a world war and think twice if it is really necessary to fight right here at the moment. Imagine there is war and nobody attends.

Related posts: An eye for an eye, About religions, Dissolved Aggressiveness, Best defense, The wise talk less.


Setting borderlines

While many talking about setting goals I found something missing during my daily experiences: Missing borderlines.

Where you need borderlines/limits:
  • Education of children (there you need a lot)
  • Weekly working hours
  • Minimum sleeping hours
  • Exploitation of the world resources
  • ...
Borderlines have to do with area. You need space for yourself, for realizing your goals and for everything you want to put into your life. So there need to be limits for other things so they do not eat up all the time and space available.

It is like the old Zen koan I got reminded of thanks to Avani at Avani-Mehta blog:
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen. Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

Time, space and resources are limited. When you want to change in most cases you need free space. The most important area is yourself: Your time, your mind, your health, your personal resources.

To respect also the of other people borderlines is needed for our all living together as every living individual (human or animal) needs a territory - some place to live and hence parts of the resources. This applies to physical needs and either to non-visible things like individual thinking.

So be aware of existing borderlines - yours and those of others. And set clear borderlines to ensure that everything in your life gets emphasized appropriately.


Why investing enough time rules

The Parkinson's Law (basically) states:
work expands to fill the time available
I already wrote about it earlier here.

Introduction: When I got notice of the Parkinson's Law the first time I already had a feeling in the belly that usage of this rule is counter productive and I will not adopt it. However, I found out in the meantime: I am already using Parkinson's Law! - Why? - We have a baby! So, since about 9 months my time for new private projects is from zero to one hour a day maximum. Although he is sleeping sometimes longer in the afternoon or plays alone there are other things like housekeeping to do in this time. And further my wife is not working yet and hence has more time she wants to spend with me. So time for other projects or hobbies is reduced to an absolute minimum. The hobbies I can do most is photography because I can take pictures from our son while looking after him. Many people strongly recommend to shoot in raw and postprocess images on the computer. And for this I simply do not have time. I can be happy if I have time to sort them out and put some on the internet.

The minimal use of Parkinson's law: Reducing the available time and/or budget by a nonessential amount can indeed increase productivity because people then are cutting off the unnecessary things. So this helps avoiding bloated projects. People may also find smarter solutions for an existing problem. But important here is: Continuously reducing time/budget a little is the same as extreme usage of Parkinson's law!

The extreme use of Parkinson's law: Reducing the available time and/or budget by an essential amount will freeze the project! Reducing available time in general or increasing open projects or to-dos by an essential number leads to giving up on all (bigger) projects. In the extreme - what can't be done in an hour or in one (business) day must be dropped. When looking at time and budget separately you can reduce time significantly by investing more money sometimes - sometimes. With a minimum of available time/budget people usually tend to start doing something immediately to solve the problem but usually do not do (any) planning. This increases the probability of total escalation.

Not use Parkinson's law and doing the opposite: On the other hand when increasing available time and/or budget for a project then people can be more creative.

Simple sample: If you have only very little time to furnish your apartment then you will have no time to look at different shops and take the first and/or cheapest things you see. If you have enough time then you can develop ideas for smart solutions how to use the available space in your home. You will feel better and your home will be more functional and prettier.

Enough time means that people use enough time to plan and find smart solutions. And if people find smarter solutions during work (because of their experiences in a new realm of work) they have time and money buffers to implement changes to get the smarter solution. Enough time means improved quality and improved creativity. And if there is really no more time needed to improve quality any more then people may be so creative to invent new products for similar problems. Imagine what type of car you would have if companies wouldn't invest enough time into research and development...

But there is a prerequisite that is needed to make it work increasing quality by increasing time: You need your workers to be motivated! Otherwise they will use the more time doing other things than improving the quality.

Related post: Parkinson's Law and quality, Urging to forge at full speed.


Quickly change a habit

The problem: A bad habit must be changed quickly to avoid further suffering.
When you found a bad habit it often takes a lot of time to change it. This can be a big problem because the bad habit can have very negative impacts. Although you know the situation, the bad habit and an alternative solution you cannot change the habit immediately.
Sample: You react emotional in specific situations with your wife, a friend, a co-worker or even the boss which lead to litigations.

The reason: Most bad habits are a row of fast automatic reactions.

The solution: Pattern recognition and early intervention.
Most bad habits are not triggered by a single signal. Usually there are several circumstances that must come together - or in other words - most problems are multi-cause-problems.
Although it will still need hard work and you will probably not change all your bad habits immediately the following steps can help to improve habit changing speed:
  1. Get aware of all the parameters (external and internal events and status) that are relevant for the critical situation.
  2. Identify external and internal triggers and steps that lead to the critical situation or either just increase the possibility of escalation to the critical situation.
  3. Think of alternatives to avoid already the early contributors to the situation that later on may escalate.
When you analyze only the situation when already escalating you will also only get aware of the critical situation when already escalating, about to escalate or however very shortly before. This can be too late to stop your reactions that are already running automatically.

Early notice when you are on a "probably dangerous path" that may lead to a bad situation and early intervention overcomes the problem of the delay with which you are recognizing the escalation of a situation.

Further, knowing many contributing details, you can choose from a greater amount of possibilities where you can change things. This does not mean that you should avoid any action you take. It means that you can do things in another way when they are far from getting difficult and dangerous.

There is a story I came along many years ago but I remembered it right now because it illustrates what I mean - the hole:

Imagine, you are walking on the street. There is a hole. You fall into it. It is the fault of the others. You are angry about the spite of other persons and you are thinking who could be the person that dig you that hole. It consumes a lot of power and time to get out of the hole.

Imagine, your are walking on the street. There is a hole. You fall into it. It is your fault. You are angry about yourself. It consumes a lot of power and time to get out of the hole.

Imagine, your are walking on the street. There is a hole. You fall into it - it's routine. You climb up.

Imagine, your are walking on the street. There is a hole. You take a roundabout route and don't fall into it.

Imagine to take another street and there is no hole.

Related posts: Safety distance, Hard Exercise, How to instantly change a habit.


Hard exercise

The post 5 Healthy Reasons to Stop Looking for Magic Pills at the Positivityblog gave me a feeling of relief. Although I know that life is life long learning somewhere hidden in the background there is often the search for the "magic pill" - the piece of information or piece of software that solves all my problems at once.

Accepting the truth that there does not exist in general a quick and easy solution solving a big amount of problems at once brings the advantage that you stop wasting time searching for such a wonder.

I often find people trying to solve problems with a piece of software that is definitely not intended to solve such kind of problems. As vendors often write on their websites that nearly every problem can be solved with their piece of software (in some cases you only have to write a damn plugin ;-) ) a lot of people believe it. Or maybe they use that software because that piece of software is the one they know best.... - They often loose a lot of time trying to apply a lot of dirty hacks.

Speaking of software, as a software developer I was used to the idea that solving a problem once (writing a program) solves it forever. Yes, this is (partly) true for software development (with the change of programming languages and underlying operating systems re-solving the same problem can be necessary, so "forever" is mostly not really forever) and it can be (partly) true for a lot of other technical problems. But this is technical realm.

When we are working on ourselves trying to improve and get better you cannot just apply a fix and then all your problems or "instabilities" are solved. Not even for one particular problem it mostly is not that easy.

The sad truth is: You have to exercise - practice on and on to "implement" the changes. This is hard work and takes time.

What helps reducing the time to "implement fixes":
  • Analyze the problem and find the "real" (root) problem.
    Sometimes a set of actual problems we face is just a lot of effect of an error made earlier.
  • Discover the reason.
    Find the cause for the harmful event and the motivation behind your actions that caused suffering.
  • Change the philosophy.
    Re-think your particular or general philosophy, beliefs and convictions accordingly so better experiences and results can be expected.
But then still there remains hard work!

Related post: Find the root problem


Safety distance

There is a lot you can learn by trial and error. But there are some actions and either whole jobs where errors can have fatal impacts:
  • Changing a baby (you have to pay attention that it does not fall from the changing table)
  • Driving a car
  • Doctor at operation
  • ... and many, many more
As I work in software development there are a very lot of errors and there are either some sort of errors that can have fatal impacts - for example the programs for money transfer and other data transactions.

In such cases it is important to have a "safety distance" from the dangerous and critical point. I mean here with safety distance every behavior and security tool that helps reducing the probability of fatal incidents. Imagine you are standing on a high rock and look down. You will probably not step to the very front line. So I think of staying away from the most dangerous situations.

When working on large projects it can also be important to avoid situations and solutions that can go easily wrong as for instance think of worst case scenarios and try to avoid them already in advance by choosing different solutions or at least identify early indicators. And for programming it means to do more error checking in your code, use checksums on data transfers and so on.

You are not immediately a perfectionist if you simply keep the "safety distance" to reduce the probability of fatal impacts. Perfectionism starts when keeping the safety distance to non-critical situations.


Lessons from a baby

I am back from vacation. In former times I slept and read more on vacation. This time I invested the time with our baby. I want to share some things I can learn from my 9 months old son:
  • He is feeling well no matter where he is as long as the loved ones are around.
    We often refuse being happy because the hotel room is too small or when we find the beach dirty - things that do not really count in life.

  • Have a smile for every new person you meet.
    Although he does not talk and does not have cool things like a fast car, an iPod or other cool things, he found a lot of friends. Meeting a new person the first thing he did, was looking in the eyes and smiling and so he managed it.

  • Invest time in looking at a new situation or thing before immediately taking action.
    In a lot of cases I could see that he is looking around a long time when confronted with something new. This is a good habit in my opinion which can save you some harm.

  • Everything new is a reason for happiness.
    When you get notice of something new it is at first a reason to be happy. Everything new has the potential of being useful. At least - if it is not - you can say that this also has been tried or taken into consideration.

  • Listen mindfully.
    Although he does not understand much so far, he is listening very attentive when you talk to him.

  • Insist in your right to be respected by others.
    When he is ignored for a longer while he is rising his voice and complains about the fact that he is not taken into consideration. When you respect others and take them into consideration it is your right also to be taken into consideration and that others respect also your needs.