Victor Martinez

What I have learnt from 2016

Posted on Posted in Thoughts

The New Year’s Eve is a special moment for many people. It is time to reflect on the things that had been done, plan new goals for the coming year and change routines. During that process I did a review of 2016 and compiled the lessons into this text in a way that I can read it later. It is kind of a personal growth manifesto but I hope you find it useful.

The motivation is inside you

Googling “Motivation” returns “the reason/reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way”. Unfortunately there are moments in our life that we might find ourselves doing something without any reason. The best action to take in order to avoid it is answering the question:

What motivates/moves/pushes you?

If you do not have the answer probably you will end up delegating it to companies/people/things and hardly living the life you want.

Never put yourself down

The way you see yourself will be the way people will see you. If you convey confidence there is no reason for others to see you as a fearful person. Putting yourself down is an addictive and harmful behavior that I experienced in last year and it gets worse the more you keep with that manner. By doing so you get depressive, unmotivated and tired. Additionally you lose professional opportunities and lean people away from you.

Keep your mind fresh with positive thoughts and have a clear picture of your capabilities.

Be confident but never arrogant

Unfortunately arrogance is mixed up with confidence. When it happens you end up not only criticizing those who are confident but also never trust on themselves due to the fear of being judged as arrogant. Stablishing the differences is the key to start building up a confident profile:

Confidence means you trust on yourself and your capabilities.

Arrogance is an attitude of superiority manifested by thinking you are better than others.

Never mix them up because being confident will put yourself in challenging experiences. On the opposite, being arrogant will open a long bridge to that.

Be humble

Being a master at Web Development does not mean someone is better than you. The same way, you are not better than anyone just because you speak other language(s), know a specific technology or have muscles. Many experienced professionals face new technologies, processes and people with presumptions and overestimated confidence. That behavior entraps you in an illusion of knowledge.

The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge. (Daniel J. Boorstin)

This topic reminds me of an unforgettable friend’s quote:

It is important to see the things (learn) by an intern’s eyes.

It means that we should never look at things/technologies/processes/people with presumption or arrogance. We should always have the fire inside us to learn the same way a fresh intern has when it gets its first job.

Be true to yourself

There are moments in our life we question ourselves if the path we are going through is really what we want. Sometimes we put up with people that put us down, envious relationships and stressful environments.

What do you really believe? What do you want for your life? Do you live the way you want? Why not?

What stops you from having the life style you really want?

Have a study plan

The path towards being a better person/professional requires constant study. Gather the subjects/books/materials you want to devour and outline a plan in order to fulfill that. Everyday there is something new that surely can fresh our mind with food for thought.

Read as much as possible

Books, articles, newspapers. It does not matter. Reading everyday brings us benefits like stress reduction, knowledge and memory improvement.

Just do it

We all have plans and lots of them are not accomplished. Working out everyday, developing a side project or waking up early are some examples that never kick off. It happens because we give ourselves excuses to not do it: “It is hard”, “I have no time” or “I do not have enough money”. Deeply understand what it takes to do it and S-T-A-R-T. The hardest thing to do is start.

Treat your [physical/mental] health professionally

When it comes to studying we all agree it is necessary. People trace plans, dedicate time for reading and pay online courses. Why does it not happen to mental and physical health? Unfortunately we tend to put aside our health in detriment of our professional health. However, it is not sustainable once our productivity and well-being depends on our mental faculties and physical health.

Meditation, for example, improves our focus and makes us more attentive to everything in life. There are plenty of courses and free materials available in the internet. Recently Zeno Rocha published a list of Top Apps and Headspace was among it. Try it!

Working out everyday gives you energy and productivity to your lifeand that is ignored by many of us.

Do not compare yourself to others

If you keep comparing yourself to others you will end up frustrated and extremely anxious. The focus on yourself is shifted towards others and you will not achieve what is important to you. When it comes to fresh new job or a high-level professional environment we tend to push ourselves to the limit and, sometimes, see how our colleagues are performing. However, it is important to accept that there are different paths for different people and it each one of us has its singularities. Focus on your path is the key to keep your motivation high and be a better person everyday.

Help others

In other words, teach! I am a better person and professional year after year due to awesome people who have been giving me thoughts, lessons, feedbacks and pushes. Moreover there are uncountable amount of useful material in the Internet that professionals share everyday for free. Those pockets of knowledge transmission is part of a chain people that understood it is impossible to grow up alone. Be grateful for having such access to information and pay it back by helping others.

You are the result of people around you

We are strongly influenced by those around us. Of course each one of us has its own idiosyncrasies but it is a fact the environment we are engulfed affects our choices and behavior. If you work with people that pushes you to your limit and are constant learning new things you will develop yourself quickly. On the contrary, letting yourself surrounded by lazy and professionally outdated people will make your career path hammer down.

Be attentive about the people who bring you light, good energy and pushes you to the limit. On the same way be the light to help others towards a better personal and professional life.

Happy New Year.

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