« All Episodes

The Zen Developer - What Are You Pushing On?

Published 12/7/2018

On today's episode, we're talking about the idea of striving or pushing toward a goal. That energy we're putting into our goals based on our past. In this episode, we're asking you to think about where we're pushing and how we can shift our thinking to establish a more calm view of our careers and personal selves.

Today's Episode is Brought To you by: Discover.bot

Discover.bot – a digital space for bot developers and enthusiasts of all skill levels to learn from one another, share stories, and move the conversation forward. New to bots? Get started with their Beginner’s Guide.

Get in touch

If you have questions about today's episode, want to start a conversation about today's topic or just want to let us know if you found this episode valuable I encourage you to join the conversation or start your own on our community platform Spectrum.chat/specfm/developer-tea

🧡 Leave a Review

If you're enjoying the show and want to support the content head over to iTunes and leave a review! It helps other developers discover the show and keep us focused on what matters to you.

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Every day you use your energy to do something. And I'm not talking about some mystical concept. I'm talking about your literal energy, the calories that you burn. You actually use your energy to do something. That something may be simply staying alive, laying on the couch and watching Netflix. It may be writing code. And a lot of what you're doing as a developer and as human is your thinking. And I want to talk to you today about what you are pushing on. We'll kind of define this term pushing for the sake of today's episode in just a moment. My name is Jonathan Cutrell, you're listening to Developer Tea. My goal in the show is to help driven developers like you connect to your career purpose and do better work. So you can have a positive influence on the people around you. The idea of pushing the striving that we do as humans, it's not always striving. It's not always stressful. And sometimes it is us actually just moving towards something, something we're attempting to do. We're putting our energy into it. But as humans often, we don't have a great way of knowing where we should be pushing. Not only do we often prioritize poorly, we do things that don't matter before we do the things that do matter or we do things in the wrong order. And so the things that we do later would have been easier how we done them earlier. Up beyond that, we have a mindset shift. And the idea that we are living at some point, we're living at some point in a timeline. Now, the timeline is relatively constructed by ourselves, us having memories of the past and having some predictions of the future and some perception of the present. There's an interesting kind of wire crossing that happens for humans where we push on this timeline. We think about the past and we use our mental energy somehow trying to change what has already happened. We also have this strange kind of obsession with trying to change what is getting ready to happen, the near future. Unfortunately, when we're pushing on something that takes our kind of mental faculties, it takes our awareness to those points in time. We're going to talk about today's sponsor really quick and then we're going to come back and talk about this subject a little bit more about where we are pushing and how we can shift our thinking a little bit and hopefully gain a little bit more of a kind of calm and stress, a lower stress outlook on both the work that we do and our lives in general. But first I want to talk about Discover.Bot. Discover.Bot is an online community for bot creators on its own, even a good idea isn't always as powerful as it could be. But when a good idea is shared, it gains strength and momentum. It becomes capable of changing things in ways both small and large and a good idea shared becomes an innovation. Discover.Bot aims to set at the intersection of ideas and innovation. Discover.Bot aims to help people turn their experiences, discoveries, stories, advice and knowledge into part of a shared canon that moves everyone forward. For veteran bot creators and beginners alike, Discover.Bot is a place for learning, teaching and talking. Go and check it out Discover.Bot slash Developer Teawhere you can join in on discussions like designing personality, how bots express themselves through language or how to choose a framework for your next bot build. Again, head over to Discover.Bot slash Developer Tea and join the Discover.Bot community today. Thanks again to Discover.Bot for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. So as you go throughout your day today, assuming you're listening to this in the morning or sometime midday, and if you're listening to it in the evening, keep this advice for tomorrow, as you go throughout your day, I want you to recognize a moment where you feel a strong negative emotion. This happens for virtually everyone, at some point, on most days. Emotions are not things that we can really control. We don't really have direct mechanism to prevent emotions from happening. But we do have the opportunity to observe how those emotions affect us and then respond to them in new ways. So I want you to kind of keep track, keep a mental note, kind of a trigger that whenever you feel that strong emotion or maybe shortly after you feel that strong emotion, think about what caused that strong emotion. A particularly good emotion or kind of state of mind to investigate is stress. This is the sense that we have something that is bearing down on us, that we are perhaps incapable of accomplishing or of beating. This is often stress is kind of linked with anxiety in these kinds of discussions because the fear that comes along with this bearing down can create a sense of dread in the uncertainty that is inherent with the future. So if you investigate your stress and think about what it is that you're worrying about and try to find a point on that timeline, try to point out where that thing matters. Does the thing that is generating stress for you, does it matter today? Does it matter in a week or in a month? Perhaps in a year, five years? Try to imagine exactly where you will be in three, five, ten years from now. And imagine the thing that you're stressed about. How important is that thing in five years from now? How much of an effect on your life did it have or would it have? Are you still in five years from now as stressed about that thing as you are today? You see, the thing that we are often pushing on is right out of our reach, whether it's the past or it's the near future. We're often taking ourselves out of the present moment and we're putting our minds into a place that really they don't belong. Humans are not very good fortune tellers or future tellers. There are too many variables for us to be able to control and predict all of them. So instead of pushing on this near future or trying to push on the past, I would encourage you to find the interval of time where the things that commonly stress you out no longer matter. At some point, and you have to allow yourself to think even beyond your own life in some cases for this to become truly relevant, but at some point those things will not matter. Now if we can adopt this idea, this is very similar by the way to a previous episode we did on the concept of non-attachment. I encourage you if this episode is inspiring to you, go and listen to the episode about non-attachment that we did. I believe it was the last week. But the freeing idea, the root idea here is that at some point the thing that seems to matter greatly to us today, the thing that is stressing us out to a unreasonable degree today, at some point in that timeline it's not going to matter. So encourage you to think, try to imagine what life is like when your stresses don't exist. When the things that you're stressed about are really they've become trivial, they've become a non-event. I want to be very clear that I'm not recommending that you stop caring about what you're doing. This isn't intended to send the message to that. Well if things don't matter anyway then why should they matter at all? Why should I put any effort forward at all? Instead this is a message that the failures that you experience, the negative events that you experience, the stress that you experience is fleeting. That all of these things that we kind of over inspect and we hold on to and we fear so greatly that they will pass and that we have the opportunity to live in a less stressed kind of mode of thinking. And when we're less stressed ironically we will end up doing better work. When we are less attached to the outcomes of our work we can focus more on the procedure that it takes to do something right for example. Instead of being rushed because we feel like we have to get this very important thing done we can slow down, we can enjoy and stay curious throughout the process. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to Discover.bot for sponsoring today's episode. Head over to Discover.bot slash Developer Teato join the Discover.bot community. Thank you so much for listening. If you are enjoying today's episode I'd love for you to do two simple things. One, share it with another person you think can benefit from thinking about what they are pushing on today. And then number two, subscribe or review. There's kind of three options here but subscribe or review. If you've already subscribed, I'd love for you to leave a review and iTunes I read every single one of those reviews and they help me ensure that the quality of the show stays as high as possible but they also help other developers like you find the show. Thank you so much for listening and until next time, enjoy your tea.