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Introspection - Part 2 - Why & Why Not

Published 9/11/2017

Today's episode is our second introspection episode - we'll be using values to ask ourselves two key questions about our decisions.

Today's episode is brought to you by Linode.

Linode provides superfast SSD based Linux servers in the cloud starting at $5 a month. Linode is offering Developer Tea listeners $20 worth of credit if you use the code DEVELOPERTEA2017 at checkout. Head over to spec.fm/linode to learn more about what Linode has to offer to Developer Tea listeners!

Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
What are your values? That seems like an open question, but of course this is part two in a self-reflection episode of Developer Tea. What are your values? This is an important question to answer. It's not the question we're going to talk about in today's episode, but it is important for you to have your values established, have your values determined to be able to work through some of the stuff that we're going to be talking about in today's episode. So I challenge you, if you don't have your values written out, to take a minute, this is kind of a bonus pause in your day, take a minute and write out things that are important to you. That's really kind of the most basic way of describing what values are. Things that are important to you, things you believe in, perspectives that you think are important for your world view. These are things that, as we'll find out in this episode, ultimately impact how you behave in the world. They impact your decisions. We're going to talk about how those values can impact your decisions in today's episode. My name is Jonathan Cutrell. I already said you're listening to Developer Tea. My goal in the show is to help you become a better developer. Sometimes that means helping you become more self-aware or sharing ways that I have found for myself to become more self-aware. I'm not a counselor. I certainly don't have a degree in that subject. I don't have a degree in psychology. Everything you hear on the show is really anecdotal. It's more intended to share things, insights that I have found for myself in hopes that you will have some common ground with me. In hopes that some of these discussions will trigger something in your own experience as your own mind that is positive and valuable for you. That's the goal of this show. I'm thankful to say that some developers have contacted me. They've said that the discussions that were promoted on this show, and ultimately that they took into their own lives with their peers, they took on that responsibility and they stood up. They started doing things differently after listening to the show. I couldn't hope for anything more than that. I couldn't hope for you to do anything more than to take what we talk about here and apply it. Find out how it applies if it applies in your own life, in your own situation. Thank you so much for listening to this show. It really means so much to me that I'm able to do this for those of you who listen. Thank you. We're asking this question centered around values. I have two questions that you can ask that will point you back to your values. It sounds unbelievably simple and we're going to go through both of those. The first question is why? Why am I doing this particular thing today, right now, in this moment? Why am I listening to developer T? Why am I, for me, why am I creating developer T? Why am I going to the gym every morning at 5 a.m.? There are multiple questions that you can ask that if you ask why and then you continue to ask why, eventually at the end of that train of questions, at the end of asking why, over and over, you should arrive at your values. There's a possibility that you're going to arrive at something like, well, I have to stay alive, right? But strangely enough, even having values, provides you a way of asking the question, why do you want to keep living? This is a little bit more intense than we usually get on this show, but you can ask the question why and the reason that you want to continue doing whatever it is ultimately should come back to one of those values, right? This is a difficult thing to really ask that question in the right way and answer it in the right way that will lead you to a value. It's also enlightening to recognize the things that you can't trace back to one of your values. These are things that you're doing for some reason that you haven't quite figured out yet. For example, a lot of times the answers that lead back to something that isn't your core values, a lot of times those answers are related to peer pressure or wanting to please somebody else wanting to not get under their skin or go against something that they want you to do. This is very important to recognize if that is a pressure that you feel, then it's important to recognize what is the purpose of continuing to appease that person. You can ask yourself why on that, right? Why do I want to continue pleasing this person? Common answer would be, well, that person is my boss, right? That's a good answer to that question. That person is my boss. They are in charge of my employability and so I do things to keep them happy sometimes. That's a perfectly fine answer and you shouldn't feel self conscious about that answer. I want you to ask yourself these questions and really you can do this in multiple ways. One way that makes sense is to create your task list and identify values that each of the tasks on your task list kind of points back to, right? This can help you prioritize your tasks. If you have one that really maximizes all of those value orientations, it really hits every box on your list, then perhaps that one can receive a little bit more consideration in priority. Of course, we aren't really talking about prioritizing tasks, but that's another way, another way of judging priority for the things that you do in your day. Ultimately, what we're trying to do is start to recognize the things that we're doing that we need to stop doing. We're going to take a quick sponsor break and come back and talk about the second question. Why not? Today's episode is sponsored by Linode. They've helped this show continue for so long now, but they do have an excellent product. I don't even have to have the read in front of me to explain to you the benefits of using Linode. You can get up and running with a Linux server in just a few minutes and that server is going to perform excellently for you. It's built on SSD. That means it's super fast. They also have super fast internal networking between their servers. If you wanted to create a round robin, a distributed load system inside of Linode, you can do that. They have that as a service called node balancers. That is a fundamentally supported thing in Linode. You also get excellent support. You get this all at an industry rate that is the best deal per gigabyte of RAM, dollar to gigabyte of RAM ratio. Linode is beating pretty much everyone. You can start at $5 a month by the way. This is insanely cheap. If you don't have a Linux server, then you're going to have a hard time figuring out a better way to spend $5 a month. On top of that, Linode is providing you with $20 worth of credit just for being a Developer Tealistener. Go and check it out. Linode. It starts at $5 a month. Go and check it out. Let's ask the next question. We've asked why and in the previous episode, we've identified the things that we can be best at. We've identified the things that we need to stop trying to be better at because we know we're never going to be the best at those things. Those things that we're only going to be mediocre at. We've also identified roadblocks that we've placed in our own path that keep us from maximizing our potential. Of course, again, in this episode, we identified the facts that everything that we do should be able to be traced back to one of our values. There's a really driving us to do everything that we do. And asking why, asking why I'm doing something should leave me back to my values. The final question that I want you to ask is why not? When you encounter a decision that you deny or perhaps you're trying to decide between whether or not you should do that thing, I want you to ask the question why not. And really what this is outlining is that our values can be used in both a constructive and a protective manner. Let me explain that. A constructive manner means that you can use your values to generate ideas. You can use your values to generate what you should do today. You can use them to generate your to-do list. You can also use your values to judge what you shouldn't do today. That is protective. Your values are going to generate the things that you believe you should be involved in, that you should put your attention and your energy into your time. And secondly, your values can be used as a measuring stick to say no. Knowing when to say no. Knowing when to turn down a decision. Even if it looks attractive, even if it looks exciting. This is going to happen more often than you may currently perceive that it will happen. You will in your working lifetime encounter many opportunities that are good opportunities in general. There's nothing particularly wrong with them and someone who takes that opportunity may become extremely successful. It may also be the worst thing that you choose to do. Saying this not to incite anxiety and not to make you indecisive, but rather to say that not every good opportunity is good for you. Not every positive decision or profitable decision is going to be aligned with your values. It's important to know when and how to make those decisions. It's important to know how strongly you want to hold to your values. How deeply do you want those values to protect your decision making? Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. It's part two of a two-part episode on introspection asking yourself, interrogating yourself with difficult questions. These are questions that you're not going to write down the answer to today and never return to them, hopefully. My goal is for you to return to these on regular basis. I would say even on a quarterly basis, return to these questions, bookmark these episodes, whatever you have to do, return to the questions and answer these questions again and again. Again, you're going to find that the answers are going to change, your vision is going to be clarified, and ultimately you're going to be making better decisions with your time. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of Developer Tea. Thank you again to Linode for sponsoring today's episode. Remember $5 a month. It's so cheap, so affordable, especially for that entry-level tier. And for all of the things that Linode provides, $5 a month, go and check it out, spec.fm-linode. You can get a 1GB RAM server for that $5. And on top of that, they're going to give you $20 with a credit just for being a developer T-Listener using the code DeveloperT2017. It's spec.fm-linode. Thank you again for listening. And until next time, enjoy your tea.