For more than a decade on my own, I have moved homes (and countries), changed jobs, and learned from mistakes. All this lead to this unofficial philosophy that has become a way of life. This philosophy is not written in stone, of course, and changes as new things are learned and experiences are acquired. However, there are a few constants that remain that I have found relevant to today’s world and worth writing about. These also dictacte, in a way, how this website is designed and the writing is done.
Simple is best. If you search for the simplest version of something, one that focuses on its purpose and provides that very thing in a straightforward and clear way, you will find that you stop struggling with noise or friction and, instead, you begin to focus on the act itself. Simplifying something forces you to be intentional.
Silence Is A Really Good Answer
I learned the hard way that I have to remain silent as much as possible. I thought it was about keeping my thoughts to myself, but with experience came the realization that it was not about avoiding conflict, or the fear of saying something wrong. It was how to express those thoughts and, more importantly, when to do so and when not to. The side effect of this is that when you remain quiet and listen, you actually learn new things. Remember, not eveything needs an opinion.
Work The Problem
If you are trying to find a solution to a complex and seemingly unsolvable problem, look inside the problem itself. More often than not, the solution is right there for the taking. The art of finding the clues buried inside the problem itself and applying them to find the solution is something that takes time to master, but it is possible. With every iteration of this, you get better, adding to a collection of tools that can be used and reused in future issues.
Stop, Look Around, Make A Decision
Often you get sucked into the details of a problem. You get all stressed, frustrated, or just unable to quietly work the problem. It is best to stop one second and go back to a 10000 feet hovering position. Look at the whole picture, and then find the solution.
Have A Backup Plan
Things usually don’t go as planned. It is important, now more than ever, to have an alternative to the main plan. What would you do if all goes wrong? How would you handle the stress? What would you set in motion if you need to complete the thing you wanted to do, but your plan is not working? Always plan a contingency.
All these concepts and ways of living are nothing new, but it took me some time and considerable effort to learn them. There is more of course to this philosophy than these concepts, but while other parts of the philosophy rotate and change, these five concepts above remain the same.
Or maybe I’m wrong and these should adapt as well... Oh, hell, OK, off to work the problem.