I often refer to Tony Robbinson's "Progress equals Happiness," which supports my belief that progress is the foundation of Happiness. We must continuously learn to progress as humans, developers, and leaders. Not frequently, we should learn continuously.
Especially as software developers, we face an extremely fast-spinning world providing challenges for us where and when we don't expect them. No matter what, we need to master those. Since it's never stopped being like that, we must find a sustainable way to keep up with developer-land.
What often starts with enthusiasm ends with depression.
Joining a new role, starting a new project, or becoming a tech lead for the first time; all these things are thrilling and exciting when we begin. It's our new challenge; finally, we can prove ourselves.
In reality, we start a long journey with many smaller and more significant but relentless challenges, which will most often demand more strength and knowledge than we can muster–we underestimate the dimension of time.
But running into a situation that demands more of you than you can handle is a sure path into personal problems. It's losing control and not being on top of your game anymore.
I experienced such problems as depression and Burnout. In my more than two decades of being a professional, I have faced those so often that I can already see them coming from far away.- Adrian
What changed over time is how I actively work on avoiding a downward spiral and focus on progress, leading to the other outcome: Happiness.
The false Assumption of Learning.
We are developers, we live in a world shaped by developers.- Adrian
A standard false assumption says we learn when we are young and execute on that as we age. If you still believe that, forget it now; it's industrial-age nonsense.
Since we are developers, we live in a world shaped by developers. The software we use to create software, the environment, the methodologies, the infrastructure, and the mindsets are all evolving because they are part of our nature. Join a tech company today, and it will be a transition in five years to something different.
🍪 Learning is an ongoing requirement, so make it as soon as possible, something you enjoy doing long-term.
Can you keep it up?
"Everyone needs a coach. It doesn't matter whether you're a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player."- Bill Gates
Continuous Learning is progress that leads to Happiness.
So, there's no end to Learning; we need to accept that as given. If we stand still, we stagnate; if we stagnate, we lose control. If we lose control while everything else is still running, we will face Burnout.
To stay on top of the game, we must foster our mindset to become eternal learners. You need to understand the following:
"As long as I learn, I stay in motion; I become better every day; I am in progress; I will be happy."- Adrian
Learning is very personal, and everyone develops one's own method of doing so. But there is a universal aspect to it since we are humans: Learning from others.
During our childhood, we learn to learn from our parents and friends. We never lose this habit and ability in our lives. The people around us are our role models, our parents our mentors, and we learn new things daily when we are children.
Whoever keeps his child's faith becomes a learner.
Leverage these instincts when you become an adult and mature professional. We are well prepared to face our challenges; we need to set our own mindset to the following:
"I am not perfect; I make mistakes; I will take criticism and use it to learn and improve daily."
As a child, we tend to test things we see others doing. We are easily inspired and willing to imitate to obtain results. The best thing you can have as a child are parents who realize this and foster you as a little one. Parents become your mentors when they actively provide you with good and directed examples to lead you to learn the right and good things you need to know for your life. I know this very well as a parent with two little ones.
So tell me, why many adults often don't have mentors anymore?
For many years, I walked my entrepreneur and tech leader path alone, without the help of a mentor-like person. It's possible, but I wasted time and energy, which hasn't improved my life span.
These days, I have mentors in the form of Buddy-Like fellows I work with—people who tell me very openly what I do right or wrong. People tell me that my idea is nonsense and that I should rethink it. I learned to appreciate that form of feedback, even if I still dislike it when people say I am wrong. Fortunatly, they are often correct, which keeps me on my path of being in progress.
🤔 Do you need a Mentor? Of course, you do. In one form or another, it can be a friend, a professional mentor, or simply a family member.
Under no circumstance is it better to be alone.
It's about Learning, reflecting, and adapting your actions and thinking to meet your current and future challenges, stay on top of your game, and be happy.
🍪 Your Mentor can be anyone; the important thing is that you can establish a good relationship with that person and that this person offers you something you can learn from. Your Mentor should challenge you and tell you the things you don’t want to hear at that moment, things you know will bring you forward when you start tackling them.
Let’s join a Fellowship.
Having a Mentor is an excellent thing on your Career Path. This is what I call a Fellowship–you still walk your Journey, and you will need to master it, but not alone. In my 24 years of professional experience, I made most mistakes because of unawareness, which forced me to learn the lessons of life the hard way.
This is where a Fellow can help you most.
👉 Are you a Software Developer on your Journey to become a Senior?
👉 Are you an aspiring Tech Lead struggling with the burden of Leadership?
I have been there; I have done that–let’s have a chat 🤝