Here we are again, Saturday morning.
I’m telling you — this is my favorite window of time to work on anything I that care about.
It’s quiet, the whole house is still, and it’s the perfect time to focus.
Usually, I’ll do some light cleaning or desk refactoring, along with anything creative — it’s like my brain begs for that.
Anyhow it’s 5:25 am.
I’m listening to some ambient concentration music in the AirPods Khris gave me.
Before me sits a tall, steamy mug of generic home coffee.
(and when I say generic, I mean, the mug actually says “Coffee” on it, in some Hobby Lobby script font…)
And next to the coffee is a small cluster of post-it notes that I’ve kept through the week.
You keep notes?
Back when we used to work in the studio, I never kept post-its on my desk.
It was too much for me.
I couldn’t deal with the colors, the disorder, and to me, I always felt like after you have several notes scattered around your workspace, they lose meaning and priority.
So my desk was always super bare — the rationale was that code was so hard anyway; plus the domain space in which we worked, was so complex to me, so any slight bit of distraction would throw me off.
That was then.
These days, in this latest personal campaign of trying something different, I’ve been trying to do a better job at keeping notes. And in doing so, I’m now using post-its.
The over-colorful, bright, and visually demanding squares have arrived in my workspace life, and I’m not terribly against it, so far.
Anyway, the post-its are here.
I’m wondering what do y’all do with feedback.
You keep that?
Like when someone tells you that you have x, y, and z to improve on… what do you do with that?
Do you keep the critical feedback, too, or do you just keep the good quotes for y’alls portfolios?
(I’m kidding, but serious)
When I found out that my latest manager was leaving our team, I had to switch lenses and start looking at things in a different way.
I’ll be honest — he’s an amazing leader.
I don’t say that about many, but this is one.
Not only is he a great manager, but I also see him as a philosopher who also understood business… and happened to have a very strong software engineering foundation, too… oh and btw, he was also great at working with people.
Anyway, when I found out that he’d be moving on to his own greater callings, I started to think to myself:
Aside from ‘work-related’ details, what else am I really supposed to be learning from this person?
This is why I say “switch lenses”.
I was trying to see what I needed to learn.
Throughout all the various meetings, syncs, and conversations online, I’ve taken notes on feedback that’ll help me improve, in some form or fashion.
Some of these post-its (here on the desk) hold such feedback with small string s o f words like: “tag your releases”, “experiment, safely”, and “just go!”.
In one of my last conversations with my (now former) manager, he left me with this key, I’ll call it.
“Analysis paralysis”, he said.
Interesting… I thought.
“Okay — continue…” I welcomed.
“You get stuck in your own mind.”
Ooouu he’s right!
“You need to choose a direction and just go.”, he stated.
This hit home.
As he was saying this and explaining himself, I started to think back to all the failed efforts in my personal projects or business attempts over the past few years.
Was this a diagnosis?
Is that why?
In my head, I started to pair instances of when my decision-making has come to a full halt, because of this “analysis paralysis”.
Am I getting stuck in my own head… and holding others back, because of it?
And if so, then why?
Of all the feedback I’ve received recently, this analysis paralysis one hits different.
It’s cause I can acknowledge that this is a real issue, in my case.
I really do get stuck like that, because I overthink situations.
I’ve been praying about this lately and giving it some thought, while I walk the husky around the neighborhood.
Why am I like that?
My best guess is that it’s based in fear.
There’s a fear from moving forward — It’s not that he’s stuck in his mind, playing out the best option — no.
It’s that he’s scared to move forward.
And where’s that fear from? A lack of trust… in himself? Is it a lack of trust in others? Or maybe a lack of faith, as well.
Learning to Let God
Y’all remember when this phrase came out?
Let go, and let God.
It was super catchy.
It’s easy to say.
It even presents interesting typographical opportunity cause of the letters involved.
I remember when I first heard or saw it, I thought it was cool.
But sometimes I ask myself if I ever have learned to let go.
As a father, you want to do literally everything for your family and your children.
You want to have a sufficient income, be an excellent provider, manage their risks, make them laugh, keep them protected and safe, make them feel loved.
You want them to explore the neighborhood, see the world, have fun, grow strong, be kind, be loving, give back… all that.
Here’s the thing.
You can’t control all that.
Say it with me… I can’t control all of that.
Even at this age, I’m still learning to accept that though I’m the father, myself, I’m still just a mere contributor to God’s greater plan.
I know it’s my responsibility to contribute my absolute greatest, to His plan.
Still… there’s a point of transfer, that I need to be more aware of.
Where I can just go, and move forward.
Because God’ll be there, no matter which way.
For the Wolves:
It took me way too long to realize the power of letting go.
I’m still working on it.
It’s an important lesson to learn; those who don’t, often find out the hard way.
We don’t have full control over certain outcomes, and we don’t have to be scared of them either.
So long as we believe in the One.
Words to know
I love you guys,
pray & stay great.
@makertolentino is a family dude with a Substack blog. Thank you.