DEV Community

Ben Patton
Ben Patton

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

Slowing Down

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Life is full of risks. Sometimes they are risks that are sent our way from someone/something outside of our control. But sometimes we make decisions that require us to take risks.

I think we, as humans, want to get through that ‘risky’ period of time, as soon as we conceivably can. But what happens? From a lot of personal experience, risk comes with anxiety. Anxiety comes with more anxiety. We think the cure to anxiety is to just figure out a cure or why we are anxious. We internally rage, ‘Give me the solution’. We devour books to get through our anxiety. But we don’t every actually move through our anxiety. We don’t actually, ‘calm and quiet our soul’. We don’t take a deep breath and calm our weary mind.

I started reading a devotional a few weeks ago that had the profound insight.

Those of us who are anxious, and it’s probably many more than let on, fly through books we think will help us.

But the profound insight he had for me was to slow down. It was a daily devotional. I was personally struggling with deep anxiety after tragic loss in my family. But I listened.

It has helped me to chose things that cause me to slow down but maybe more profoundly: I am okay with it. Sure anxiety flares. But even in work I can choose to do things that force me to slow down and do a better job.

So slow down today. Choose to do things that help you focus more. Read a chapter in a book. Put it down. And wrestle with and be okay with that you didn’t finish the book or at least another chapter.

For Software Developers

This has had very profound and interesting effects for me in software development. One of the most difficult things in tech is that there is always more to learn. Or that you have to learn old things you didn’t want to learn.

But at the same time I started to slow down, I started to learn Functional Programming. Conceptually I have been thinking about Functional Programming(FP) for many months. But I am now ok that I did not finish or touch it for a day or two.

So for those of you who are fellow developers, consider building in rhythms and practices that help you slow down.

  • Are you beginning your developer journey? Be ok with just learning html, css, and javascript for a month.
  • Are you working a job and wanting to learn other things? Choose one thing. Start small and go deep on it.
  • Build big projects that force you to learn many things but focus on one thing at a time.
  • Take course that force a slower change of pace.

There are many things you and people you can surround yourself that can help you slow down. It is worth it.

Top comments (0)