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Cover image for Don't suffer quarantine, be better because of it.

Don't suffer quarantine, be better because of it.

patferraggi profile image Patricio Ferraggi ・4 min read

If you are interested in reading this article in Spanish, check out my blog The Developer's Dungeon

Hey guys, how are you doing this weekend? I hope you are taking quarantine as an opportunity to improve yourselves, I know I am.

In Belgium, we are on lockdown so there is no better excuse to stay home, read and code. I believe it is my duty to help you in your journey, so I think instead of complaining about having to stay home both you and I could take this opportunity to do something you always wanted to do.


The problem

I bet that you always wanted to learn something, practice yoga, meditate, exercise every day, eat healthier, learn a new programming language, or finish a book that has been in your bookshelf for years. In our modern lives, we are always rushing to catch up, there is always a problem, always something new we need to check, unfortunately, all this noise inside our heads keeps us from noticing we are using our most precious resource,Time.

We spend most of our time eating, sleeping and working. When we have some spare time we are so tired that we just eat more, sleep, watch tv or play video games, and please don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that, I myself like to watch UFC or Glory from time to time, I also watch a few matches of UEFA Champions League, but every time this happens, I plan to do it, I plan some time for myself to relax and spend it with my wife watching tv.

Most of the time, I spend it trying to improve myself.

This will involve many types of activities, doing exercise, reading, coding, writing. My friends told me multiple times that I should chill and just do nothing, and I used to be like that, but a few years back I realized that my time in this earth was being wasted if I just follow along without thinking what I wanted to do and what was the appropriate use of my time.

It might be hard to understand, but we are dying each day. Each day, we are one more step closer to our grave, whatever we decide to do now, it might be the last thing we do, so I propose that you pursue virtue from now on, it is your life, if you don't take action to make it better, who is gonna do it for you?

Taking action

I do believe that real happiness in life comes from fulfillment, not from buying more stuff, watching tv, or eating till you feel sick but to focus on improving yourself and others, to love your craft and always try to be better at it.

Love the humble art you have learned and take rest in it. Pass through the remainder of your days as one who whole-heartedly entrusts all possessions to the gods, making yourself neither a tyrant nor a slave to any person.
β€”Marcus Aurelius

So with quarantine happening all over the world, I suggest that you take this time to look inside and ask yourself:

  1. What do I really want out of my life?
  2. Are my current actions taking me to that place?
  3. What could I do differently to be closer to my goals?

If these questions, bring some hard truth about your life, don't worry and don't be angry. The past is gone and there is nothing you can do about it, all that matters are the things that are under your control, what can you do now to become a better developer, father, son, husband, person.

I suggest that you start by making a game plan and creating some tasks on how to achieve those goals. If you are interested in following a practical guide you can try mine, I wrote about it a few months ago in Deliberate Learning: taking control of your career.

Apart from those goals, I am gonna use the time that the quarantine is giving me to improve some things I have been doing but not as frequently as I would like, I will list them here I case you need some extra ideas.

Personal:

  • Meditate every morning
  • Exercise every day
  • Don't get angry, don't let emotions drive me
  • Don't find fault in others, they are human as yourself, trying to do the best they can
  • Focus on what I can control
  • Read every night
  • Write in my diary every night

Technical:

  • Read about functional programming
  • Create small games using functional programming
  • Practice RX.js
  • Refactor my open source project
  • Practice algorithmic challenges

Every morning, when I wake up I will be meditating, what will I focus on? My goals, what can I do today to be one step closer? what challenges I might encounter during the day? How should I react to these obstacles?

I am gonna exercise every day, while I exercise I will use Audible to listen to some audiobooks.

I am gonna write in my diary every night, what I am gonna write about? How did I do this day? did I accomplish what I wanted to do? could I have done anything differently?

I will use these following weeks to try to gain momentum on some of the things I have been slacking off, momentum is fundamental to create good habits, as you probably already know, things get easier with time.


So now, you are grounded home, you don't have anything to do, why not focus on improving? it could be the initial flame that is gonna change the rest of your life, just start, you have nothing to lose.

This was a short article, and as you probably noticed I wrote this one more for myself than others, I am not perfect, far from it, but I truly want to be better than I was yesterday.

If you wanna join this challenge I would like you could write in the comments which things are you planning on doing while grounded home. If you need some help preparing your goals and individual steps you can write in the comments or contact me directly on Twitter, I would be more than happy to help you and maybe we can hold each other responsible for actually doing it πŸ˜„

Discussion

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mdhesari profile image
Mohammad Fazel

Thank you it was amaaaaaazing!

Well my goal is to sharpen my skills on software architecture, get better in at OOP programming and lunch my laravel, vuejs web application.

Would be glad to get in touch!
Twitter.com/mdhesari

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patferraggi profile image
Patricio Ferraggi Author

Those are very interesting skills, although I am currently learning functional programming my core skills revolve around OOP and software architecture. If you need some guidance with that just DM on Twitter and I can recommend you some books.

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mdhesari profile image
Mohammad Fazel

That's kind of you

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longlch

That's a great story about the self-taught process. Btw, UEFAChampions League not EUFA Champions League. LOL.

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patferraggi profile image
Patricio Ferraggi Author

I am glad you liked it πŸ˜€, sorry typo, thanks ahaha. I would also say that no matter if you are self-taught or not you should be doing this. Once you are working as a Developer, you need to be up to date and keep learning new stuff, stuff you don't learn in school.

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Mikaleb

Read every night ? No sleep ? :')

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Patricio Ferraggi Author

Ahaha good one, before bed πŸ˜€