How You Do One Thing Is How You Do Everything
If something is important for you, you will do the same great job just like you did before
I said (to myself) I will write this article when I achieve the Azure Solutions Architect Expert certification so here we are. This article is not about tech or business, but about a way of thinking which can dramatically improve everything else.
First of all, what does the certification even mean? At its core, it simply states that I was able to provide the right answers (for the most part) to a series of questions and, chances are, I know a thing or two about what Azure has to offer.
Now, in order to answer these questions, I had to read, learn, practice, and build. And this brings us to the first point of the article:
in order to achieve something or be something, you simply have to go through certain steps performing certain actions
(again, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy). This is similar to the concept of “First Principles Thinking”.
Let’s take for example getting in better shape, maybe lose some fat, gain some muscle or just be healthier and happier in general (sport can have a massive impact on our hormones — this really needs a separate article). We have a few options to achieve this, well mainly two:
Go to the gym, do something at home maybe following a program (for example, I followed Insanity twice and each time I got in the best shape up until that point), play some sports, or simply take long(er) walks.
By the way, you can also leverage this time to learn. In fact, one of the best purchases I made in the past year must be the galaxy buds (wireless earphones) which helped me explore and learn everything mentioned in my previous article while being at the gym and during walks (make sure to walk in an area with no/low traffic though).
- Eat healthier
Well, healthier might not be the right word. Chances are, if you are reading this, you are not stuffing your mouth with all sorts of garbage all the time. I also noticed more and more people pay attention to what they buy and eat mainly because shelves with chips, soda, and processed food are barely touched.
Probably the right word would be “right” or “suitable”. For example, if you want to lose weight, you should eat lower calorie-dense foods such as green vegetables — they take up a lot of volume and barely have any calories, chicken breast, low-fat dairy products (not the fruit-flavored ones, they have tons of sugar), egg withes and so on.
Also, some junk food from time to time might help, especially if it’s a conscious decision. It can get you in a better mood, improve your discipline and willpower (otherwise you end up eating it all the time), and most importantly remind you how tasty the food you cook is. For example, every time I eat fast food, I cannot avoid thinking how much tastier some scrambled eggs are.
Applying the Same Principles
So getting in better shape is fairly simple. We know what it takes and we know it will take some time. Most of us have done it and have no problem doing it again. Some of us are even aware when they need help. For example, you might hire a personal trainer or follow a diet plan.
I think we can all agree this is something most of us can achieve. So why not apply the same principles in other areas of our lives?
Just like we can plan to go to the gym, plan the actual training, plan the meals, read the nutrition labels, dedicate the time and energy to cooking and exercising, ask for advice when needed, and finally have the body that we want (most of the times even better), we can also achieve most of our other goals.
For example, in 2019, a few great colleagues from msg and I planned to create and host a course on cloud computing at the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca. This was our way of contributing to the community and investing in our future.
So we gathered topics for the course, planned the lab sessions, set and held bi-weekly meetings, found out the requirements for working with the university, filled in the papers, set aside some capacity (including many weekends), created the materials, teamed up with a great professor from the university, created the exams, and finally graded our students. Yes, 1.5 years later, the first edition of the course has finished a few days ago and it was a terrific experience.
All we did was to follow a plan. There will be a separate article about the course itself and what we learned from it. Also, I am currently working on publishing an online course about cloud computing based on it, following the same process of course.
Going Even Deeper
Now, even though the process is fairly simple, especially if we established the required steps, we still need a few things to follow and complete the process. Things like energy, time, and, of course, motivation.
Regarding energy, there are two types or flavors;
- The energy you have by living a healthy life. See the chapter from above, “The Premise”, for some guidelines; additionally, try to have a regular sleep schedule.
- The energy from within. This might come from different sources. You might be working on something you enjoy, which in most cases, will make you more energic. Or, you might simply convince yourself you have more than enough energy. This might sound like self-help voodoo, but it works for me.
Regarding time, well, all of us have the same 24 hours in a day. Just look at what some people manage to achieve. My only advice is to not worry about investing your time in something. For example, while putting together the course, I was constantly worried that I will end up spending my entire Sunday for it. And I did and it was worth it.
And finally, regarding the motivation, besides thinking about the end result and how much value it will provide, think about who you are.
Think about the discipline and the effort you put at the gym. Think about the careful planning you did when buying your home. Think about what you have built so far. Think about how much care you had while raising your children.
If something is important for you, you will do the same great job just like you did before because, in the end,