What You Control

What You Control
Photo by Tengyart / Unsplash

Earlier this week, us developers at work got some unfortunate news that a project we were looking forward to was cancelled. The project involved moving a bunch of our application into some new cloud infrastructure, and that had the potential of opening up a lot of new possibilities for our development processes. This was really a nice-to-have, though; our existing infrastructure works great, even if it's not the most modern.

Ultimately there was nothing that any of us could have done to change this; the work was being done by another team, and we were merely along for the ride. The innocent bystander.

While disappointed, most team members took this news fairly well. A select few, however, really seemed to struggle with it, venting their frustrations and their concerns for the future of our product as a whole. They were really focusing on the negative aspects of this announcement.

And I hate to say it, but this really got to me. I could feel my frustration rising. I felt compelled to jump into damage control mode, pointing out that this wasn't a big deal, that corporations cancel initiatives all the time, and we'll adapt to whatever comes next, just as we've always done.

As I reflected on this interaction this morning though, I realized I got worked up for the wrong reasons.

In life, there are things you can control and things you can't. I can't control this project being cancelled. I can't control how my team members react to the news. I can, however, control how I react to the news and the comments made.

Sometimes the hardest thing is to differentiate between the two so you can focus on the things that matter. In The Daily Stoic, Ryan Holiday writes:

The single most important practice in Stoic philosophy is differentiating between what we can change and what we can't. [...] Time spent hurling yourself at these immovable objects is time not spent on the things we can change.

I really try to live by this mentality, but I do fail sometimes. But we just pick ourselves up and try again.

I'm not perfect, and I never will be. But that doesn't mean I won't try to be better each and every day.

My Weekly Finds

A State Of Trance, Ibiza 2022 (Mixed by Armin van Buuren)
Armin van Buuren · Album · 2022 · 41 songs.
Armin van Buuren has been curating A State Of Trance for so many years at this point. If trance is your thing, grab some great headphones, lie down, and enjoy this incredible mix.
10 things college doesn’t teach you
Visit http://storyblocks.com/mattdavella to get access to an unlimited library of over 1 million royalty-free assets. Thanks to Storyblocks for sponsoring th...
Hey look: another Matt D'Avella video. I can't help it; he puts out some quality stuff. In this 16-minute video he covers ten great pieces of advice that can help improve the overall quality of your life.
Operation London Bridge: What happens in Canada now that Queen Elizabeth II has died
It’s called “Operation London Bridge,” the secret succession strategy for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth after Queen Elizabeth II dies.
Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II passed away. Because she is the head of state in so many countries, each country has to handle her passing in a different way. Here's what Canada can expect.
5 ways to listen better | Julian Treasure
http://www.ted.com In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, “We are losing our listening.” In this short, fascinating talk, Treasur...
In a world where everyone is trying to be heard, sometimes the best step forward is to sit down, shut up, and listen. Here's how to actually do that.