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Learning from 2020

patferraggi profile image Patricio Ferraggi ・4 min read

Hey guys how you been? it has been a while since my last post, a lot has happened in these few months since the last time I come here to share my life with you all and I bet you all have some stories to tell too.

I usually write my articles both in Spanish and English but since I am on holidays and I don't have access to my own blog I will keep it just in English this time. Let's get to it.


This pandemic has put my inner strength and motivation to the test. Before everything started I was eager to write, eager to exercise, eat well, and accomplish many things, but being stuck at home for so long has definitely put some mental strain on me.

For the most part of the year, I did manage to accomplish some of my goals, I am still in shape (though I didn't make any substantial progress from my 2019 physique), I eat healthy (most of the times anyway), I am still learning functional programming focusing specifically on Haskell and the best of all, I got a new job that is mostly remote.

On paper everything looks good right? what is this guy even complaining about? I am not. This year has put some of my beliefs to the test and I want to share them with you, let's take a walk.

There is no use in complaining.

There are two kinds of things in life, the things you can control and the things you can't control.

If you can't control it then there is nothing you can do about it so there is no point in complaining. If, on the other hand, you can control it then why are you expecting someone else to solve your problems? get back to work, and fix them yourself.

This maxim is something that I had to remember many times. I was stuck at home, there was no getting out, there was nothing under my control that I could do to make this pandemic go away. I had to remember that this was the time to keep composure, don't panic, focus, do the best you can with the hand you have been dealt. I focused on doing exercise at home most days of the week, I focused on applying to jobs and doing long technical interviews that would often take days.

Resting is available to all, at any moment

Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains. But it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest.

It is up to us to give us a break, to retreat into our own consciousness to renew our energy and passion. I am building the habit of meditation, thinking about the world that surrounds me, and focus on the principles that guide my life, what do I want to achieve? how do I feel about my progress? is this necessary?. Things can and will go wrong, how I am gonna respond? Every morning I put everything to the test, and check if any of my assumptions could be wrong.

At night, I review them, I keep a diary to review my actions for the present day, what did I do right? what did I do wrong? is there anything I could have done differently?

The obstacle is the way

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

This one is something that I need to remind myself every day, behind every problem, there is an opportunity in disguise. Sure, we are all stuck at home being forced to deal with our insecurities and having fewer opportunities to clear our heads as we would usually do without the pandemic, but is there something to gain from this?

Maybe it is time to gain a new habit, something you can do at home every morning before getting to work.
Or you could use this time to be more kind and understanding with your wife, she could be facing this situation in a completely different way.
Remember your investments? markets are crashing, now is probably a good time to remind yourself that acting on panic is never a good investment.

Every situation can teach us something, even if it is only to exercise temperance or compassion.

Don't be so hard with yourself

The human condition revolves around a few steps:
You are born, a lot of things happen to you, you die.

There is not much to it, it has always been like that and it will remain the same until the last breath of humanity disappears from the earth.

I am not being tragic, I am not being pessimistic, on the contrary, everything that happens to you has already happened to someone before, it is part of nature, it will soon pass and it will soon be forgotten. Don't be angry, don't waste your time arguing with others or yourself, focus on the thing right in front of you. You will fail many times as many have failed before you. It doesn't matter, the only thing that is important is to remember that your time is precious, the sword of Damocles is hanging on top of your head, use your time wisely, guide your actions and forget about the results; keep pushing forward.


This was a short post, I need to get back to writing so I didn't want to push it too hard. I hope you like reading it, if you did please share it in the comments and let me know if there is something else this 2020 has taught you.

If you prefer my technical posts, don't worry, when I get from holidays I will get back to that, believe me, I am missing coding every day.

Discussion (2)

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lafnian1990

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