Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The most important rule

Seth in his blog post titled "The most important rule" says,

How's this for a 98% rule: By a factor of three, what you do is not nearly as important as how it makes people feel.

I, for one, totally buy that. In the spirit of this blog, I would add that,

Every single time, what you do is not nearly as important as how it makes YOU feel.

If you are giving away time, effort and/or money and you are feeling that you are losing something, that feeling has a profound effect on how you perceive the world, a world of scarcity instead of infinite abundance.

What you feel is a natural reaction stemming from your belief system and it also can affect it.

If you are selling a product/service and you are pushing for a sale somehow through some outrageous claims or by undercutting price, you are feeling that it is a win-lose proposition and you believe that what you are selling is not the best.

In your career, if you are settling for not-so challenging projects every time, then you are believing that you are not good enough.

Not that you are not great but that is what you made yourself feel by choosing the unchallenging project and so you are, for now. But that can change, if you become aware of this, and make a statement to yourself by choosing differently.

The key is to be aware of your actions and their effect on your feelings.
What you feel impacts your belief system and your belief system dictates what you perceive in this world and to what extent. More on beliefs here.

Whenever you come across a new person, thing or event, ask yourself, how it is making you feel and check to see if it is not negatively impacting your belief system in any way.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Are you "Exception-safe"?

Life throws exceptions at us all the time
- the driver that suddenly cuts in front of you, angry client calls, curve balls thrown by family members and not to mention the crimes in the community, catastrophes around the world and so on.

Exception handling in software programming is basically handling abnormal scenarios gracefully even though we don't like for them to happen. Bad handling or no handling includes yelling at the user by showing them the internal error messages, blaming the user for the problem and/or crashing the application.

We all know why not having exception safe code is bad. It is simply asking for trouble as it is denial of the reality. Things happen. The best approach is to do as much as possible to prevent it but accommodate the rare occurrences of the odd ball cases that you are not aware of. The truth is you cannot anticipate everything.

Exception handling routines acknowledge the problem, log them for analysis later and help the program resume or quit in a reasonable fashion.

Just as it is good for your application, having such routines for your life also can be very beneficial for the same reasons.

So do you have exception handling routines for your life?

How would a template of such routine look like?

1. Catch the exception

It sounds trivial, but a lot of times we resist, deny, react angrily, get frustrated, blame others and so on when faced with "exceptional" people, situations and events.
Accept the exception that has been thrown. Understand that the present moment is the reality and it is inevitable.
90% of the problem is solved right here.

2. Handle the exception

Contemplate on the exception based on what information you have with an open mind.

If you do not want it to happen again, see what you can do about it.
Like, on your morning commute to work, you may want to give yourself additional buffer time so that when someone cuts in, you are ready because you are now relaxed and alert and most importantly not in a hurry.

Remember, the only thing you have control over is yourself just like the only thing you have control over in your application is your code and not what the user or machine or network does.

Change your attitude towards life.

Practice breathing and relaxation routines.

Eat healthy, Exercise, Drink plenty of water and

Dedicate some quiet time to yourself everyday.

Soon, you will find yourself handling the exceptions with ease and grace as they happen that they would merely become event handling.

Happy coding and stay exception-safe!


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