Professoinal frustration


I’m working on a project right now which is very frustrating. I sometimes joke that the real trick behind writing software is the willingness to be frustrated for a living.

It feels overwhelming. There are many new things I’m dealing with, and it’s hard to make them all play well together. It’s hard to stay focused on them with the appeal of my phone, and Netflix, and video games. It’s hard to maintain the focus the project needs when it’s frustrating, and short-term frustration is something which is getting harder and harder to accept in our lives.

It helps to picture the end state, but not as much as I’d like. The fact is, the end of the road is very far away, and it will take a lot of hard work to get there. There’s a lot of indecision and frustration along that road, so if anything, thinking about it can cause more frustration. That’s obviously counterproductive.

The lesson of meditation is that however you feel, it’s valid. But it doesn’t have to affect your actions.

Feeling frustrated is probably correct. But I don’t have to pick my next action based on a feeling. I can simply observe that I’m feeling frustrated, and then reapply myself to the problem at hand. Or decide to take a break. Or ask for help.

But make the decision. Don’t let the feeling decide for you.