Issue #146

Examine Where You Were a Year Ago

"Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.” — Emile Coue
An art piece showing a block of concrete flying above land on an alien planet.
Things might look completely different from a different perspective—like a planet on the other side of a galaxy might be boring to inhabitants but an incredible place to a distant visitor. Just like in this incredible piece by Andres Gomez.

Sometimes it might feel like you’re going nowhere, like you didn’t learn anything, like you didn’t improve or even grow. This can be incredibly frustrating.

And whenever this happens, take a step back and try to look at it (whatever it is) from a wider perspective; try to understand where were you 5 or 10 years ago and how your current, imperfect state compares to that.

You’ll be surprised by the results. Just as I am when I look at my writing, code, or videos from just 6 months ago.

This retrospective is incredibly important as we don’t notice our growth on a day-to-day basis; all meaningful progress is only visible on a larger timescale. Just as you don’t really notice your kid has grown until you compare the pictures from today to last year; or when a friend you didn’t see for a year mentions it.

We grow and improve every day, bit by bit. We become smarter, better, more tolerant, and more patient. (Not necessarily everything at once, and certainly not all the time.) But it is only from a distance that we can actually see how far we’ve come.

So open that notebook from a few years ago, that coding project from when you were just starting out, and you’ll clearly see the difference; you’ll get a good idea of how far you’ve come.

And the fact that you’re not happy with your current state only means that you still have room to grow and improve.

Zoran Jambor
Inspiration Bits

PS. The end of the year might be a perfect time to reflect on the previous 12 months to see how far you’ve come. And you don’t have to wait for the last day. The sooner you gain perspective, the better