Saturday Musings - Dealing With Stress

Stress can be incredibley debilitating.

This past week has been pretty difficult for me. Business has been going incredibly well but a personal problem arose with an external social organisation that I needed to work through (not family or anything like that…they’re all awesome!).

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Due to the emotions of the encounter with a number of individuals I found myself really stressed out and not getting to sleep until 4am each night for most of the week….which is a rare occurrence for me. I thought that I’d share with you how I dealt with the stress and what I did to get through to the other side of the problem.

The first night was a shocker. My mind seemed to swirl back and forth trying to wrestle with all the issues at hand. I found my brain replaying events on it's internal DVR over the previous 24 hours over and over again. Each time I would think of a witty riposte to a comment made and then the loop replayed again and again.

I must admit that I fell in the trap of PLOM’s disease. For those of you that don’t know, PLOMs is Poor Little Old Me…..it’s an absolutely pointless state of mind that doesn’t solve anything. If you stay in this mode of thinking then you’ll end up severely depressed (get some help if you are)….I made the decision that I wasn’t going to let that happen.

The second night was a lot more proactive as I did a brain dump of about six pages of notes about the situation. What I was trying to do was array the facts and leave the emotion out of things. This really helped calm the internal dialogue down and provided me with the necessary information for my mind to go searching for solutions.

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OzDomainer
Hey Michael, I have been in that very same place and it is very unpleasant indeed! I recommend watching this episode of my Busi... Read More
08 September 2018
mgilmour
Hi there - many thanks for the link. I hope this helps other peopel with handling stress in their life.
09 September 2018
mgilmour
As always, thank you for your kind words Robin. It was a rough week but I'm find that when a plan is put in place for moving forwa... Read More
10 September 2018
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Saturday Musings - Open Heart Surgery

For a long time I’ve been putting off conducting open heart surgery….but this past week I decided that it was about time I pulled out the scalpel and made an incision. Thankfully, not on a human but on a platform I developed.

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Like many things in life I've been procrastinating about doing this big slab of work for several years. I’d kept running into problems because the work wasn’t done but there always seemed to be some convoluted work around that allowed me to just make things work.

Finally, in a fit of frustration I took the plunge and began restructuring the foundations of an application that literally process tens of millions of requests each day. It was like looking at a great big ball of string and the more I pulled the more the string seemed to resist.

Knots would form and quickly become mini-projects in themselves that needed to be resolved before the bigger issues could be addressed. Numerous times I completely broke the entire system and found myself tracking down some esoteric piece of code written three years ago. Grrrrr!

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Rawgi
I seem to remember 1 to 3 am as being the time you find most of the answers. Interesting. I hear that writing code is to be a sc... Read More
30 June 2018
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Saturday Musings - Dealing With Bullies

I was looking out my study window this morning and enjoying watching a family of birds as mum responded to the constant chirping of a youngster with a tasty morsel. All at once two slightly larger birds from a different variety swept in and began attacking the youngster.

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The parents defended their child and a few friends flew in to help drive the bullies off. It wasn’t very pleasant viewing, but it reminded me of a number of things about the behaviour of some humans.

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes, but their ultimate goal is to control those around them. When they act alone they pick on the perceived weak or a person that is in no position to fight back. When they act as a group they will inevitably demonstrate their power and influence publicly, so they can intimidate others into submission.

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Rawgi
You have to be especially careful when dealing with a bully in the workplace. The last place I worked for had a horrible one, and... Read More
14 January 2018
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Saturday Musings - Simple Solutions

I’ve just been trying to debug a pretty complex program. One screen displayed the error logs, another the database changes while yet another the actual code. For some stupid reason, nothing appeared in my browser when I run the application……it’s safe to say that I'm pulling my hair out in frustration!

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It was then that it dawned on me…..you moron! I’d forgotten to save my code. Yep, the most obvious of solutions lay withering on the vine of my single-minded focus. A simple control-S saw everything instantly display as it should and my universe come into alignment….well, almost anyway.

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Saturday Musings - Handling Stress

I know of very few people that don’t suffer from stress and fewer still that haven’t been massively stressed at some time during their life. So over the years, what have I learned about handling stress?

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When I was training for my private pilot's license, my flying instructor explained to me a simple principle about how to handle stress in the cockpit. He said there may be a time when the workload increases to the point where you become incredibly stressed and find your decision making suffers.

I must admit that I thought that could never happen to me, after all, I’m a smart guy so my instructor must have been thinking about other people. How many times have you listened to someone sharing some wisdom born out of experience only to think they were talking to someone else?

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