(Mentally) Log Your Emotions

In my role as a DevOps Engineer at Brandorr Group, I’m often helping my team review and make sense of server logs whenever some problem or outage happens, in order to perform a root cause analysis. They look something like this:

It looks like something a robot would read (because it is), and it sometimes feels like staring into a void (because you are), but the internal narrative one gets from deep diving into all of the internally recorded events from a given system is fundamentally different than what can be gleaned by recounting post-hoc observations made from an external perspective.

In my personal life, I practice continuous improvement by meditating, journaling, and reflecting daily. I also read almost any chance that I get, in order to broaden my knowledge in different areas, or to add depth in an area in which I’m already familiar. One persistent theme in my reading is the importance of controlling of one’s emotions in order to make rational, dispassionate decisions.

As such, in order to augment my ongoing reflection, I’ve begun mentally logging my emotions to review in depth at the end of each day. The key here is to observe what emotions you’re feeling when you feel them and not to analyze them as they’re happening. My goal is to attain similar insights as when I am looking through server logs when trying to uncover the root cause of some event. I do not believe that our brains’ inner workings are so similar to a server’s operations, but I do think the deep introspection that a system administrator performs on a system, tracing the possible origins and purpose of each event, is a useful practice to emulate when attempting to increase one’s mindfulness, and perhaps, gain a deeper understanding of why we sometimes feel the way we do.

(Mentally) log your own emotions to aid in your reflection on the root cause of their origins.