Not all gains are beneficial

October 15, 2016

I walked a lot when I was in Cebu, from office to home and vice-versa. I don’t own a car and couldn’t afford one. So at that point, I should be jealous, feel pity, and curb (I had an aspiration to drive my own car) but I already had defeated that stage. Before practicing Stoicism I could be, I imagine, but I was not at that time. I was thankful.

Simply because that time I realized the importance of walking and its benefit to our health and mind. And that having and driving my own car will take away the time for relfection which I indulge joyfully. I realized then the real value of not categorizing things as good or bad, or black or white and that I was wrong thinking there is only one side of the coin.

Of course, I’m not saying that you should ditch your cars — it does have its benefits. I’m just proposing that we shouldn’t adapt ourselves with what we have that we fail to see other options which might help us become a better version of ourselves.

I know some people stick to their car seat to go from Point A to Point B 1 KM away. A lot of things are happening here: they go fat, they become lazy, their body is not used to its potential, they can’t reflect, etc. If going to a destination can be achieved just by walking then I suggest doing so.

Presence

When I return back to Leyte. The Internet is scarce, I live in a remote area with 2G coverage, so I had to go our office downtown in a 25 minutes commute so I can plug myself back to be connected with my team and my habits. Of course, I structured my day to make the most of this illusive time because I still need to deliver something, right? So I removed lollygagging and mindless-browsing from my routine.

Time is finite

Back home is a pure disconnect but it’s gratifying. Wife and I talked a lot now, oops. Really, I have a tendency to be a workaholic. I can’t easily disconnect from my work but the current situation (no Internet) that is naturally enforced to me made me think how much important being present is. I enjoyed playing with my kids without the distraction of me popping back to my laptop and checking for new things.

Of course, I still code at home when the kids are asleep but I do so without Google. I rely on offline documentation without comments to read through which is very efficient and effective, by the way, as it (reading comments) have tendencies to drag you further from your goal.

Being disconnected has increased my focus and my brain muscles. Win-win.

Downtime Productivity

Gaining commute time gives me more time to consume my growing podcasts library. I thought it would be a drag but I find it enjoyable now every time I cab-commute. In Cebu, I can be in the office in no less than 3 minutes. It was very convenient but at the cost of not finding downtime to make way for productive outcome. Ironic, isn’t it?

Conclusion

Humans are smart in finding ways to become better in the midst of hardships. It’s what had propelled us to this era of convenience, but not all gains are beneficial. We are meant to struggle otherwise there won’t be any colours in our lives.

Thanks for reading!