When I was working as a programmer at Microsoft, one of the things that annoyed me the most was spending several days trying to fix a bug without success…
…and then, arriving at the office one morning, having a stroke of inspiration, and solving the problem in 5 minutes.
These types of situations burned me a lot because they made me feel that all the hours I had spent researching and trying possible solutions had been for nothing, and that I should have known where the error was the first time.
However, over time I have discovered that I was wrong.
In reality, those hours that I had spent looking for a solution without success had not been wasted time, but had been the cause of my supposed “stroke of inspiration”.
What happens is that I was not able to see that cause-effect relationship because the results of my work were not seen immediately, but rather they accumulated in an invisible way until they reached a threshold… and then they manifested as a “discovery sudden”.
It is like the stonemason using a hammer to break a rock into smaller pieces.
His blows apparently have no effect…
Until suddenly, with hammer blow number 1276, the stone cracks.
Does that mean that this last blow is the one that has broken the stone and that the rest have been worthless?
Actually, the first hammer blows are the ones that have cracked the stone on the inside, and these internal cracks have been getting bigger and bigger… until, with the impact of the hammer blow in 1276, they have finally become visible on the outside.
Understanding this, that the effect of our actions is not always seen immediately and that sometimes it takes time to reach a threshold for it to manifest, is essential to not throw in the towel in the process of creating a life that suits you.
And it is very easy to give up when you do not see results…
- The first articles you publish on your blog without anyone reading you
- The projects and failed business attempts when you are starting
- The frustrating months when you’re learning something new and get it wrong over and over again
The natural tendency is to think that all those actions and that all that effort has served no purpose other than wasting time and money, and making others laugh at you.
But in reality, they are the foundations of what is to come.
The hammer blows before the rock breaks.
So if you’re clear on where you’re going and know what you have to do to get there, keep going.
Trust the process.
Because all actions have an effect (although sometimes it is not visible), and sooner or later the results will come and you will reap the fruit of a job well done.
Just as the fact that the effects of positive actions are not immediately seen does not mean that they do not exist, the fact that the consequences of some negative actions are not directly manifested does not mean that those actions are innocuous.
For example, at first glance it might seem like there’s nothing wrong with eating several sweets a week or lying on the couch all day, because right after doing those things you don’t get sick or feel super sick.
Or that the fact that central banks are printing billions is something of no consequence, because the next day your life is still the same.
But there are always consequences, and sooner or later they come to light.
What happens is that sometimes it takes a while before we can see them, and it’s not always easy to connect those consequences – health problems, a knee injury, the fact that to buy a normal home you have to take out a mortgage for life – with the actions that occurred weeks, months, or even years ago.
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