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I recently started with my summer internship at Mercari. The internship has started late by around two months. So, having lots of free time in May and June, I decided to make myself acquitted with the technical stack of my team at Mercari.
Having learned GoLang, Kubernetes, and other technologies in the past two months, I’m having a smooth sailing at the internship now. This incident resurfaced a quote from James Clear I read long back,
“Build before you have to.
– Build knowledge before you have to. – Build strength before you have to. – Build an emergency fund before you have to.
Let internal pressure drive you today, so you can handle external pressure tomorrow.”
In the hindsight, putting internal pressure on myself to become familiar with the stack is helping me handle the external pressure of internship now. It was difficult and distracting when there was no one I was accountable to but me. And even with that mild pressure (as I only spent an hour or so on average a day), I’ve been able to give myself a lot of freedom in the future (that is now).
A close paradigm to the above is choosing our pain so that we don’t face uncertain pain in the future. I like to believe that I came up with this myself; very much possible that I read it in a book and it left an impression. I understand it with an example I believe is relatable to most of us.
It is universally known that exercise is good for our body. However, we do not see the benefits of the exercise right away. So, it’s hard to choose the pain of doing exercise. This is until we face a pain that we did not expect. For me, it was losing both my relationship and best friend because of my weight. For someone else, it could be health issues. Or anything that we didn’t want and had to face without a choice.
We give up a part of our freedom every time we delay pain.
Having faced the uncertain pain, I see exercise as a choice - a battle that I’m choosing at my comfort in my turf on my terms so that I don’t have to fight a battle at unknown terms, times, and grounds. Thinking with this paradigm renews my energy every time I feel like skipping a workout.
I used to believe that paradigms are gimmicks! If I don’t want to work out, how can thinking differently about it change anything? Oh, boi! I was wrong. The more clear the rewards of activity are in our minds, the better chances we have to be persistent with it.
Not just workout, I’ve slowly tried to use the concept of choosing pain in other aspects of my life. Say, choosing to invest more in people. It’s upsetting that talking to friends, listening to them, and sharing our feelings is considered “unproductive”. It is choosing the pain of deliberately bringing up topics to bond on to avoid the pain of solitude in the future. Could there be a better investment for social animals like us?
The list goes on, and the paradigm can be helpful in almost all activities that present resistance (I call it pain). I’d love to know your thoughts and what activities do you think can benefit from this paradigm in your life.