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Book: The Zen Programmer

Last week I finished reading The Zen Programmer by Christian Grobmeier. As the author states himself, it is about how to apply Zen to your daily work, with a lots of examples related to the programming practice.

I enjoyed reading Christian’s personal story about him becoming a web developer, and how he constantly works on improving the quality of his life.

These are my takeaways:

Do not focus solely on the end goal, but also enjoy the journey.

If we are always in the “waiting” mode, suffering until we finally reach our holy grail, we may never reach it at the end. In fact, we may not realize that we already have.

Less noise.

There is a tremendous amount of noise in our lives nowadays. Constantly checking Twitter or Facebook will not make us happier nor wiser. It’s hard to fight it, but I think it’s worth it to focus on less but higher-quality content.

We spend too much time debating about nonsense.

A lot of stuff we spend our energy on is not actually that important and just not worth it. It’s hard to focus on things that really matter, when there are so many fun details just waiting to be sorted out.

At the end, here is the quote that I liked:

We need to defeat our mind, which often acts like a monkey or a horse. The monkey’s mind jumps from one topic to another, without control. The horse’s mind has a horse’s will, and moves forward no matter what. Without monkeys and horses in our mind, we can have a Zen mind.