Focussed on "bad"

Yesterday, I sat out to write about the mistakes and learnings from my professional career that I started after graduation, but ended up writing about mistakes and learnings from my college life. That’s why I find the quote “Writing is thinking” to be 100% correct!

Among the various mistakes I made during college life, one mistake that I couldn’t think of while writing the post, but it later lit up in my head was ‘focussing more on the bad instead of focussing on the good.’ This mistake has become a pattern in my life. It’s been nearly twelve years since I graduated (or as most Indians like to call it—“passed out"), but this habit of focussing on the bad, what doesn’t work, or what I don’t like, instead of focussing on the good, what works, and what I like, has created an overall critical mindset. It’s not that critical thinking has only been a negative influence. Instead, it has helped me at a few places, like testing not just success but also failure scenarios for the code I write.

In my first job out of the college, I was adamant about working on Linux. So much so that I didn’t touch the code part of the project that was in Java. It’s a different thing that I didn’t like writing Java at all. I still worked there for a year because 1) I had signed a bond and was too afraid to break it, and 2) I needed to accumulate money to be able to do Red Hat’s RHCE certification without asking my parents for money.

During this one year in Nagpur, I was laser focussed on the bad parts, like:

  • City not being an IT hub unlike Pune, Bangalore, etc.
  • The sucky part of working with a client where most of their team didn’t want computers to replace the paperwork (it was a government organization)
  • Lack of work related to Linux
  • The crappy office politics

I almost missed enjoying or didn’t see the good parts of the life then, like:

  • Nagpur being a medium paced city instead of being fast-paced
  • Less traffic and resulting ease of commute
  • working in a team where almost all members were fresh out of the college and bachelors, and hence life was similar to what it was during hostel days
  • The freedom to upskill myself since the Internet at the office was fast, unrestricted, and unmonitored.

Everything that I disliked about Nagpur the city has become immaterial in hindsight, and I miss the city for its relaxed vibes, broad roads (big deal for Indian cities), and negligible local language bias unlike cities like Pune, Bengaluru, or Chennai.