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The Progress Principle and the Power of Small Wins

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Small Wins

I recently finished reading “The Progress Principle” by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer. I LOVE the book and it had a big impact on my life.

For nearly 15 years, the authors have studied the psychological experiences and the performance of people doing complex work inside organizations and they had discovered the progress principle.

“Of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work.”

We live usually in an environment where there is so much competence and people, managers and employers expect big successes and big wins all the time. If you “failed” this could lead to stress, no motivation and feel completely frustrated.

Tracking our progress help us appreciate our small wins which give us more confidence. Any accomplishment, no matter how small, activates the reward circuitry in our brains, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released which energizes us and gives us a good feeling.

As Teresa said:  “Big goals are great but only for planning your progress, to make progress, you need to fall in love with the everyday grind of pursuing your goal. Pick a time for when you’re going to record your small wins. Start small, the efforts of tracking small achievements every day enhanced the workers motivation”.

“The power of progress is fundamental to human nature”

There is even a Neurological Explanation for the Power of Small Wins, that you can read to study the subject more deeply.

Why we always look for the big?  If we work for the the small improvement one day at a time, we are making progress, and big goals are going to come. Teresa empathizes it:  “The more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run. Whether they are trying to solve a major scientific mystery or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress—even a small win can make all the difference in how they feel and perform”.

For what I learn about this way of thinking, getting a better life, creativity and innovation comes when you stay positive, set goals which you can track the progress, practice and celebrate small wins.

The most amazing thing that happened after reading the book is that I started working on my small wins and eventually 2015 was a great year for me: Reading, eating healthy, running, traveling, programming and spending more quality time  with my daughter and family. As you can see, these are simple things that we can achieve day by day. I worked hard and focus on self-improvement and let things that doesn’t add so much value to my life. I track every single progress I did and that make me feel strongly motivated to continue my journey. This doesn’t mean that I am doing well in everything. I’m far from perfect and need to learn a lot. This 2016 my plan is to continue getting small wins to improve my quality life.

So let me share with you those wins, improvements, small achievements for 2015 and my goals for 2016. They are not so big, simple things that I LOVE to do.

CELESTE

2015-01-04 19.33.09

2015-07-23 18.36.15

Celeste is my lovely 8 years old daughter. I think we have a great relationship and each year we feel it gets stronger. We go to the movies, parks, theater, have amazing lunches and dinners, watch Netflix, play together, play with her cousins…

I don’t know if I’m a good father, the only thing I know is that I do my best to make my girl happy. This 2016 I don’t have big goals with her. Instead, I’d work on simple things: Details, experiences, great talks, having so much fun and be happy. Every single progress count.

IMG_20150809_132213

2016-01-04 21.43.01

2015-10-17 11.57.46

I REALLY LOVE YOU CELESTE!

READING

I read the following books:

  • The Progress Principle by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer
  • Tesla y la conspiración de la luz (Spanish) by Miguel A. Delgado
  • Thinking in pictures by Temple Grande
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • La guerra del fin del mundo (Spanish) by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

6 books in a year, that’s an average of 1 book in two months. My goal for this year is to improve that average by one book per month. Let’s do it!  I’m currently reading “Remote: Office Not Required” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson.

RUNNING

2015 was my first year running as an habit and it’s definitely an amazing sport. I have a mix of 5k, 10k and 12k runs, it depends of work and time.  I’m using the cool Runtastic app to track my progress, distances, times and statistics. So, thanks to the Runtastic team for their awesome work.

The great thing about this year is that I ran my first marathon and did my best score so far: 5.5 km in 25m. Yeahhhhh!

Marathon

Running

Running

Thanks to my sister and daughter for being there and for encouraging me to do my best. For 2016, I need to improve my training, my scores, continue running and participate in local Marathons when possible.

Running with Celeste

Another small win was to star running with Celeste. We started going to the park some weekends and then to the “Instituto Peruano del deporte”. We usually do small runs of around 15-20 minutes. Our goal for this year is to improve that time.

Running

Running

Running

Running

Running makes me feel positive, full of energy and strongly motivated.

Running

EATING HEALTHY2015-09-28 20.32.19

There are many studies that say eating healthy makes you stronger mentally and physically.  So I replaced my bad habits of eating fast food, a terrible mix of meals/times with healthy food and eating at a regular time. Of course, there are exceptions for eating healthy like when I go to some friends meetings, dinner at a relative’s home, an occasional party, a birthday, etc. However, this is not the rule.

Another improvement was to choose fruits instead of sugar, ice creams, cakes, chocolates and stuff like that. I LOVE CHOCOLATE and I continue eating it, but not the way like the past years. Every time my brain asks for a chocolate, I try a fruit instead. This little progress and self-control make me feel really good. No more sodas or bad drinks, I prefer a lot of water, lemonade, fruit juices and “chicha morada”, a delicious Peruvian drink.

There is a really interesting post by the Buffer team called Your body’s best time for everything, that includes the best time to eat. The Buffer’s blog is a must-read resource that focus on self-improvement and productivity.

This 2016, I want to continue with these little wins. Every single day I want to feel that choosing healthy food is going to improve my life and consequently my work.

ANDROID

As an Android developer, I need to read, practice, learn, study and continue improving my Android skills. In 2015, I finished three Udacity courses: Developing Android Apps, Advanced Android App Development, and Android Design For Developers. Udacity has been an important part of my self-taught education. They have great Android courses, quality content and programming, CS good material . Thanks to them for expanding education to the whole world.

This year, I want to learn RxJava, RxAndroid, get a personal Android app published on the Google Play Store and travel to the Google I/O 2016, the biggest annual Google developer conference. Attending this great event, it’s not as easy as it seems: Getting the ticket, money, time, work, planning the trip and responsibilities. I’m making little progress to make this trip possible.

I also want to write more about Android development. I have many blog draft posts waiting for the “Publish” click. My plan is to write and publish regularly rather than being a blogger.

I really recommend the “The Progress Principle” as a book that can change your perception about success. As you can see, every step and little win can make a huge difference to get our big goals. Will Smith says it better.

“You don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid. You do that every single day. And soon you have a wall.” 

Cover Photo credit by Brad Hussey

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Written by Ronny Yabar

January 4, 2016 at 6:01 am

Mountain Biking: Maukallaqta – Puma Orq’o

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Una vez más a practicar Mountain Biking con el “Drink Team”, lo que tanto nos gusta. Así que alisté la mochila para viajar de Arequipa a Cusco para una nueva aventura. Cusco, es una de esas ciudades que siempre tiene una sorpresa para ti. Es increíble, que después de haber recorrido tanto este departamento, aún siga encontrándome con lugares y más belleza en el camino.

Como de costumbre partimos el domingo rumbo al Centro Arqueológico Pre-Inca Maukallaqta y Puma Orq’o (Según las historias, de una cueva en este hermoso cerro salieron los hermanos Ayar).

Maukallaqta, es hermoso por donde lo veas, es una zona arqueológica que está a unas 2 horas de la ciudad de Cusco. Jorge, uno de los encargados del cuidado, nos comentaba que es poco visitado y conocido debido a que tres razones principales: No hay mucho transporte hacia el lugar, ha sido muy poco publicitado y es de difícil acceso. De hecho, llegas a la cima de una carretera y tienes que descender a la zona aprox. unos 15 minutos y si no conoces el camino, te pierdes :)

La buena noticia, es que el Ministerio de Cultura ha trabajado durante muchos meses con la gente local, para mejorar los caminos, los accesos, los servicios y dentro de unos meses se va a lanzar una campaña promocionando este lugar, que tiene una importancia histórica única. Que bueno que más gente podrá conocerlo.

Otra de las cosas que me sorprendió de Maukallaqta es su extensión, te va a tomar al menos 2 horas poder recorrerlo y entender cada una de sus divisiones, es grande. Cuando estuvimos en la carretera, antes de bajar al lugar, nos topamos con una vista impresionante y mi reacción fue: OMG!!! ¿De dónde salió esto?

Y bueno, después de haber descansado un par de horas :D , teníamos que volver a la ciudad. Así que descendimos en bicicleta desde Maukallaqta hasta unos 15 minutos antes de llegar al distrito de Yaurisque. Esta fue la parte que más me gustó, la ruta fue perfecta para hacer DownHill, agarramos buena velocidad, lo malo fue que esta ruta tiene curvas muy peligrosas y en una de esas choqué al momento de doblar y me caí  noooooooooooo. Felizmente, fue una caída leve, apenas un rasguño en el brazo izquierdo, pude continuar manejando.

Gracias amigos por este día, por la comida, por la bicicleta y por conocer un poco más de Perú.

Maukallaqta - Puma Orq'o

Written by Ronny Yabar

September 3, 2015 at 1:17 am

Código de Conducta de la comunidad KDE

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Comunidad KDE

Invito a todos los hispanohablantes, miembros de KDE, a leer nuestro Código de Conducta. Esto es muy importante para mantener una buena relación entre todos los miembros de esta maravillosa comunidad internacional.

https://pe.kde.org/code_of_conduct.php

Si perteneces a KDE o alguna otra comunidad de Sofware Libre o código abierto, por favor, difúndelo.

Gracias

Ronny

Written by Ronny Yabar

May 12, 2015 at 12:50 pm

Posted in KDE, Planet KDE-es

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Mountain Biking: Laguna de Huaypo -> Huarocondo -> Izcuchaca

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Laguna de Huaypo

Esta vez hicimos una ruta muy entrenida y con un hermoso paisaje en la provincia de Anta, Cusco.

Visitamos La laguna de Huaypo que está a mas o menos unos 20km de Cusco. Wow! La vista es impresionante, apenas visualizé la laguna, empecé a contemplarla. Estos lugares son poco conocidos, pero son una belleza.

Luego partimos a Huarocondo, un pintoresco distrito que está considerado como uno de los pueblos más antiguos cuando llegaron los españoles a conquistarnos. Huarocondo, entre otras cosas, también es conocido por ser un lugar donde se come mucho lechón, de hecho hay un gran festival que se celebra anualmente para disfrutar de esta deliciosa carne. Así que, como buen viajero que se respeta, comimos en la calle, al aire libre :). Pasado el mediodía, llegamos a una plaza principal, donde ofrecían lechón por todas partes. Riquísimo y barato, el paquete completo.

Y finalmente, para retornar a Cusco, partimos nuevamente hacia el distrito de Izcuchaca, que es ya una zona semi-urbana.

Una vez más, GRACIAS AMIGOS, por estos momentos increíbles que pasamos.

 

Written by Ronny Yabar

March 30, 2015 at 1:58 am

Mountain Biking: Pikillaqta -> Laguna de Huacarpay -> Lucre

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Segunda vez que llegamos  a Lucre. Un consejo de viajero, este un lugar OBLIGATORIO a conocer, porque forma parte de la ruta gastronómica de Cusco. Aquí encuentras los mejores platos preparados al horno, a la olla: Trucha, pato, pollo, chicharrón de chancho, choclo con queso…, pero no solo eso, al frente de la plazita del pueblo están los famosos helados de Lucre. No sé cual es el secreto, pero son una delicia, realmente estos helados son orgásmicos.

La ruta en bicicleta de Cusco a Lucre no es para descender, son 30km de pura pista que al menos sirven para endurecer las piernas :) Eso sí, la carretera está muy bien asfaltada, el riesgo es el número de carros, vans, buses y camiones que circulan. Así que mucho cuidado con los pilotos de fórmula 1, que en Perú hay muchos. En carretera, mantén siempre la derecha y baja la velocidad en las curvas, sobretodo en los puntos ciegos.

Lo interesante de esta ruta, es que minutos antes de llegar a Lucre, pasas por dos lugares interesantes: el Parque Arqueológico de Pikillaqta y La Laguna de Huacarpay.

Pikillaqta es una pequeña ciudad Pre-Inca parte de la Cultura Wari. Esta pequeña ciudad,  a pesar de su antigüedad, está muy bien conservada  y lo que llama la atención son sus muros de 2 a 3 pisos, construidos por piedras pequeñas. La Laguna de Huacarpay es un lugar tranquilo y acogedor para disfrutar de la naturaleza. Esta laguna tiene el encanto que puedes apreciar bellos paisajes y distintas especies de aves.

Así que a pesar de ser pura pista, la ruta Cusco -> Lucre vale la pena por los lugares y por supuesto por la comida, que es por lo que siempre manejamos. A comer!!!

Laguna de Huacarpay

Written by Ronny Yabar

January 27, 2015 at 1:43 am

The KDE LaKademy 2014 experience – São Paulo, Brazil.

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Long time without posting :)

Well, from August 27th to 30th, KDE contributors met in LaKademy (Latin American Akademy).  We got together in São Paulo, Brazil and the meeting took place in the Free Software Competence Center (CCSL) at University of São Paulo (USP).

It was my third time in Brazil and was great to meet again with my KDE Brazilian friends and learn more about the KDE community. Besides discussing about KDE applications, frameworks, technologies, projects… we had some really interesting talks and hacking sessions of course.

KDE - LaKademy

KDE - LaKademy

As usual, we enjoyed some beers everyday and visited the Garoa Hacker Clube, one of the most important Hacker Spaces in São Paulo. These guys use full Open Source, software and hardware.

Take a look at this 3D printer printing the KDE logo.

64_

I gave a talk about the amazing KDE Connect.

 

I want to thank the KDE e.V for sponsoring the event and my trip. It’s really important to meet in our region and know better each other, these kind of meetings are really valuable for us.

You can see the full report of the LaKademy here and some pictures to share:

 

See you at next Lakademy!!!

Written by Ronny Yabar

September 26, 2014 at 10:10 am

São Paulo – Brasil.

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0

Written by Ronny Yabar

September 26, 2014 at 8:49 am

Posted in Brasil, Traveling

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