I asked on Twitter what I should write about next, the first response was from Dennis…
How you learned from mistakes and from successes?— Dennis de Booij (@testinsideout) May 8, 2019
First and foremost, I know for a fact I haven’t learnt from every mistake, I imagine there are many occasions where I don’t even know it’s a mistake yet, and probably never will. In that same vein I’m probably not that great at identifying successes, I tend to be very hard on myself.
Regardless of success or failure, one thing I do a lot of is thinking, specifically reflection. I often sit and daydream post events; How did that go? Did I behave OK? Could I have done something better? What actions are needed next? What did I learn? Could others learn from it? These type of questions.
I believe reflection has got me to where I am, my studying of testing is mainly based on reflection. I want to say it was a drive to be better, but I don’t think it’s that, it’s a drive to understand, to understand why things went the way they did. Attempting to identify small things that could be improved, identifying the patterns and heuristics I used, my oracles.
Reflective thinking is a form of critical thinking, so I believe my relentless reflection has also honed my critical thinking skills for other activities, not to mention my love of puzzle games and sudoku! Reflection has allowed me to design triggers for myself, such as the ones I tweeted about not to long ago about trying to stop using certain words. That came from me analysing a talk performance.
I know I should celebrate successes more, and perhaps my first step there is to work on identifying them, and accepting them. As a whole though, regardless of success or failure, I enjoying reflecting on what was, and aiming to improve myself each day. However, there has been occasions where I drown myself in reflection, mainly negative thoughts and get myself into a spiral I don’t recover from, I simply can’t see the positives.
My awesome partner got me a gift recently to help with that, which I’m not utilising, it was this productivity planner. The goal being it provides me a structured format, I like structure. I need to use this more!
Edit: Perhaps this post is one of those times to appreciate success, I haven’t posted on here since 16th July 2018!