Programmers often talk about this magical place called "The Zone." It's basically a mental state in which they are able to be the most productive, and are laser-focused on the task at hand. They're so immersed in writing code that everything outside of their computer screen (the world) disappears.


Fun Fact: Don't talk to a programmer when they're in the zone. They may either ignore you or be quick to anger.

The best thing I can compare "The Zone" to for non-programmers is when you're completely immersed in a story you're reading. If you're interrupted, it usually takes you out of the story and the experience of being totally absorbed in the atmosphere of the book.

Total immersion is a powerful tool: you don't know what you’re capable of until you really concentrate on something.

"The Zone" has been my best friend ever since I started talking to callers again. When I'm in the zone, it's all about listening to them and trying to guide them in the right direction. Any distraction I succumb to means that I have failed miserably and possibly missed an important detail.

So, what's it like living in "The Zone"? Quite amazing, actually.

  • The itch I get to check my email? Gone.
  • The desire for a break? Nope.
  • My body telling me I'm hungry? It can wait.
  • My own needs? Nope. Not now. I must be strong enough to compartmentalize and practice self-care on my own time. This way, I can be my best self when offering guidance, without my judgment being compromised by biases.

There is no world outside of the one particular task that I'm doing. Nothing else matters, nothing else exists.

Living in the zone is not without a cost, though. It takes me a long time afterward to recharge and start focusing on my next task. I slowly push off the weight of the world. The beauty of "The Zone" though, is that you're no longer at war with two sides of yourself. You're not thinking, you're doing what you need to do without second-guessing yourself. There's just no time for anything else but to take action.

Total immersion helped me discard everything and anything that does not serve me.

When I gave up this blog just a few months ago, I was so immersed in the atmosphere and weight of my past that nothing could snap me out of it. I was convinced that I was doing the right thing to honor the wish of someone who was no longer alive.

Total immersion can be a curse if you don't use it carefully. Be careful with what you immerse yourself in.

What changed my mind? A wise mind told me:

Personally, will all respect to the person who said that, I think that anyone who asks you not to do what you love does not have your best interest at heart. You writing your blog and doing what you are passionate about, does not impact the people who choose that it’s not for them, but it does impact your readers who love your posts and look forward to you writing. Now if you decided you didnt enjoy it, by all means change your route and do what you love, but that doesn’t sound like the case. Just think about it. :)

 


The ability to immerse yourself in the present moment will be your greatest weapon.

The degree of one's success is usually measured by their ability to push past discomfort at any given moment. Not by questioning the past or fearing the future, but by utilizing everything they already are and everything they possess.

The old you must die in order to become something more.

Just like a phoenix rises from the ashes and experiences rebirth, you must rise above your crucible so that you can finally forge yourself into who you were always meant to be. This allows you to let go of everything you're not, everything negative that your crucible tried to convince you that you were. A symbolic ‘death’ of your former self means that you're making room for the new and improved you. Out with the old, in with the new. The objective is to become someone who's ready to tackle whatever it is that life has in store for them.

You have to dig really deep if you want to fight out what you're fighting for, and why. Immerse yourself in the here and now, and use your past as a place of reference, not residence.