Erik Andersen

Photo by GLOBENCER on Unsplash

Your glass isn’t “half-full” or “half-empty”

Just be glad that you even have a glass!

We live at an amazing time in an amazing world full of amazing opportunities!

You can literally fill your glass (aka your life) with anything.

Education? Advocacy? Relationships? Positivity?


Social Media? Resentment? Boredom? Loneliness?

What are you filling your life with?



Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

If you answer “yes” to any of the questions below then you know you can’t trust yourself.

Your rational brain has been hijacked by extremism and you aren’t seeing the world clearly.

Questions to ponder -

  1. Do you disagree with everything the opposing party does?
  2. Do you take one isolated negative interaction, and quickly apply it to all members of the opposing party?
  3. Do you believe the opposing party and it’s members are allevil”?
  4. Do you disregard perspectives that challenge your view of the world?

Most situations and people aren’t a binary “good” or “bad”. It’s merely a spectrum of “pros” vs. “cons”.

We do ourselves harm when we apply arbitrary extreme morality to a situation. It prevents dialogue. It prevents consolidation. It destroys relationships.

So the first step to heal the world is to challenge yourself.



Photo by Wai Siew on Unsplash

Social media unnecessarily polarizes our population.

You are either

  • Democrat or Republican
  • Pro-life or pro-choice
  • Pro-guns or pro-gun-control
  • etc.

And then all we do is yell at each other.

The reality is that issues are not binary. And oftentimes, the truth is in-between the two camps.

You can be “pro-life”…



Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

If you want to get something done, you need both responsibility and ownership. Why?

If you own the outcome, you’ll be much more driven to get it done right.

Here are some red flags to know if you don’t have sufficient ownership:

  • You have no “decision-making” power — prevents you from moving powerfully and fast in a direction. You are instead busy in “checkpoints” with senior leaders
  • You have to “design by committee” — forces you to make the “politically-right” decision, instead of what’s best for the project or product
  • You have arbitrary “gate keepers” — prevents you from interfacing with customers or stakeholders directly, so you never really know the true problem you’re trying to solve.

With the blockers above you may still get the task done, but how do you know you solved the right problem?



Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

The first step

Ponder whether you can change your own mind. And then be willing to be wrong.

If you approach any conversation with that mindset, people will naturally be more receptive to your message.

They’ll be less defensive

They’ll be more open

They’ll feel heard

The second step

Make the conversation safe. This often means one-on-one.

No one changes their mind on social media. Parties “on the fence” do not attend the massive political rallies

The environments can be so toxic, and people can get so aggressive, that people’s walls are naturally up

The result

Do this and suddenly you’re not a “salesman”, you’re just a friend trying to have a conversation.



Photo by jesse orrico on Unsplash

Sometimes we over-index on the value of “hard work”, almost as if that’s the solution to every problem.

In excess though, it can completely drain you due to:

  • Regular, expected overtime
  • Less breaks throughout the day
  • A sacrifice of personal needs (sleep, exercise, etc.)

But it doesn’t have to.

You can still “work hard” and be off by 5:00pm every day. You can still “work hard”, while making time to connect with people personally at work.

People will always want and expect more from you.

So it’s your responsibility to set the appropriate boundaries, and push back when a request becomes excessive.

You define what your limits are. And you must enforce them.



Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

How do you react when people ask for something “as soon as possible”?

Do you immediately de-prioritize all your other work? Do you work late that day to complete it right now? Do you sacrifice your sleep and your health to move heaven and earth for every new request?




Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

As developers, sometimes we think if think “if I just knew more about x technology, then my job would be easier”.

So we spend years of our lives reading documentation, practicing syntax, and learning more about the systems we work with.

That is wonderful.

But oftentimes, the technical part is…



Erik Andersen

Erik Andersen

Software engineer and wellness advocate. My opinions are my own.