Inner peace using resiliency engineering practices

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Often unexpected events occur in life that throw our inner peace out of balance. A good indicator of such problems is a burst of negative emotions - anger, frustration, sadness, envy etc. After such incidents, restoring and maintaining your inner peace can be quite a challenge.

Incidents and outages happen in engineering also. Every now and then, unpredicted problems may occur and systems are thrown out of balance. After applying some reactive measures to the systems, we conduct a thorough postmortem to understand what really went wrong. Then come up with proactive measures so that this problem does not occur again.This is quite a common process in many engineering companies.

The crux of the process is how we do root cause analysis - the 5 whys. It is quite a simple and effective technique that originated in Toyota. The technique is -

Ask "Why did this happen?" 5 times to your problem recursively.

You can apply the same technique when something disturbs you emotionally. Let's take an example -

I feel very frustrated since last 2 days

Why? - The promotion process results were announced and I did not get it.

Why? - The promotion committee didn't think my contribution was valuable enough

Why? - I did not put much effort into capturing metrics and value from new changes.

Why? - I focussed more on an additional project than capturing metrics.

Why? - I didn't plan this well.

This technique is quite effective for small to medium sized problems. So if you have some big problem with multiple dimensions, you can apply another engineering fundamental - break it down into smaller subproblems and then do this exercise.

Once you do this, then you will start seeing the root problems. Then you can focus on fixing those so that such incidents don't happen again. After doing this over and over, your emotional systems will become highly resilient.

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