My year 2018 in review

When everyone is probably already writing down their resolutions for the year to come, I like to seat down, have a nice cognac with me and give some thought about the year that passed.

You should live in the moment” , I know that’s what mindfulness preaches, and believe me when I say that I learned that lesson but, I will be back to this in a moment.

2018 kicked off with some resolutions that, challenging as they were, might took me to a new path, or to some down setting spiral. Actually I started that mindset previously when I decided it was time to accept some stuff that was happening in my life and to make peace with my thoughts and feelings. Sure, the fact that I was reaching the 40s added some weight to my “problem”. 

But a professional decision had to be made. Was it time to take a leap of faith to a full time position as a manager or should I keep pushing as a developer? Gladly I had time to, with full consciousness, make a decision… and so 2018 started.

The first quarter passed by, and my feelings about servant leadership and coaching grew stronger. I found myself not having the same amount of fun and joy in coding as I have when I have to help some colleague to surpass some personal or professional set back. I found myself not having the same amount of fun and joy while coding when I knew what had to be done to improve the team and the company but the company thought otherwise and did not allowed my team to pursuit that road.

It was definitely time for a change.

During the second quarter, I found myself in a position where multiple national and international companies invited me for interviews and technical challenges. It was a period when I did trade some thoughts, ideas and believes with several Engineering Managers, Architects, CTOs, CIOs and CEOs. I am very grateful for all those moments that allowed me to learn with every each one of them. I recall those 2 months as very stressful ones, and by the end of that períod I was having some severe migraines. I could not sleep well, my mind was always juggling between my work and all the challenges I was facing. One Friday, I went to work in the morning, took the afternoon off to attend and interview with people from Portugal and the United States. The interview went OK but in the end I started feeling that my mind was shutting down. When I arrived home I spent 3 days in bed, I could not face the light or any noise. Thankfully my wife helped me out and my 3 years old son was very gentil with me. 

I had enough of interviews (one company had me interviewed 8 times).

It was time to take a decision. I remember telling my wife, in a Wednesday night, “I had enough, I will accept the offer X even if it is not the exact thing I am looking for, but it’s a start in the process”. I still had a challenge to attend in the next Monday, but I was drained. Thursday morning I was typing an email to company X and suddenly my phone rang.

“Hey Ricardo, we, at RUPEAL, have a job opening for an Head of Engineering. Any interest? If so, our CEO wants to meet you tomorrow morning”

Wow, I had heard great things about RUPEAL before. So I decided to postpone my decision a couple more days. Another interview, another offer on the table…but this one with an ultimatum.

“You have until tomorrow to decide”

I really like when people are straight to the point, without hidden agendas and true with their word.

I strongly believe that we should pursue dreams and beliefs. Sometimes things are difficult to reach but I also believe that the Universe present us with possibilities in the right times…

6 months went by after my decision to join RUPEAL, and it seemed like it was yesterday.

If you are asking, I took the decision to learn more about  leadership, management and people. I took the decision that it was time to learn more about me and to nurture my personal development. I realized that my path is in fact to help others to seek their better version of themselves. 

I learned that also myself had changed. I stopped having “a case of Mondays”, and more often than not lose track of the day of the week. It all seems natural now.

I also learned to live more in the moment, thanks to a “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction” course that we had in RUPEAL. 

I also learned how meditation helps me to be a better listener, and to ask better questions. 

Concerning “the others”, I like to believe that I also touched the life of some.

In the end? I am grateful for everyone who crossed my path and everything that happened, good and bad, during this year of 2018.

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