Merry Christmas from jwolfgang.info. Happy New Years as well.
Lately I have circled back to looking at how manufacturing principles, process-focused learning, Zen and Japanese culture all come together. It is really hard for me to pin down an exact name for how all these concepts meet at a crux, but as I take the DevOps course through the Linux Foundation, I see so many recurring themes from other literature that focuses on producing “great works” or “excellent results” whether it is high-quality cars, personal development, software, or teaching others.
The easiest way to describe this idea is to call it “process-focused” instead of “product-focused.” The main idea behind this idea is that in order to produce great results in any field, one has to release the idea of succeeding all-together and instead try to produce a continuous series of momentary successes and failures. In addition, the underlying principle of process-focus is that failures are not to be feared at all, and that they should be sought out.
So all in all, I think that the same ideas that make businesses successful are the same ones that people can apply to their everyday lives. I see how hyper-successful businesses like Amazon or Google utilize these ideas for their own goals. They use iterated approaches to development, they stress-test their systems and push everything to failure. They love failure, and that is why they have succeeded. Why shouldn’t average people use these ideas to improve their lives?!
Here is a list of the best online courses/books/manufacturing principles that utilize a fearlessness of failure approach to growth:
Learning how to Learn (free!)- This course teaches about an “against-all-odds” story of success when a linguist decides to take a drastic career change
Toyota Talent (not-free, but cheap)- I thrifted this book a few months ago. Explores how Toyota sought to uplift it’s line-employees to make decisions on an organizational level
Zen and Japanese Culture (not-free, but cheap)- Explores how Japan has put it’s own spin on Indian Buddhism to form a religion that pervades almost all aspects of both the Japanese mind. Also explores Japan’s influences on Western culture and offers compelling criticism of the Western tendency to over-intellectualize.
Introduction to DevOps (Linux Foundation) (free!) – This course explores how software companies successfully launch software and what DevOps is. I am not done with the course, but it follows a similar train of thinking as the other works but applies it to successful IT/software launches.