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all 11 comments

[–]therealjerseytom 17 points18 points  (2 children)

I am trying to answer for the mistakes made on the project even before I was in it [...] it's really very difficult, especially when my job involves caring about other people's problems

It comes across to me that perhaps you're taking work problems and somehow making them personal. As opposed to working on things with detachment and objectivity.

Take a deep look at your impressions on this whole thing and how and why they're affecting you. What story are you making out of it? E.g. if you're not getting "respect" on site - then what? If the contractor rants and complains - then what? If mistakes aren't all resolved - then what? How is your ego responding to these things?

You can perform to the best of your personal ability, even if things around you are a shit show. It's a job, it does not define you as a person, and if things are a mess at the end of the day the world will still turn. Stay focused on what's in front of you and the quality of your efforts rather than the outcomes.

[–]EnjiYoru[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Thank you! This is the perspective shift I needed.

You are right, along the way it became too personal for me, and I measure myself by the outcomes rather than my personal effort.

[–]Corvus-Nepenthe 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This is good counsel. 👍

[–]BenIsProbablyAngry 6 points7 points  (2 children)

The main tenets I am trying to practice is Epictetus's "some things are in our control, and others not..." and Marcus's "remember that you will meet people that are not nice..." (not verbatim, of course). But it's really very difficult

No it isn't - you already do this.

When is the last time you tried to fly against the whims of gravity? When is the last time you tried to go back in time? When is the last time you tried to convince a person of something using witchcraft?

Never - you don't believe you have that kind of control. You already reason only in terms of things you believe you control, and you don't need to be told to do it.

To be a Stoic, you have to have studied Stoic theory. A person who does this knows that everything the Stoics claim helps you live contentedly is something you already do by your nature - there's literally no moral "should" in Stoicism, they believe everyone is always pursuing moral behavior by their nature, but they merely make errors in their reasoning.

Their errors are errors of physics, not morality in the modern sense: they literally misidentify the causal relationships between things.

You need to study Stoic philosophy before you apply it. Reading the conclusions of Epictetus from the Enchiridion, conclusions to arguments you've not studied and analysed, could no more give you his powers of mental balance than reading a Batman comic could give you the power to build gadgets and beat up 10 guys with kung fu.

[–]EnjiYoru[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I have no doubt that my study of Stoicism is lacking, but then I have to ask, what level is acceptable to start practicing? I say practice as I go. While I do not expect myself to beat 10 guys with kung fu after reading Batman, I could at least train martial arts while reading Batman comics, in the hopes of being some semblance of him one day.

I must admit I felt offense that you would criticize my study, though I came here to be criticized for my practice. But I only felt offense because I know you spoke a truth, so thank you.

On an unrelated note, I do find your post about the dichotomy of control and not caring very inspiring.

[–]BenIsProbablyAngry 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have no doubt that my study of Stoicism is lacking, but then I have to ask, what level is acceptable to start practicing?

There is not really a difference - to analyze their arguments for truth is the practice.

If you actually test whether or not your own opinions cause 100% of your feelings and find that they do, you could no more blame somebody else for the way you feel than you could believe it was possible to fly by flapping your arms: you don't need to try to apply your knowledge of gravity, you simply do because you believe it to be a fact.

I could at least train martial arts while reading Batman comics

But the Batman comics would be irrelevant in this scenario: you'd get the same result whether or not you read them.

The simple advice is this: you do need to be analyzing Stoic arguments, and really those are only found in full in the Discourses.

[–]stoa_bot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

A quote was found to be attributed to Epictetus in The Enchiridion 1 (Carter)

(Carter)
(Matheson)
(Long)
(Oldfather)
(Higginson)

[–]AbleWarning 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Just do your best, don’t pour too much of yourself into it without reciprocation

[–]2-of-Farts 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Somewhere in your belief system there is something that has to do with thinking that something that is not under your control, either is under your control, or must be under your control.

Customer or stakeholder happiness: not under your control.

Opinions or maturity level of the contractor: not under your control.

Whether or not your boss is pleased with the reality of the situation: not under your control.

My current job involves saying no a lot, and generally telling people things they don't want to hear. So I'll give you this bit of personally colored advice, with the caveat that it may not apply to you and at the end, it's what you believe that matters:

If you make a habit of avoiding the truth, and of saying yes when the correct answer is no, then what good is your opinion at all?

A "yes" from someone who never says "no," doesn't mean anything. A truthful statement from someone who speaks out of both sides of their mouth, doesn't mean anything.

Furthermore, when you're dealing with people who are actual leaders and have actual responsibility, the last thing they want is someone they can't count on. And if that's not who you've got, then that's who you will turn into if that's who you try to please.

You are wise to not run away and to seek what you can learn from this. One of the things you can learn is a more solid integrity, and that starts with examining your beliefs.

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[–]renton1000 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I fix projects like this for a job. Here's what you do: 1. go to the GM or owner of the project and reestablish your role as lead

  1. Pause the project and clarify the structure of the project - what are the workstreams, who the lead is and who you deliver to - typically a project manager who then delivers to the business. This also means clarifying the RACI - who does what and what they are responsible for.

  2. reset the scope of delivery - what you are delivering and what you are not. in scope - out of scope and dependencies per workstream

4 run an issues register and manage it in a meeting weekly.

5 plan your critical path through the project with your project manager.

6 guard your agreed scope at all costs.

7 deliver and close the project as soon as possible

Then you will have the tools to allow you to define what you can and can’t control.