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How to move forward after setback and defeat

I wanted to give an update on what's been going on since my post about failure.

Coming back from setback and defeat is a long road - most of it is psychological work, and requires cultivating mental toughness together with compassionate self-care towards your self. You can only grind it out for so long before you encounter difficult problems including burnout.

Evaluate yourself

It is important to heed the lessons from your failure/defeat/setback.

What went wrong? What could I have done differently to avoid certain problems? How much was inevitable because of inexperience? What was outside of my control? What's blocking me from moving forward?

Explore your thoughts and feelings about all of these questions. Both subjectively and as objectively as possible. By attempting to answer these questions, you start to inform your path forward.

Sometimes we see our past mistakes plainly and clearly, and other times it's a little more complex.

You learn by doing

Moving forward, as the cliche goes, is one step at a time. Being an indie hacker is marathon not a sprint. You start with a single step to build momentum and continue to keep putting one foot in front of the other consistently.

The thing with cliches is that there is a kernel of wisdom baked into each one. The problem lies with the fact that wisdom is earned and not given. You only truly appreciate and understand these nuggets once you've paid your dues and discovered their wisdom for yourself. And so, just like Morpheus said to Neo in The Matrix: "...I can only show you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it."

Change your attitude towards discipline

In order to move forward, I have adjusted my attitude and relationship to discipline. I love Mike Tyson's take on the matter. He says that discipline is "doing the things you hate to do but doing them like you love it". And the reason you should learn to love the things you hate is because they're the things that will take you towards your higher ideal, towards your goals and dreams.

The other little nugget that's guiding me is from Arnold Schwarzenegger: "Work like hell, and advertise." His idea is to do a lot of work, and then show people what you've done.

Break problems down until their manageable

How does this all link back to Moonscape? Well, my work-ethic is stronger than it was before, but so is my self-compassion. I don't punish myself if something takes me longer than expected or is harder than expected. I trust that with consistent effort I will break down the barriers in front of me.

If building out user authentication is harder than expected, I break it down further until it's a problem that's comfortable enough to attack but still challenging. Gym rats would call this "progressive overload". Lift a little more each time but if you can't lift anymore, go down a weight to get comfortable again with your baseline, and try for more next time.

Reflect on your hard work

In the past two months I've put together the scaffolding of the new Moonscape web app that will aggregate your trading history across crypto exchanges, calculate your position totals and provide other useful metrics with a view to including tax calculations longer term. It can be your one view into all your trading and HODLing activity.

This weekend I've been writing exchange integration and parsing different trade formats into my internal format that I use for all the position aggregation calculations. Each day presents a new challenge but looking back on passed two months and I'm pleased with my output.

Here's to keeping on going 🚀

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