The S.T.U.P.I.D. Email – Sep 26, 2021

By Bruno Souza | learning

Sep 26

Skill, Thought, Unique, Person, Interesting, Daring
A fun, weekly round of Career ideas!


The more I understand about skills, the more I understand the power of mistakes.

There is a relationship.

The only way for us to acquire skills is trying many times.

But not only trying to do.
Trying to do it better. A little better. And (a little) better.

The more we force it, the better our skills get.

But… What does forcing means?

It really means making mistakes.

When we force (a little) beyond our capabilities, we make mistakes.
When we make mistakes, our brain reacts and improves.
And we get better.
And we can force (a little) more.

So, embrace your mistakes!
Instead of feeling bad, or ashamed, or even upset…
Try to see mistakes as an integral part of the improving process.


“Take chances. Mistakes are never a failure. They can be turned into wisdom” — Cat Cora.

The secret here is the work “can”.

Mistakes are not a failure by themselves…

They CAN be turned into wisdom!
But… You have to do it .

Make your mistakes count!
Embrace mistakes made while you are actively trying to improve.

Turn your mistakes into wisdom by reflecting on them.
Understand why your bug happened.
Why the ugly code made things harder.
Why the build broke.


There are mistakes that are unique.
Because, they cost a lot.

They can cost our job.
Or a lot of money.
Sometimes, they cost our health…
The worst ones, can cost our careers, our relationships or our lives…

Yes, they can offer a huge lesson…
(Many people have unique stories of recovering from their worst mistakes…)

But, we really don’t want to risk THAT much for a lesson, right?
(I know that sometimes we don’t have a choice…)

This is why we need to embrace and put light on the smaller errors.

If we try to run, hide or ignore the smaller mistakes…
We tend to not see the bigger ones…

Be honest with yourself and the people around you.
Reflect on your daily advances and mistakes.
Treat errors as a learning opportunity.


My friend Rafael del Nero is the “Java Challenger” guy.

He started by creating a Java challenge every day…
Then he moved to challenge himself to new things.
Did presentations. Joined events. Wrote books.
Moved to another country, Ireland.
Became a Java Champion.
Launched a product.

Rafael for me is an inspiration.
Because he accepts how challenging things are.
And he is totally at ease to discuss his mistakes, erros and failings.

We have long conversations about what he intends to try, how his experiences failed, and what can he do to fix it.

The best way to challenge ourselves is to learn from our mistakes and errors.

A great way to do that, is to talk with friends and mentors.
They can help you think things trough, without judging you.

(To connect with Rafael, start from his free ebook, that is part of the Low Hanging series)


There is an interesting way to measure how much you are challenging yourself.

The comfort zone:
Greater than 80% success rate.
You are playing safe, challenging yourself little, and as such, growing little. Too easy for you to fail and little mistakes to learn from.

The desperation zone:
Less than 50% success rate.
You are risking and forcing too much. Too many errors is frustrating. It is hard to learn from errors when you are making more mistakes than getting things right.

The sweet spot:
Between 50% and 80% success rate.
The target. It is hard enough that you make mistakes. Having a little more success than failures allows you to learn and turn your mistakes into wisdom.


It is not easy.
Mistakes are frustrating…
Dealing with failure is emotionally tiring.
It requires a growing level of maturity from you.

That’s why it is important to make things daring, but not let it fall into desperation.

Try not make your mistakes tooo frustrating, so you continue to do it and don’t give up.

Consistency and growing challenges are what wins the day in the end.

Learn more about skills on my new book, “The Little Book of Speaking Talent“. It features 52 skill-focused tips, so you can practice weekly your skills.

Hope you enjoyed those tips! Let me know what you need to get your career moving!

the “Challenge”-man.

About the Author

Software developers have a huge impact in the world, and can effectively improve the planet. This is why Bruno Souza is passionate about developer communities and has dedicate his life to help developers worldwide reach their true potential. The "Brazilian JavaMan" is a Java Developer at Summa Technologies, and a Cloud Specialist at ToolsCloud, where he participated in some of the largest Java projects in Brazil. President of SouJava and Director at the Open Source Initiative, Bruno believes Java and Open Source to be the path to career excellency for developers everywhere, and that taking responsibility for delivering software is the mark of great developers.