This post is very much about attitude.

As you might know, I’m a passionate practitioner of the Japanese martial art Aikido. Currently I’m injured and not able to train, which is why I was viewing the training last Friday when a guest teacher taught in one of the Dojos I regularly train at. The training was great and some things made me think about Aikido and the things one can learn in order to be a better developer and businessman. Here are three things I have learned:

Optimism beats pessimism

Some people say “when you are a pessimist, you either are right again or being surprised positively”. That might be true, still I think it’s way better to think positive. Being truly optimistic becomes like a self fulfilling prophecy. Because you think things will work out in a way that is good for you, they do. Your work becomes better, quality wise and quantity wise, and is much more fun. Same in martial arts: Training (keiko) does not need to be hard nor do you. If you are softer (soft, not slack!) keiko becomes much more demanding as you are able to perceive more and hence work harder on yourself. It also becomes much more fun for your partner, especially when she or he is still a beginner.

Make the next step

There are moments when you are realizing that what you just did was not good. In Aikido this happens for example when you realize that the technique you just did was not well executed. When you are hesitating here, your partner will overwhelm you. Instead, you should make the next step. You should realize that something went wrong but not let it intercept your move. No matter what time it is, it is always now, right? It never is tomorrow and never is yesterday. So in one sentence: Even though things are not working out perfectly, you should move on.

Be humble and thankful

Success sometimes leads people to the thought that they accomplished what they did on their own. Of course they did not. Think about an successful app: Would it be successful without all the users, the critics, the development teams? Our success is always dependent on the kindness of other beings. Therefore, a humble and thankful attitude is a good thing. Especially when it comes to negative feedback one should see the opportunity for improvement and answer the user in a good manner.


As you can see, martial arts don’t only affect one’s body. Please feel free to tell your story and thoughts in the comments.