Seven Invaluable Lessons Linux Taught Me
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Oh boy, this is going to be interesting. A freelance writer with a law degree writes about Linux. Just when you thought you have seen and read it all.
Sometimes, you can't choose a teacher nor the lessons to learn. Yet, at the end of the day, does it really matter? As long as you get the invaluable lessons, you can benefit from. Right? Who could have thought that my decision to switch from Windows to Linux would provide me with some surprising conclusions?
It is in our nature, I guess, to see the "signs" all around us. To learn important "lessons" about business and life from the most unusual and least expected situations. To tell you the truth, I don't know a thing about Linux history nor its founders. I'm a happy user. That's all. It could've been any other OS to take Windows place.
There are reasons; I call them lessons that I will remember and try to apply for a very long time.
Lesson #1: Thinking outside the box doesn't work?! Find a new one.
I was at the edge of the complete nervous breakdown because of the problem with drivers on my laptop. I moved heaven and earth, trying to fix it. It was a vicious circle. Only Windows 10 could work, but there were no appropriate drivers.
Eventually, after so much money and time spent for nothing, I decided to either throw it away or give to some of my friends or cousins for free. Imagine a situation where you work, for example, typing, and then out of the blue, the computer restarts itself with no warning. Sometimes, once in a week. Sometimes, five times in a single day. I switched to Linux.
Ever since not a single problem. Linux proved itself to be extremely useful for machines that aren't particularly powerful. I believe that success is all about new angles and approaches. If it doesn't work, then change it.
I know it sounds like a well-known phrase, but sometimes it can be quite hard to leave the safe road and begin a journey into uncharted territory.
Lesson #2: There's no room for prejudices in life.
Can you guess who recommended me Linux? My neighbor, a plumber. He was fixing things around my house. It was impossible not to notice that I was under the weather. He mentioned Linux, but I wasn't paying any attention. Why? He's a plumber. What does he know about computers and stuff? It turned out that I was talking to one of the greatest Linux expert amateurs. Yet, it took me six months to give him a call about Linux. Six months of endless misery because I was stupid and blind to see.
If you want to move forward, then you simply have to forget about prejudices. You don't know who or what may help you to overcome your problems.
Lesson #3: There are always free software alternatives, period.
Linux was surprisingly easy to install and use. I didn't want to avoid paying for a solution that helps me do my job. Yet, an open-source platform was such a refreshing change. As a writer, I couldn't possibly imagine a single minute without the Office. Linux has its own version called LibreOffice. It is also free. Grammarly doesn't work directly in LibreOffice docs. However, you can use the web version of Grammarly, as an app, and check your docs the same way.
Also, I can save my docs in proper .doc and .docx format with nothing for my clients who are using Windows and Office to worry about. Making your first business steps and trying to grow your existing business often means that you have limited resources by default. Whatever you do, you will need some kind of software.
Now, the best ones to use aren't cheap. Yet, you can always find free alternatives that will help you to reach the next level.
Lesson #4: You can never be successful if you aren't independent.
Do you know what the thing I hated the most about Windows was? This system made me so dependent. I didn't know how to install Windows myself. I had to ask or pay for help whenever I encountered any major problem.
I remember when I was in sales. I was talking to one of my top clients. You know, a factory, the machines, and everything. There were making aluminum and PVC windows and doors. This client told me that he knows his work. He can go into the production hall all by himself. Do all the work entirely by himself. Of course, he can't possibly match the usual production rate with dozens of workers buzzing around. But, he was totally independent. He can find new workers and train them well all by himself.
Linux gave me the freedom and control I have always dreamed about. To this very day, I haven't encountered a problem in Linux I couldn't fix myself. I can install the system in a matter of minutes. At least, I know how to do it now.
I believe that truly successful people are capable of doing all the work by themselves. They are independent and able to organize others how to follow their vision properly and efficiently. There's no success without independence regarding your knowledge, skills, and tools you are using.
Lesson #5: Be your own minority report.
All of my life, I have been hearing about and using Windows. It was simply unimaginable for me to use any other system. It was exciting, but also a little bit risky, to try a completely new thing.
Guess what? It turned out to be an excellent choice and a totally worthy one. This was a great lesson to learn. If you want different results in life, then you have to do something differently. Don't be afraid to become your own minority report.
I know very few people who use Linux among my friends and colleagues. Does it mean that they are doing something right or wrong?
Lesson #6: David vs. Goliath battle doesn't always have a happy end, but it's still worth a try.
Grandpa Microsoft will always be a legend, no matter what happens in the market. Maybe, Linux will keep its underdog reputation, no matter how successful it may become in the future.
I think about the guys who developed it. What did they get in return? Are they rich? Are they happy? Yet, I believe they have something they can call it to be their own. They could have been successful and well paid in any software company in the world, including Microsoft itself. Yet, they decided to build something different. Something of their own.
When you are fighting your biggest battles, you are facing your own Goliaths by default. You usually stand the unfair chances. It is still worth a try, isn't it?
Lesson #7: The future belongs to the impatient ones.
Who likes to make slow progress? You can hardly find a person to settle for it. We all want it all, and most importantly, we want it right here and now. On the other side, what's the use of quick success, if it doesn't live long enough to match your expectations.
There's a saying I heard from the other Linux users. There aren't too many Linux users, but the ones who try it will continue to use until the end of time. Sometimes, you have to believe and wait for a month, a year, or even a decade. If you decide to be a patient, you will have to hear the bad and the good news. The bad one is that you will have to wait a lot. The good one is that you will have much better chances to be successful in the long run. But then, I always remember what Saito says in "Inception:"
Do you want to take a leap of faith or become an old man filled with regret waiting to die alone?
My final Ubuntu thoughts:
What's the moral of my story? Should we all become Linux users? Of course, the answer is no. Although all of my laptops run on Linux, my desktop computer still uses Windows. Why?
I guess that my girls at home don't share the same passion when it comes to Linux with me. That's not the point either way. This story of mine could've been about IOS or some other system.
My point is that we should be careful observers of the things around us. You just don't know where an invaluable life-changing lesson is hidden. So, keep your eyes and mind open to those little big details around you that can help you achieve your goals.
Good Hacker Noon luck!
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