Over the last month or so, I’ve been putting extra effort into bettering myself. This involves taking a personal inventory of all the things I can do to improve, and reading plenty of guides on how to do so. Many of the things on my list are very small, like learning new hobbies, while others are very big, like working up the courage to play guitar at an open mic night.
I discovered many new self-improvement items as I worked on another new hobby, brewing, which involves many small tasks, and requires a level of patience comparable only to grandparents and monks.
Brewing, self-improvement, and backup and disaster recovery all have manuals with best-practices, and helpful pointers. But, while the instructions can be detailed, if you’re like me, you’ll find yourself in situations that confuse, or anger you. The instructions are never specific enough for every situation.
You soon learn that your kitchen is too small to house the equipment you need. You find that your electric stove doesn’t distribute heat equally, and that without consistent stirring, bits of grain stick to the bottom. Suddenly your pot boils over, or you add too much water to the brew before fermentation. It’s easy to read instructions, but without careful practice, your instructions only go so far.
There are a hundred things that can go wrong in brewing and your disaster plan. Even if you have a manual, it takes practice to find your limitations and weaknesses, and those areas that need most improvement. It’s important to test your recovery plan frequently, and write down everything you learned for the next time—you don’t want your pot to boil over when an emergency requires everything to go smoothly. Only through practice will you discover what can go wrong, and how you can prepare.
Your disaster recovery plan is much like self-improvement. Although it’s simple to think about what you need, when you actually test your plan, you’ll probably find things you never thought of. The first item on my improvement list was to learn new hobbies. Learning a new hobby made me realize that I could keep my kitchen better organized, that I have little patience when it comes to waiting for my beer to ferment, and that having a dog means hair in your beer if you don’t keep your home clean.
Little issues add up quickly, so testing your plan is the best way to make sure you know what’s really going to happen when the disaster comes. Improve yourself, improve your plan, and learn from beer.