- Don't tell me how to do my job!
You had this thought reading professional books and blogs. Maybe even that one. Certainly that one!
That's OK. Nobody likes to get told how to do their job.
If we don't need information, what is that we need? Maybe some inspiration?
Do we underappreciate the importance of inspiration?We like to say that work needs to get done. We put all the pressure on the practical aspects of work. On efficiency. And that is probably the right approach.
A job is no fun and games, surely. But how nice is it to be inspired by what you do? Or at least while you're doing this?
Inspiration comes in different shapes and flavours.
Things that inspire me
- People using and benefiting from what I've helped to create
- Colleagues reaching their goals and being proud of the work they did
- Companies striving and rewarding their employees for that
- People get success through hard work and creativity
- Folks failing but trying again and again
You definitely have your own inspiration sources. Whatever those are, it's important to harness and develop your inspiration sources. When I run out of inspiration - my productivity and quality of output decreases. When inspired - problems don't appear scary, and people don't sound grumpy. Even if they are.
I used to love going to conferences. I thought I am learning so much by going there. With time though, the amount of learning decreased. I started to think that I could invest time and money better for something else. Something with better value for money. I've taken a break from conferences. And while I was not going to new conferences I caught myself rewatching videos from those I've been in the past. I asked myself why as I already got the learnings from them. The answer was - inspiration. The talks I was re-watching were wonderfully insightful. Still, the most prominent value they provided was the inspiration. However practical is a talk, it's still pretty hard to apply the knowledge it gives directly. Finding two identical contexts is impossible. Just because different people are involved. Hence all the great talks inspire to find your own unique way. Humans have been doing that for centuries, telling each other stories to inspire one another to act. My favourite stories give me the power to move forward, try new ways and avoid desperation. Most of the time :)
A former colleague of mine, a hardcore, grey-haired engineer once told me, that he has a favourite painting that inspires him to write better code. He goes to see that art from time to time, and it helps him to do better work.
For him, for me and probably for most people, inspiration is the key component of motivation. And the most effective motivation is self-motivation. What else needed for efficient self-motivation?
Try asking yourself the following 3 questions:
- Can I do it? (have time, know how - training)
- Will it work? (why, what's needed - education)
- Is it worth it? (value, fun - motivation)
Perception of competence and choice is usually enough. As consequences are also subjectively perceived.