I’m sitting and staring at lines of complex code, deep in thought as I solve the next programming dilemma in front of me. An unwise person tempted to break my train of thought would be like poking a sleeping bear with a stick. For most Developers sitting for long periods of time in an office or cubicle is normal but it’s also like being a caged Lion at the zoo. The adrenalin that once pushed them to chase down prey is slowly lost until all that remains is an animal that no longer remembers the thrill of the hunt and in the same way, unless we push ourselves we fall into our own cages and become an autonomous slave to the system.
“Remove all negative aspects of your life..”
So how do we get a positive mental attitude to motivate us forward and avoid the cage? Well it’s all about getting the feel good factor, getting it before and during an activity so we get a payoff at the end. Positive reinforcement can help and be anything; praise from a peer, a word of encouragement, helping someone else achieve a milestone, achieving a personal milestone or even purchasing new equipment. It should always be connected to the main event but could be anything at all. Remove all negative aspects of your life and throw away any words or feelings of discouragement. Don’t turn it into a chore. Make it something to look forward to. The payoff is not just achieving your end goal. How would you feel if you didn’t attain your end goal? You’d feel discouraged right, maybe give up? So we should think of it differently. Reinforce the positives only, instead of what you didn’t achieve, what did you achieve. You probably learnt more about yourself on your journey to your end goal and this is also part of the payoff. Already we are making it a win – win situation, reinforcing the positive mental attitude and motivating us further.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not always motivated, I struggle with the best of them but my motivation stems from sitting in an office with furrowed brow and longing to escape to the great outdoors. Each time I return from a camping trip I’ve learned something new or need to find out more. This may lead to ditching previous concepts and adding new ones. Acquiring new skills are my milestones, wanting to put them into practice the next time I venture out my motivation and my payoff, escaping the confines of the office, achieving what I couldn’t achieve the previous year and passing the knowledge on to inspire others.