Being yourself - The greatest success of all

Success. So many strive for it. And yet so many are miserable while working towards it.

I have tried it. I will try my hardest to not do it again.

The mental image

When I was 17 I was trusted with my first work as a web developer. I sure had heard older people say there was a thing such as "young and ambitious", but this was not me being ambitious. I was given an opportunity, and I took it. I worked hard to make it happen, and I would say I did a pretty good job based on my experience. But there were a few things I noticed:

  • I had worked in the office for a couple of weeks, and I barely knew anyone.
  • I had completely drained my creativity in the process
  • I was trying to deliver to very unclear expectations

Now, the social dimension of a workplace is very important, not just to remain sane, but to keep the motivation going. Those who know me, know that I am a little odd, yet somewhat funny dude. Those who do not know, might perceive me as shy or uncomfortable. I was probably seen as shy and uncomfortable to most people at the job; I at least felt that way.

This was my first "real"1 job, and an unusual at that. I had made a mental image of the hard working individual who outperforms the [very unclear]2 expectations. That means I sacrificed some things. I removed a part of myself to perform better. It worked. For two whole weeks.

The anchor - Listen to you heart

The Anchor describes the situations in which I have vastly outperformed the expectations which other people have on me. Let us start simple.

  1. Set initial expectations to zero.
  2. Do simple tasks.
  3. Make yourself comfortable with the group and understand how they operate.
  4. Immerse yourself with the group, and enlighten them with your personality. Greatness will come from the group - not just yourself.

For me the thing which brought the willingness to extend quality, was not the sake of quality itself; it was to deliver something for these people I really cared about, who I knew cared as much about me.

To sum up: Surround yourself with good people. They do not have to be the best at what they do, but they need willingness and a good heart.

  1. Being a paper boy at 13 does not really count

  2. Nothing was explicitly said about what we had to achieve, or at what level it was supposed to be (Though we initially did something out of the ordinary)

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