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.
- Set initial expectations to zero.
- Do simple tasks.
- Make yourself comfortable with the group and understand how they operate.
- 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.