1% Better Every Day
This should apply to our tasks as well as our personal development. Learn something new every day. Knowledge will accumulate. Don’t dismiss small efforts.
Small steps every day accumulate into big changes. It doesn’t all have to be done today. But strive to find that task you can achieve and contribute to today. If you do more great, if not, you’re still winning. This helps to cultivate a growth mindset and it helps with momentum.
Strive for simplicity
There are many ways to reach the same result. It’s common when learning a new skill to want to immediately apply that skill. Take pause and think can I achieve this with an existing, simpler skill?
You could harness functional programming, battle-tested object-oriented patterns, complex type systems or metaprogramming.
Do I need this now? Can I solve the same problem with a simpler construct? And if I do need a more powerful construct, challenge yourself to answer why a simpler solution won’t suffice. This is a litmus test to self.
For years I had a card in my wallet with a Sri Chinmoy quote on it “Perseverance, perseverance, perseverance, you can turn me into a genius”. The card ended up disintegrating and when searching for the quote I can’t find it, so I’m not even sure if it was a genuine quote or an interpretation. Either way, that card stayed with me for years. Each time I cleared out my wallet I would be about to throw out this card, re-read it and think “I kind of like that you can stay.”.
Thinking about it now I really like acknowledging this as a value. It’s a quality that can be practised. And it’s a testament to the enduring spirit. Perseverance allows us to complete marathons and train for them. And it allows us to deliver features/products even though there will be challenges, stressors and other discomfort.
There will be obstacles, but I have to defy the obstacles.
Good is better than perfect
This is almost a double up of 1% better everyday growth mindset. But I wanted to include it as a note to myself to not strive for perfection and acknowledge the good. It can be easy to discredit good work because feature X was missing. This doesn’t mean ditching a high standard.
Less perfectionism more practice.
- I wanted to publish a blog post a year ago but postponed it because the illustrations weren’t pretty enough.
There is a term “psychological safety” that came from an internal Google study, looking at what makes successful teams. Essentially the results found it’s not the most academically accredited or the most experienced teams that are successful. Rather the teams that feel safe to ask dumb questions, are the ones that feel safe to raise concerns and communicate without feeling judged. Free communication without judgment leads to successful product delivery. But most importantly fosters happy people and provides an environment they want to show up to every day.
We can encourage this in our teams. We can also encourage this with our internal self-talk. But it is a quality that needs to be developed. Ultimately it’s encouraging vulnerability, to be wrong, to have our ideas rejected, to make mistakes.
Things you can do to help cultivate psychological safety:
- Admit you’re wrong
- Respond positively to doubts
- Forgive mistakes
- Ask for input
Have fun! Explore Play Learn
The best results come when I’m happy and having fun. I can see this as my kids develop. And I can reflect on this when I’ve been most productive. Keep learning fun, and allow ourselves to explore and play. If we feel stagnant, shake things up, learn a new skill or construct a situation to apply a skill in a fun way.