Sustainable Motivations

My blog post this week will be on the Apprenticeship Pattern “Sustainable Motivations”, which talks about how downsides to the job of being a programmer can drain you but you must stay motivated. Just like most jobs, the author points out how there are plenty of good days, where you are amazed that you get to do what you love for a job. However, the point of this chapter more deals with the less fun days, the days that make you think – “Did I chose the right profession”. He goes on to point out that one way to address this is to make sure that your motivations are right with your plan for “The Long Road”. One thing that can cause this that the author mentions is what is called a “Golden Lock”. This Golden Lock occurs when a person becomes trapped by their motivations, generally influenced by money, which draws them away from their road towards Mastery. Obviously, the author says that one must make difficult decisions at times to stay on “The Long Road”, decisions which could cost you money but in the long run help towards your end goal. The author uses examples of two programmers who made decisions which would wind up affecting whether they get trapped by these “Golden Locks”. In the first case, the programmer was presented with two choices, stay with something safe they already know or try working on a new project that would expand their knowledge; eventually deciding on the one that would expand their knowledge. This decision to not stay stagnant in what you have is one way to avoid the idea of a “Golden Lock”. In the second case the programmer tends to take his passions for the craft too far and committing his time to a useless endeavor, falling into one of these “Golden Locks”. Something at the end of the chapter that the author points out is the practice of writing down 15-20 things that motivate you and to try to be retrospective. Do not just do this list to look at it retrospectively but also keep it, so that when the times get tough you can remember what motivates you.

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