You Don't Have to Be a Slave to Self-Improvement
Why do you think you need to be great if this question caught your attention? It's likely because you like so many other people have this implicit goal as built in drive something informing you that you need to be improving the need to continue working becoming coming better at your craft becoming faster or somehow improving all the time towards some endless goal. Where did this come from? And how does it function and our lives or perhaps more importantly. How does it make our lives dysfunctional? Well that's what I'm talking about in today's episode of Developer T. My name is Jonathan Cottrell and go on the show itself. Driven developers like you find clarity perspective and purpose in their careers when we allow our surrounding culture to set our goals for us we. We will adopt the goals of the average person in that culture. Think about this. It's a simple concept when we you don't set your own goals instead we will fall to the systems that we've created around us particularly most most likely. We will set goals that the people that were close to set. We will mirror our social situations or our work situations very often. Those are marrying some kind of larger culture that they're part of and right. Now it is very common Particularly in American culture or American influenced culture to adopt this goal of always improving with the mindset that there is never going to be a point where I am satisfied. And here's the reality. They WanNa make a distinction here because this episode this show wouldn't exist if we didn't believe leave. That developers have good reason for improving in fact the whole purpose of the SPEC network is to help nope designers and developers level up in their careers. But here's what I want to make very clear about the network about this show if you come to the table table without any of your own goals in mind if you're just trying to become a better designer or a better developer without knowing why you want to become a better designer or developer then I encourage you to pause this podcast and ask yourself that that question and I want you to think about this as if you are in that category of people who are just kind of blindly trying to improve because because somehow somewhere you learned you found out that it would be good for you to become a better designer good for you to become a better developer faster developer or to add to your skill set and wants you to view this question as a turning wing point in your career what exactly not abstract not generally but what exactly would becoming better give to you and I want you to be brutally honest about your intentions here. It's okay by the wave. The answer to be would allow me to make more money than I would like to make more money. It's also okay to say that you would feel better about about yourself if you were a little bit more competent as a developer. Perhaps you have a common a common goal all that a lot of people share being able to build really interesting and impactful products. But I want you to get very clear with yourself about y. What is your exact real motivation? Now we don't have to set lifelong goals with this little exercise. And I'm asking you to do this isn't about you know trying to figure out what your whole identity is but instead what should have you this as a determining your source motivation ovation your original motivation and even if the answer is that you don't know that's the kind of thing that I want you to you bring up. Don't try to create a new motivation that didn't exist before. Be Honest with yourself. Where did your desire to become better? Come from we're GONNA take a quick sponsor break but after we come back we're GONNA talk about why it's easy to get caught in the trap of perpetually. Are you trying to improve in one area. Maybe your energy is spent better in a different way. Today's episode is sponsored by Oxy Labs. oxy He labs a top provider of innovative web data gathering services. Like they're real time. crawler their web scraper and the residential and data center proxies oxy oxy labs is now introducing next generation residential proxies. This is eight significantly improved data-gathering solution because here's the reality. Scraping data is really tough if your Ip gets blacklisted for example you no longer get that data and it's hard hard to get blacklisted. That's why oxy labs provides a stable and fast proxy pool of over thirty million global. Ip addresses it's resource-efficient with proxy management user agents Ip rotation. All of this is done on the oxy lab side and with oxy labs. You're going to get block free scraping you can get through things like capture and by the way oxy labs. This is what they do. They have have a deep understanding and knowledge on how to acquire web data. They have a dedicated account manager for every client. And it's already trusted by over five hundred companies for sales intelligence market research. Seo Monitoring and plenty more visit oxy labs dot io slash developer t to find out more about the services and apply for a free trial of their next generation residential proxies. Thanks again oxy labs for sponsoring today's episode of Developer T. At first. I may seem like a silly question that we've asked in this episode. Why do you want to improve? It seems very core to our humanity. Hannity that we want to always get better than we have a desire to learn and adjust and become more effective at what we're trying to do but here's what ends up happening instead very often. We take this idea of wanting to constantly become better to evolve and we compress it. We compress it into one specific way to to become better. We compress all of our goals and our ideals and our results into individual actions or individual all measurements. You can imagine this concept as taking this this broad idea of self-improvement or self bettering getting better over time and we shove it into the small Nehru frame of becoming a better programmer and the assumption is that by becoming a better programmer. We might be able to do more have more control over our lives or perhaps perhaps have a better job. We might be able to create better work better products. We might be able to gain more notoriety amongst our peers amongst a broader culture of programmers. And by doing all these things that somehow while we create more of a foothold to improve more broadly in our lives. We might feel more satisfied if we're creating better better products for example or perhaps we are just going after better economic situations making more money with their jobs very often developers fall into the trap of thinking that the results that they're looking for or are simply accomplished by becoming ed better programmer. Instead I want you to think about this journey of self improvement as abroad an open concept and that perhaps your version of improving and constantly becoming better doesn't necessarily mean the you have an endless path for improving as a programmer. Let me say that one more time because I think this is really critical for a lot of developers to here. It's very possible that I ask a certain point in your career the learning and refinement. The you do to your skill sets has diminishing returns based on your goals. It's an odd thing to say on a developer podcast because seems so ingrained into our heads that we should always be becoming better at our craft but the truth is if we become slaves leaves to our craft then the whole reason that we were trying to become better at our craft in the first place becomes null and void and if the marginal benefits of investing in becoming better are smaller than benefits. We would get if we spend our time in a different way. Then why should we force ourselves to stay on the constant treadmill of a very narrow and specific way of improving. Perhaps the most important thing you can do to improve today his spend your time and a totally different the way because our time is limited we can never improve in every area to a maximum expertise ace because our time is limited. We invest a scarce resource. And perhaps your improvement isn't just about investing that resource into programming. If one of your ultimate goals in life is to end up satisfied happy be enjoying the time that you're spending on a day to day basis the perhaps one of the ways the you can invest that time instead instead of always trying to be better programmer is to stop for a moment to actually take that time then you have and enjoy it. Spend it with friends or doing something that you already love doing. If you're like many programmers this means means that you might spend your time programming but not because you want to learn a new technique that you can use at work but instead because because you do enjoy it that's why a lot of US got into this line of work in the first place not because it was a path to becoming a billionaire but instead it was a path to make things that we enjoyed making. Take time to understand why you want to improve. Y You went to invest your time into becoming a better programmer. You might find that the most important thing you can do to improve is to set down your computer a little more often. Thank you so much for listening to today's episode of developer t inquiry into oxy labs for sponsoring today's episode head over to oxy LABS DOT CO Slash Developer T. To get started. This episode was produced by Sarah Jackson. My name is Jonathan Cottrell until the next time. Enjoy your tea.