What you HAVE to do VS. What you GET to do (How perspective can shift everything)
Who has experienced being in a workplace environment (or a school environment), needing to know what to do or how to move forward on a project and found yourself hanging? (What do I mean by that? I mean you reach out for help over and over again, from your manager, your instructor, your peers, your fellow students and somehow you are disappointed at every turn- you are left with not knowing what to do, feeling frustrated and possibly a little scared.) Take a deep breath, you are not alone in this experience. Everyone has been there and some of us have been there much more than others (and by that I mean me, ha ha.)
The question is, how did I get myself out of those experiences? How did I manage to consistently get rid of feeling frustrated at not getting the answers that I needed and terrified of how I would look when I fell flat on my face because I couldn’t get done what I needed to?
Answer: By allowing my perspective to be changed from I HAVE to do this, to I GET to do this.
The culture of tech space can be likened a little bit to ‘a new frontier’. There are some basic assumptions that the world of tech has of those who enter its playing field. Because it’s a new frontier, new discoveries are being made on a regular basis that have small and far-reaching implications. For example in the world of quantum computing, quantum systems could seamlessly encrypt data, help us make sense of the huge amount of data we’ve already collected, and solve complex problems that even the most powerful supercomputers cannot – such as medical diagnostics and weather prediction.
On this new frontier, the ones who thrive are the ones who make no assumptions, who communicate (and communicate and communicate) and those who push back. There is a great deal of value in learning how to enjoy being challenged, particularly in designing and creating code. The beauty of code is that there is no wrong answer, there are only answers that won’t execute and those that will. The goal of code as a language is to grow, to be changed, to constantly improve to function better. The language is intrinsically growth-oriented. I personally think this is why the Holy Spirit loves coding and the tech space so much, because it isn’t the space that dwells on failure, so much as it is a space that sees ‘failures’ - the things that don’t work - as the stepping stones to propel one forward through the journey of growth and learning to assimilate the things that will work. The Holy Spirit isn’t about a destination, we’ve already arrived. The Holy Spirit wants to go on the journey with you.
My motto is “Dwell in possibility”. If I can push the boundaries and into the possibilities of something, it is a joy to do so. But I’ll tell you a secret - it didn’t use to be a joy. Exploration used to be filled with fear, with anxiety and frustration. Asking for help, asking questions use to terrify me, because I was looking at the wrong thing. I was looking as what I HAD to do. In my job I have hard deadlines for my projects, and frequently the project entails something that I have no expertise in. That can be really terrifying when I focus on what I HAVE to achieve.That fear makes it really hard to imagine that I can actually achieve anything.
However, when I shift my focus and perspective to one of ‘I GET to do this”, everything changes rather dramatically. All the fear and anxiety goes away as I step into an attitude of adventure and of being thankful for what I GET to do. I GET to learn about things that I have never been exposed to before. I GET to hear different perspectives than mine. I GET to try a bunch of different routes to the information I want and see which bear fruit and which don’t. I GET to dialogue with my boss and clarify their position and my own. I GET to have that honest and meaningful and sometimes hard communication with the employees I supervise.
GETTING to do something shifts my perspective into one that is based on thankfulness. And thankfulness changes everything. No longer am I worried about arriving at a destination; now I am present in my journey and my growth process. So today, no matter where you are at, if you’re struggling with a module, or learning a particular part of the course and you’ve gotten help and still feel stuck- stop for a minute and ask yourself “What do I GET to do?” And find a way to be thankful. Say it out loud to yourself. Go back and thank everyone who helped you. Say out loud to yourself, “today I GET to….”