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Can optimism ever be bad?

Drive towards optimism but watch out for credulity. Equally, reward and encourage skepticism, but don’t confuse it with pessimism. The subtleties are critical.

Your team will likely have a combination of idealists and realists. Harness the vision of the idealists to see where the team should move towards, but use the realists to help create the steps needed to get to that destination. A pragmatic balance of idealism and realism creates an actionable plan that moves in the right direction over time.

A balancing act
We need optimism without credulity, skepticism without pessimism, and a balance of idealism and realism. Where do you naturally sit in the matrix? What about the individuals in your team? What about the team as a whole? Is the group dynamic different to the sum of the individuals? Why do you think that is?

Are you able to change your position to counter-balance extreme opinions within the team, even if that mindset is not the natural one in which you reside? Also, are you able to notice when your own default position can cause biases in your own judgement?
management  career  engineering  programming  reference  workhacks  quotes  psychology  mustread  bias 
6 weeks ago by WimLeers
You Accomplished Something Great. So Now What? - The New York Times

“Arrival fallacy is this illusion that once we make it, once we attain our goal or reach our destination, we will reach lasting happiness,” said Tal Ben-Shahar, the Harvard-trained positive psychology expert who is credited with coining the term.

“I thought if I win this tournament that then I’ll be happy,” he said. “And I won, and I was happy. And then the same stress and pressure and emptiness returned.”

“Affective forecasting is our ability to predict how events will make us feel,” Dr. Gruman said. He pointed to a study from 2000 that showed that college sports fans overestimated how happy they would be a few days after their team won a big game.

“We tend to be pretty good at knowing what things are going to make us happy and unhappy,” he said, “but we’re not very good at predicting the intensity and the duration of the effect of events.” That can leave us feeling let down after the fact.

Achievements also come with consequences we may not always see coming. The tendency to fixate only on the upside is called focalism, Dr. Gruman said. As he tells the students in his business management courses: “You guys want so badly to be managers, but you know what? It’s probably going to be very different than what you think it’s going to be. You know what? You might not even like it.” The same is true of people who gain visibility in most fields.

cooperation and community may contribute more to happiness in wealthy societies than income or other metrics.

If relationships make us happy, the fact that many of us neglect our relationships in pursuit of career success may further squelch our joy. Focusing on a career at the expense of, say, a marriage, could ultimately leave us feeling lonely and unmoored.

His advice is to lay out multiple concurrent goals, both in and out of your work life. This was probably one of my problems. I had focused so intently on finishing one project that I had scrubbed my calendar clean of any other distractions. And the term “goal” can be applied loosely. Even just aiming to spend more quality time with your children or make new friends through volunteer work counts.
psychology  life  lifehacks  work  workhacks  happiness  career  reference 
7 weeks ago by WimLeers
Jeff Bezos Tells New Amazon Employees There Isn't a Work-Life Balance. Here's What He Says Instead | Money

Historically, the world’s richest man has a nontraditional approach to work: He makes time for breakfast every morning with his family, doesn’t set his alarm before going to bed, schedules surprisingly few meetings, and still sets aside a few minutes every day to wash his own dishes.

This counterintuitive approach to maintaining a healthy symmetry within his professional and personal pursuits is one of the chief pieces of advice Bezos offers his staff.

“This work-life harmony thing is what I try to teach young employees and actually senior executives at Amazon too. But especially the people coming in,” he said. “I get asked about work-life balance all the time. And my view is, that’s a debilitating phrase because it implies there’s a strict trade-off.”

Instead of viewing work and life as a balancing act, Bezos said that it’s more productive to view them as two integrated parts.

“It actually is a circle. It’s not a balance,” Bezos said.

Bezos said that the relationship between his work life and personal life is reciprocal, and that he doesn’t compartmentalize them into two competing time constraints.

“If I am happy at home, I come into the office with tremendous energy,” said Bezos. “And if I am happy at work, I come home with tremendous energy. You never want to be that guy — and we all have a coworker who’s that person — who, as soon as they come into a meeting, they drain all the energy out of the room … You want to come into the office and give everyone a kick in their step.”
jeffbezos  life  career  workhacks  productivity 
november 2018 by WimLeers
Agile is Dead (Long Live Agility)
Must-read: "Agile is Dead (Long Live Agility)" —
agile  career  workhacks  reference  mustread 
april 2016 by WimLeers
The Chokehold of Calendars — Medium

most people don’t schedule their work. They schedule the interruptions that prevent their work from happening.
productivity  calendar  management  workhacks  career 
may 2015 by WimLeers
On OSS and the individual · Sam Kottler
RT @Crell: "Reducing open source maintainers to their role in software is degrading and dehumanizing."
opensource  career  workhacks  reference 
august 2014 by WimLeers
Motivation crises and the Sword of Last Resort | Leadership that inspires
How I'm using 's book "the motivational hacker" to turn a motivation crisis into a new start
kristofvantomme  lifehacks  workhacks 
january 2014 by WimLeers
Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup
Must-read: "Letter To A Young Programmer Considering A Startup" —
startup  wisdom  workhacks  essay  alexpayne  reference  mustread 
january 2014 by WimLeers
The secrets of the world's happiest cities | Society | The Guardian
RT @thehappycity: A person w/ a 1hr commute has to earn 40% more money to be as satisfied with life as someone who walks to the office
workhacks  lifehacks  career  happiness 
november 2013 by WimLeers
7 reasons clean code matters
Programming is the art of telling another human what one wants the computer to do.
programming  productivity  reference  workhacks  donaldknuth 
november 2013 by WimLeers
In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell
Must-read: "In Praise of Idleness By Bertrand Russell" —
philosophy  essay  economics  work  lifehacks  workhacks  society  1935  mustread 
october 2013 by WimLeers
Let’s Start a Revolution
"On top of performing alchemy on a daily basis, the people in my profession get treated like unicorns."
economics  balance  career  programming  unicorn  essay  lifehacks  workhacks  future  history  society  mustread  fb 
august 2013 by WimLeers
Why We Do What We Do
Must-read: "Why We Do What We Do" —
workhacks  lifehacks  motivation  essay  mustread  fb  aw 
july 2013 by WimLeers
The Unscientific Causes and Cure to Burnout « The Art of Living
On burnout: when you do things you love and are passionate about, they actually renew you instead of taking energy
career  burnout  lifehacks  workhacks  reference 
july 2013 by WimLeers
Fire the workaholics by David of 37signals
RT : "If your start-up can only succeed by being a sweatshop, your idea is simply not good enough."
startup  career  productivity  workhacks  37signals 
january 2013 by WimLeers
Your team should work like an open source project
Tl;dr: Design in person, implement online. RT "Your team should work like an open source project"
github  management  mustread  career  workhacks 
november 2012 by WimLeers
On Being A Senior Engineer
RT : Fantastic article on the characteristics of a mature engineer - /via
career  engineering  programming  management  workhacks  lifehacks  reference 
november 2012 by WimLeers
iPad + Linode, 1 Year Later
this is interesting, @yieldthought does his development work on iPad and a Linux server #PostPC
programming  ipad  workhacks 
september 2012 by WimLeers
Who's the Boss? There Isn't One
Must-read: "Who's the Boss? There Isn't One" —
workhacks  career  hierarchy  mustread 
july 2012 by WimLeers
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