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Smaller Purpose

Published 7/20/2018

Part of the point of Developer Tea is to help driven developers connect to their career purposes. In today's episode, we're going to talk about finding purpose in smaller ways.

Today's Episode is Brought To you by: Digital Ocean

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Transcript (Generated by OpenAI Whisper)
Part of the point of Developer Tea is to help you, the driven developer, connect to your career purpose. In order to do that, sometimes it takes a little bit of investigation. On the show, we're going to talk a little bit more about purpose in this episode, specifically, we're going to talk about how you can find purpose in a smaller way. My name is Jonathan Cutrell and you're listening to Developer Tea. And we've already talked about the point of this show, and the other point of the show is so you can do better work. Because it's very difficult to do truly good work if you're not connected to why you are doing that good work. The most lasting motivation that you will find is caring about the work itself. Of course there are other kinds of motivation. For example, a paycheck or working with people that you enjoy being around. But if you can't find motivation in the work that you do, then you'll probably find a limit to those other motivating factors. But in today's episode, I want to talk a little bit about the struggle of finding purpose in your work. And maybe help you out a little bit, at least for today. And that really is what today's episode is about. The work you're doing today. So it can be difficult to find purpose, right? There's a bunch of techniques, exercises you can do to try to uncover your purpose. But people can go their entire lives and never really find it. It seems like an elusive treasure that you have to dig up or maybe something that doesn't exist at all. Maybe something that you're searching for that you'll never find because it's not there to find. I think the problem with all of these ways of describing purpose is the idea that somehow this purpose is a token, something that you can seek, or something that you have to carve out of the matter that is your time. And unfortunately, this is very hard to do. For most people, finding that token, finding that buried treasure, that hidden sudden epiphany, this is something that doesn't really happen to the degree that they feel like it's substantial. There's not a kind of light shining through the clouds, epiphany moment for most people. Now, that's not to say that you won't have moments where you have more clarity than others, for example, figuring out that you like working with interesting problems. This sounds very generic, but sometimes people don't care about how interesting a problem is. So, even those kinds of insights to your own preferences, your own desires can be helpful. Other epiphany that you may have is the people that you want to work for. For example, the users, the clients, the kinds of people that you care about working for, regardless of what you're doing for those people. All of these things can be composed into some semblance of a purpose. And it's easy to think that other people have found theirs in the same way that it's easy to think that other people find that one perfect path in any other area of life, that they chose the perfect school or the perfect significant other, everything fell into place just right. The reality is much more messy. So what can we do when we have to deal with this irreducible uncertainty, this kind of big block in the road that we can't walk through, and sometimes it seems like we can't walk around it, we might have to choose a different road altogether. Another example of this kind of crisis of purpose happens when you have chosen a path when you feel that you have found something that you're passionate about or that fits into that category of purpose for you, and you start pursuing that thing. And for a while, it feels exactly right. It feels like, you know, that was what you were kind of destined to do in some way, but then a few years where on and suddenly things feel different. Your life has changed in some way or your mind has changed, or maybe the job itself has changed, the environment has changed, and no longer do you feel the same sense of purpose in that place, doing that thing that you did at one point in the past. And this can make people feel really guilty. This can be an emotionally taxing thing to kind of get over. The idea that at one point you felt purposed to go in this particular direction, and that now that you don't feel that way, that something is wrong, something is broken, or maybe you're just not as passionate in that it's your fault. So you probably have felt something along the lines that we've talked about today in today's episode. And I want to talk about a way that you can look at purpose a little bit differently, and at least for today. We're going to talk about this right after we talk about today's awesome sponsor, who's returning to us once again for a few episodes, Digital Ocean. I'm really excited about this particular sponsorship run that Digital Ocean is doing with Developer Tea, because they're providing what I believe to be the biggest credit that we've ever been able to provide on this show for being a listener of Developer Tea. They're providing you. I'm going to go ahead and tell you so you can stick around and listen. With $100 worth of credit on Digital Ocean. Now, if you've never heard of Digital Ocean, Digital Ocean is the easiest cloud platform to run and scale applications. From effortless administration tools to robust compute storage and networking services, Digital Ocean provides an all-in-one cloud platform to help developers and their teams save time when running and scaling their applications. You get predictable and affordable pricing. You can leave the complex pricing structures behind. Always know what your business will pay per month with industry-leading price performance and flat pricing structures across all global data center regions. This can be a really big thing for business. If you need a predictable pricing structure, if this is something that if you were to suddenly get a ton of traffic, let's say to your blog, and you weren't able to monetize based on that traffic, but you still have to pay. It's on that traffic. All with Digital Ocean, you can deal with that pricing reality by paying a consistent amount for that same plan every month. Build your next app on Digital Ocean. Head over to d0.co. That's dough.co slash t for your $100 worth of credit. Thank you again to Digital Ocean for sponsoring today's episode of Developer Tea. Hopefully we've hit a few chords today and today's episode. This is a little bit more of an emotionally engaging episode because I want you to get in touch with that feeling of not knowing what your purpose is, not being totally sure, having that uncertainty. I want for those of you who are experiencing that loss of passion, maybe it's a burnout feeling to get in touch with that feeling and take a moment to try to cultivate some acceptance for those feelings. First of all, you're listening to a podcast that thousands of other developers listen to, and I can guarantee you that almost all of them, if they're being totally honest and if they're totally aware of these feelings, they have had the same feelings that you're having right now. So you're not alone in this. You're not alone in the fear of not being able to find your purpose. You're not alone in the guilt that you have for feeling like you've lost that motivation. So I want to encourage you to accept those things, accept those fears and those emotions. Instead of trying to reject them, accept them. Imagine that you have kind of a timeline laid out in front of you and you're zooming in and zooming in further and further. You get down to the year and you continue to zoom in and I want you to kind of stay zoomed in to this exact moment. I want you to think about the opportunity that you have to enjoy whatever you're doing right now. One of the unwritten goals of this show is to help developers feel okay, even when things should, supposedly, not feel okay. Even when they're in the turmoil of looking for a job or when they're in the turmoil of trying to decide what to learn next or dealing with coworker problems or client problems or feeling burnout or feeling a lack of purpose, that you can take a moment and truly enjoy your tea. And it's not just about tea. It's about taking everything, every experience that you have and taking it in and experiencing it fully for what it is. These developers were constantly on edge. We're constantly rushed. We're looking into the future. We're trying to predict what is the next big language. How should we design this next thing? How can we gain a bunch of users? And we're always on edge. We are expecting for a bug to take the server down. We're expecting for some major acquisition deal or to go public. And there's all of these experiences that we're looking forward to and very often we forget to look at the experiences that we're having now. So I encourage you, whatever you are doing today as a developer, if you're learning something, enjoy learning that thing. If you're fixing a bug, then enjoy being in that role for today. Enjoy the process and perhaps the word won't be enjoyment, perhaps the word will be focus and experience. Allow whatever is happening today to happen without you striving against it. Possibly your code will improve. Part of the reason for this is because instead of focusing on whatever the next task is, you're actually focused on this task. You're more likely to go thoroughly through whatever this task is. You're going to write a test where you otherwise you may have rushed past that step, right? You become a little bit less reliant on getting things right and instead you'll discover more things that you care about. You'll naturally discover things that you enjoy where previously, maybe you ignored those things. The experience is, in many ways, kind of like opening your eyes to the present, recognizing that whatever it is that you're doing is part of who you are. It's part of your human experience. Thank you so much for being a listener of the show. If you haven't subscribed in whatever podcasting app you use, I encourage you to do so right now before this episode ends. That will ensure that you don't miss out on future episodes of the show. You do three episodes a week, and the last thing that I want to do is to create a sense of pressure for you to go back into a back catalogue and try to catch up, right? Instead, if you know about the episode on the day that it comes out, you can choose to listen to it on the day that it comes out. Today's episode was sponsored by Digital Ocean, who is going to give you a hundred dollars worth of credit just for being a developer to listener. Head over to do.co.co. To get your hundred dollars worth of credit on Digital Ocean, thank you again to Digital Ocean for sponsoring today's episode. And until next time, enjoy your tea.