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The Game and Motivation

· 3 min read
Jason Walsh

In my early 20's, I sought career guidance because I didn't know what the heck I was doing. Fresh out of college after landing my first semi-enterprise job as a junior engineer, I knew there was an organizational ladder and I was at the bottom, but wasn't sure how to ascend that ladder beyond trying harder at work.

There were two keys to my early career growth: finding a framework to help me understand how organizations work and reward employees and staying motivated. I want to touch on both briefly.

I found courses online from an author, of whom many of you have heard, named Ramit Sethi. He's most famous for his book I Will Teach You To Be Rich and now has a Netflix show.

For reference, I bought the courses Earn 1k (earning your 1st $1,000 freelancing / contracting), and No-Stress Negotation, which is partially what I want to talk about today

If you don't understand The Game being played around you than you can't play in the game -Ramit Sethi

He was referring to career growth: understanding the steps necessary to become a top performer, such that you can stand out amongst the crowd, ascend the ladder, and receive recognition for your accolades.

In 1:1's with my employees, part of my job is imparting wisdom I've gleaned through my journey to help them grow personally and professionally through challenging and mentoring them to be better than they are today.

Using parts of Ramit's framework to help them grow, some of my staff blossomed and grew in their career in ways that surprised even them, but others who received the same guidance did not. Why? A few were happy with where they were currently at in their career, but others sought to ascend and yet they were having trouble taking the first steps or staying consistent.

In my early days as a software engineer, I would be working and reading documentation all day, pulling out my hair while debugging my terrible code (some things haven't changed), and at night going to training seminars, community events, and watching tutorials online. Any given day it would have been easier to step away from the hard work and hope that I could just grow doing my day-to-day job. Looking back I know that wouldn't have been the case and that I would have lost that momentum, ending up in a completely different place.

In fact, standing on my own two feet, becoming financially independent, and the early growth in my career was one of the most challenging periods of my life and any of a myriad of distractions could have de-railed me.

If you want growth for yourself, but you can't stay motivated, you aren't alone. Learning and growing is hard and it takes discipiline.

This morning, I found a killer neuroscience video about motivation. It's a long video, but every 5 minutes the author introduces new concepts to help you understand why you may have challenges staying motivated and how to fix that.

If you're struggling with motivation, please watch the full video.

If you can't watch the video, which I highly recommend, I wrote a synopsis that summarizes the main points of the video.

I hope the wisdom it imparts can help you, but also know that you don't need to go at it alone. Finding someone who can coach you and hold you accountable for meeting your own objectives might be all that you need to ascend to the next level.

Cheers friends,