Are you really happy at work?

Jim Collins, in the book Good to Great suggests the following exercise:

“Suppose you woke up tomorrow and received two phone calls. The first phone call tells you that you have inherited $20 million, no strings attached. The second tells you that you have an incurable and terminal disease, and you have no more than 10 years to live. What would you do differently, and, in particular, what would you stop doing?”

Interesting read, it makes me think… I always wanted to be a football player, but it is too late now….

If you are an engineer, and you feel that this is exactly what you were born for, let me add one more test to the list. You receive a third call asking you to pick up the money only if you take a flight in the plane that was designed, implemented and tested by you. Would you still pick up the money?

Making stuff is not just a fun; it is not only about feeling cool, or geeky. It is about being proud of the thing you have created. Do you remember the first drawings you showed to your parents? How proud you felt while they were smiling looking into your creation? In the end, we like to create things that other people can use and appreciate. If you have lost that drive, or you never had it, think one more time about the stuff you do.

Don’t worry be happy? No, worry and be happy. Care about things you do.

With this post, I am closing the chapter on agile development, and starting a new serial. In the next set of blogs, I will be talking about innovation, research and development, chaos theory and s-curves, startups and big corporations, operations and support – all things I’ve learned – hard way. Stay tuned.

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