Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm...

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Over the past month I have had the opportunity to give some thought to what I wanted to accomplish this year in my life, career, and health. And during those times of thought I have often gone back to a speech I listened or re-listened to by the late Jimmy Valvano.

Jimmy V was a great college basketball coach and was unfortunately diagnosed and later passed away from bone cancer. But shortly before his death he gave a riveting speech at the 1993 ESPN ESPY Awards. There are some great things he said, but one statement lost in many outtakes that stuck with me was

"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm" ...Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think about that statement and how it relates to life, but also how I approach code, software development and teaching. Enthusiasm is the name of the game.  I'm passionate in how I present it, teach it, talk about it and code it. 

The question I have always wondered is how can the few of us who think this way make that feeling contagious? Spread that disease?

I know how I feel after taking a good 5 mile run or so and beating a goal or my last time thinking, "hell yes!" and that's the same feeling I get when a project is complete or I inspire a developer to do something different or try a new path and then later they tell me "thanks, just what I needed".

Recently, after a .NET User Group meeting I sat and had a beer with a few friends from the group and we had this very discussion and the conversation was really good.  I heard stuff like...

"It's not their project...."

"...making the other guy money, why be passionate"

"...some companies are better at making their devs feel ownership..."

What are your thoughts?  What can make you more enthusiastic or pump up that 9-5'er you know at your office?

Start the conversation....

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