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Say Yes To Everything

03 July 2012

Preface

The below is a suggestion. Only that. It’s my method and it may not suit everyone.

As you were.

Intro

Playing on the “step out of your comfort zone” cliche, saying “yes to everything” involves a lot more risk. Risk of embarrassment and risk of not delivering something.

Why

Only doing what you do is dangerous. I’m not talking about if you’re a designer, then just designing is dangerous, that’s ridiculous. I’m talking about taking your strength, whatever it may be and pushing yourself to do an aspect of it that normally you might think you’re too inexperienced for or unable to perform. The risk part of it involves saying yes to clients/potential clients. You can sit on development blogs or look at design tutorials for a long time and of course, you’re going to learn a heck load, but when you’re in a situation where you’ve quoted a number of days and a cost to perform a task, you get that unpleasant feeling of panic wash over you and a slight nauseating sensation of “I cannot do this”. But you have to. You’ve promised and you’ve committed. Pride is a big motivator in this and plays a key role in this notion. If you lack pride then you’re not going to mind letting someone down and gaining a sub par reputation.

Results

Pushing yourself to this extreme every time you say yes to something is not the nicest method of learning but you certainly set yourself on an accelerated learning path. Everything is real and everything is applied. How many times have you seen examples for OOP where they use code such as:

class Animal{
	public $type = "animal";

	public function dance() {
		echo $this->type . " dances!\n";
		return true;
	}
}

Sure, you get to learn principles, but you don’t learn application of knowledge. And that is where you gain true understanding.

Summary

I hope this hasn’t sounded too preachy, I hate that attitude people have of shoving their opinions down other’s throats. I would recommend this method as I’ve employed it in my experience and it’s got me to where I am now in a short space of time.

The next time someone wants something doing and you’re free, have a go at it, commit yourself. Let yourself feel that pressure. Now, I’m not saying that if someone wants a Ruby application making and you ONLY know PHP, please don’t say yes. They’ll probably hate you for wasting their time.

[DISCLAIMER]

If you say yes to a piece of work and can’t do it and it goes bad…we never met, capiche?

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