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JC Smiley
JC Smiley

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Attitude is everything in tech

A cornerstone philosophy in my local tech community is “Attitude is everything”.

TLDR: A successful attitude in tech is contingent upon your resilience to failure, how you treat yourself (actions reflect mindset), and willingness to run your own race.

From being the optimistic person on a team to being able to persevere while failing constantly. It’s the mindset that “Progress is progress no matter how small”.

You have to have patient persistence to:

  • Being willing to work through those frustrated moments.
  • Being determined to succeed regardless of recognition.
  • Celebrate our little wins rather than marking down failures for impossible tasks that allows us to be reasonable in our goals and achievements.

My personal story is I was part of a team that won a DigitalOcean international virtual hackathon. I say this to bring up the previous dozen hackathons I lost before finally winning one. Losing a lot in the past helped set me up for success in the future. I had to learn loads of valuable lessons, build up my resilience to keep going, and to discover a better “WHY” to compete.

The point of sharing this experience is:

  • Failure will and has always been the best teacher.
  • We have to seek progress over perfection, in order to create a positive perspective. Even in the face of failure, acknowledge that you are on a long road to success.

The "blocker" many people experience in life is often their own mentality whether they engage in self-sabotage or simply self-negating feelings that rob you of your power. You have to remember that there are no ups without the downs. Those negatives can be learning opportunities. Someone once told me, “Stop letting JC beat JC”. It was the truth, we can be our worst enemy.

A lot of advice boils down to the quote, “Don't compare your chapter 1 to someone else chapter 10. Run your own race”. Yes, admire and learn from others' good fortune. But every path is unique and you only know the public story of their success, not the dirty secret of failures or help they received. So much in life depends on luck and preparation when it happens. So keep preparing for your chance in the light and don’t envy others.

A friend of mine share two thoughts on having a can-do attitude:

  1. There are numerous stories of people with sudden rags-to-riches experiences that turn into riches-to-rags which have a lot to do with our mental state. Your actions will reflect the mindset you have. A person who blows a multi-million dollar windfall is often a person who never accepted they were worth having it in the first place. What you value, you'll cherish.
  2. The credo, "Anything anyone else has done, that I want to do, I can do."

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