Development Strategy: Better Than Yesterday

Excerpt­ing from his book The Pas­sion­ate Pro­gram­mer, Chad Fowl­er reveals his philo­sophy on growth (in many con­texts): small, incre­ment­al changes to reach long-term, seem­ingly unas­sail­able goals. The idea is encap­su­lated in the ques­tion, Was today bet­ter than yes­ter­day?

Most import­ant chal­lenges in life mani­fest them­selves as large, insur­mount­able amorph­ous blobs of poten­tial fail­ure. This is true of soft­ware devel­op­ment, career man­age­ment, and even life­style and health. […]

Because of this com­plex­ity, we eas­ily become demo­tiv­ated by the big­ger issues and turn our atten­tion instead to things that are easi­er to meas­ure and easi­er to quickly fix. This is why we pro­cras­tin­ate. And the pro­cras­tin­a­tion gen­er­ates guilt, which makes us feel bad and there­fore pro­cras­tin­ate some more. […]

The secret is to focus on mak­ing whatever it is you’re try­ing to improve bet­ter today than it was yes­ter­day. That’s it. It’s easy.

I can’t help not­ing that this feels like the action required to coun­ter­act meso­facts.