Dear Motivation, please come back…
I will jump, I will run, I will scream of happiness and I will smile, I would like to do anything else besides working.
By definition, I’m a workaholic person and in last year as work as horse, long hours in the office (or better say very long hours), lots of issues, lots of problems and lots of challenges. I finished the year very tired or to better describe my mood ” the year has finished me”. At the beginning of this year, I had the chance to look back and see what happened, which were my achievements and which were the areas that still needs to be improved. I got disappointed and this is interesting, because I’m not mad about the things that I haven’t achieved. Let me explain this better:
- great revenue achievements (the numbers look so good that I would like to frame them and put them on the wall, it would be very difficult for me to ever reach the same growth for a product)
- manage to survive very critical situations, that nobody even believe that could be managed (I remember talking with some Product Managers about this at Product Camp Amsterdam and I some point I stopped, because they were scared about the scenario)
- manage impossible project where requirements are missing, the communication is broken and the whole setup is a real mess.
- manage to stand up for myself and catch all the rotten eggs and tomatoes, without returning them back (but I have collected them )
Looking at these, I realize that “I did a good job”, but nobody cares to tell me that. Now, there is a lot of work, still to be done, but I lack my motivation.
I start reading books, watching videos, sleeping more (than 4 or 5 hours/night), sleeping well, I’m fresh, but not in the mood to work as hard as I used to. People that are closed to me are indicating that this is good, my face is shiny (my father likes this very much), I laugh, I’m better than I used to be. But, I feel guilty, I want to do more, I want to challenge my own targets and get better and better. I’m doing all for this in order to feel good, and I feel good, when people appreciate my achievements. (…the official definition of workaholic)
As Product Manager we are not allowed to fail to our believe. We are similar to a parent, who until the child has reached his/her maturity will never admit that was wrong and will never stop educating the child, by teaching the difference between right and wrong, by being there whenever something bad happens. If our product fails, we need to be there, if our users have issues, we need to solve them, if the company is affected by the revenue decrease, we need to try to solve this. This is our job and I like doing it.
From all the staff that I have read and seen in the last day, I see the following trends:
- it’s ok to not be all the time motivated -> I don’t agree. If you are not motivated, then the life taste like bad food and your mood annoys everyone around you
- one should look for new passions and new ideas -> that’s funny, because when you are in the bad mood, the only passion that you might have it’s to annoy the others
- Go back to your roots and find your inspiration. This is actually a good and bad advice, the good part: by doing so, you realize how much you have achieved; bad part: from there, the new challenges seem bigger than they actually are. (in my case, I always think about my grandparents and I imagine what advices would they give me)
Dealing with lack of motivation is not easy and most important it’s not sustainable to lie to yourself that things are ok, when they are not. For me this is like drinking while you are depressed, it works for 5 min and then you get more depressed. My solution? I’m still looking for one, but be honest with yourself and take the time to think if you are doing the right thing (or the thing that you consider to be right at this moment). If you are not, then try to stop whatever you are doing. If you don’t, the only victim is going to be you.