A small tweak in perspective can go a long way.
A few years ago I found myself in a rut. After catching up with a mentor, I took her advice and started looking at projects as building blocks as opposed to stops a train makes on its way from Point A to Point B. In the building block scenario, contributing to projects allowed me to build upon my experience and each experience added to my overall portfolio over time. I wanted to participate in a wider variety of projects over time, because I always learned so much from my peers and soon enough the small tower of blocks turned into a skyscraper of relevant ways I could use my skill set to be a resource for others. In the train scenario however, I viewed each project as a stop on the way to something else which greatly hindered my ability to fully commit myself to the task at hand. The constantly moving train never gave me enough time to stop long enough to be fully present, which meant giving 100% was almost never an option.
Today, I find that the building blocks aren’t a tower as much as a distributed network of information and resource snippets – my toolbox is less filled with my own tools and more filled with who I know that can help me provide optimal solutions for whatever project is currently active. My tower of building blocks has been remodeled into a community of homes where some have single-story add-ons and others have second or third floors. You’re welcome to come over to my place and borrow some sugar, and you’ll often find me over at your place asking for advice on how you added the third bathroom so quickly.
I think I like this new perspective.