Chapter 19 and the Goldilocks Rule

Clear talks about the Goldilocks Rule - it's about setting up a task that is not too easy nor too hard. Therefore, you won't get bored or frustrated.

Sometimes you just have to break a difficult task down into pieces. I did so for a report request - the customer wanted to change an already complex report with seven different requirements. I admit, I worked on other things that were easier until I was only left with the report. I copied and pasted the requirements into NotePad++ to sort them, to see if I could get a few requirements done in one code change. I noticed some of the requirements were already in place, and the user just needed training, some requirements were filtering on similar fields, some were adding new information, and the last one had been done in another report, and I could reuse code from there. Suddenly this laundry list of changes looked much more reasonable and I made half of the changes in one day.

The other issue is with boredom. The more you practice something, the less novel it is. I still like lifting weights, but there will be a day where I won't feel like going. I have two options - change up the workout but still challenge the same muscles, or embrace the boredom. After a while, I will use up all the equipment in the gym and won't have another novel experience. At that point, I will need to be okay with boredom and get my reps in, because that is how I continue my identity of being a fit person.

Chapter 19 summary:


  • The Goldilocks Rule stats that humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities.
  • The greatest threat to success is not failure but boredom.
  • As habits become more routine, they become less interesting and satisfying. We get bored.
  • Anyone can work hard when they feel motivated. It's the ability to keep going when work isn't exciting that makes the difference.
  • Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.


Which reminds me, I forgot to go back to the SQL Server Security, Compliance and Auditing video course. Guess I'll get back to it now.

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