Monthly Archives: August 2016

Productivity Satisfaction Maturity Levels

Such a fancy title ha, probably the influence of our industry (bad influence)! Well you can just substitute it with something like “These are the stages of productivity between which the satisfaction jumps in exponential magnitudes”.

Note: before we check these stages out, it goes without saying that all the “he” in this article are absolutely replaceable with “she”; it’s just that the “he/she” style is too verbose.

0. Ignorance

In this stage the individual doesn’t know what he is missing , he does not add any value to himself or the community; he enjoys “time-waste” activities, or watching TV YouTube. Indeed there is joy in being a couch potato, but it is negligible compared to the next levels, which he hasn’t experienced yet, thus explains why I gave it the number 0.

Note that I am not talking about planned recreation activities after productive accomplishments, I am talking here about this kind of activity as being THE activity the individual’s time is mostly spent on.

Also note that I am not trying to degrade anyone here; people might be in this stage due to circumstances out of their control, or because they haven’t tasted the satisfaction of the next levels.

1. Knowing

In this stage the individual learns something new; he watches documentaries, reads books, …etc., the satisfaction of “knowing” tingles the brain with every new piece of knowledge acquired. It’s an intrinsic part of humans’ nature as beings of intellectual.

This is where the majority of people are, and usually stuck; the number of books read become the gauge of the individual’s pride, not the utilization of the value gained from reading these books.

2. Sharing

Reading books is not enough at this stage; there is an overflow of excitement that is spilling over and around, the minute he sees the others’ reactions when he shares the knowledge the satisfaction doubles, he would look for every occasion at which he can cultivate the excitement of passing the knowledge.

Nonetheless, it’s important to understand sharing knowledge at this level is limited to one-to-one interactions, maximum to a group of friends on a hangout.

3. Doing

The individual has read about his favorite topic too much, he also talked about it to others a lot, e.g. he loves carpentry, he loves reading about it, visiting galleries, appreciating carpenters at work,… now what? He starts doing; he takes the first step in transforming this knowledge to action: he buys the tools, and he starts working on his first piece.
He also discovers how difficult it is, he might hit some frustrations, but he keeps going on small but steady steps, until he creates his first piece! Once he finishes, the satisfaction is indescribable! He keeps looking at it, in his mind it echoes: “this is me, I did this!”, “this piece of art didn’t exist before I started working it”, “this solution solves that problem I had”, “I added value”.

This phase, though, is very difficult to step into, and there are several reasons why:

  • It’s not easy to be discovered; the majority of people are not doing it, it doesn’t occur to him that there is more than sharing, and that there is a greater satisfaction from just knowing.
  • Lack of self-confidence: even if it occurs to him that doing could be much more satisfactory, he does not have the confidence in himself to take the action.
  • Doing can be difficult, expensive, and can require effort and sacrifice. It’s not always easy to do depending your circumstances, or the field you are in, e.g. programming; it’s definitely more accessible to start an Open Source project than be involved in nuclear physics lab to try something out.

Being the most difficult stage to get into, I have to stop here, give a little push and help if I can. I tell you with a very loud and clear slow voice: “IF YOU ARE NOT DOING, YOU ARE MISSING!”, and I am not going to try the “stop procrastinating” or “just do it” style, it’s up to you but you are missing a lot! When you decide between flipping through a game on your mobile, or opening your development IDE, remember that you are giving away a joy that is in magnitudes greater than the joy of playing a game of Sudoku.

4. Influencing

He did, and did , and did more, now he starts presenting in User Groups, he writes about it in his blog, and he teaches it. He thought that the ultimate joy was by doing, but he was wrong; he started seeing others doing because he showed them the path, because he helped, because he provided so much value that it started influencing others to do and add value themselves…BOOM! New level of joy.

This also gives him a boost of endurance and patience to support others; he is happy when he receives an inquiry email or when someone approaches his desk with a consultancy. The success of others become his success.

5. Scaling

What can be after influencing? I can only assume Scaling: in this stage, he probably wrote a book, or became an thought leader, or an international speaker, now he is a public figure. And no no…it’s not the fame I am talking about, it is the notion of the unquantified accumulation of values he added to so many people, a value so big in momentum that brings satisfaction and joy equal to the sum of all of the satisfaction and joy he brought to people by his influence. He bumps into people he never met and they thank him for what he did to them!

Finally, remember that learning never stops, check which stage you are at, and know that there is much more satisfaction in the next, in a nutshell: satisfaction is just a synonym to adding a value.