A purposeful quest
1 min read

A purposeful quest

To mentor early-in-career developers, must you become a principal? When you remove implementation details in your quest line, you give yourself a higher purpose.
A purposeful quest

Yesterday I asked what your quest is. You could think of a really good quest line as having purpose. A purposeful quest is like an interface without an implementation.

Let's look closer at an example I gave:

Become a Principal to mentor early-in-career developers so they excel in their own careers

This feels purposeful. It answers our two questions:

  1. Who is it for? Early-in-career developers.
  2. What is it for? To help them excel in their careers.

The outcome of this quest line is to "become a principal." A reader mentioned that the outcome of a quest can change and they seek to be okay with that. That's very astute (and wise).

Do you notice that to answer the two questions, I didn't even need to mention "becoming a principal" or in fact, "mentor." That's because those are implementation details. Those are wants but they are not needs. In fact, they could even be limiting you, making you feel like you have to become a principal or you have to mentor to help early-in-career developers excel.

Instead it might be better to remove the implementation details. Turn it into an interface 😁:

I am on a quest... to help early-in-career developers so they excel in their own careers

This is more freeing. Now you don't need to become a principal to accomplish your quest. Now you don't need to mentor. Maybe you can coach, or speak, or make a course, or mentor. Or all four. As long as the actions you are taking are getting you closer to achieving your quest, you know you're on the right track.

But... how do you know when you've achieved it? We've removed a clear end state. We've made our quest more... epic. It feels like we've given ourselves a purpose. A purpose just is who you are and what you do, every day. In other words, having a purposeful quest means you're going to be playing an infinite game.

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