Do you ever look back at your earlier work and feel guilty of not giving it your best shot?
I do. And I think it's natural for you, too, to do so.
When we start learning any new skill we don't know any better. We only do what it takes to finish our work, with least care for the quality.
While it's not wrong to have this attitude when you start out, but if you continue to work this way you'll never get better at your craft.
To create any thing of value, you've to care about your work.
Look at your favorite products, and you'll find that you like them because the people who created them did care about their work; if they hadn't, then you may not even be using their products now.
By using a product for few minutes, you can tell how much care has gone into its making. And if the product was made with love and care, you too feel the same while using it.
Using such products that meet, and even surpass, your expectations are bound to make you return again and again into using them.
So whether you make apps or games, or whether you write articles or books, you can distinguish your work from others simply by caring about it more than what others do.
What separates the mediocre from the good, and what further separates the good from the great, is the amount of care that goes into making a product.
That's how good programmers and good writers turn into great programmers and great writers - by caring way more about their work than what most others do.
If only you spend more time doing what you do, and keep refining it to the best of your ability, you'll make progress at such rapid rate that'll surprise even you.
The next time you are ready to release your work to the world, ask yourself this one question: Is it the best you can do?
If the answer is "no", then sit down and do what it takes until you can honestly say "yes".
Of course, there is a catch to this - you have to ship your product some day, even when you think it's not perfect yet. But that's still no excuse for not taking enough care when you create your products.
I know you have your heroes. You want to be the next Bill Gates or the next Steve Jobs. But to become like them, you have to care about your work at least as much as they did. First deserve, then desire.
When you care about your work and do it well, you worry less about the results. For some reason, there is always that sense of satisfaction in you, that comes only from a work well done.
If you care about your work you'll spend more time, more energy, and more resources to make it as close to perfect as possible. And when you don't care about your work, you'll simply try to do the minimum it takes to get it done.
So, the way you approach your work has a direct impact on the quality of your produced work.
Now the choice is yours and only you can decide if you want your work to spread, create value, and help others, or you want it to get lost among the sea of mediocre works.
The only way to get better at your craft is to care about it. And that means saying no to quick fixes, carelessness, and mediocrity and saying yes to permanent solutions, attention to detail, and excellence.
First, learn how to do your work. Then, learn to make it better. And then keep learning to make it even better.
Set a high standard for your work. Expect more from yourself. And when your work doesn't meet your expectations, keep polishing it, keep tweaking it, until it does.
That's the only way to produce great work.
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