Thank you for reading this week’s Operation Melt update.
Operation Melt started as a blog to share my personal transformation and weight loss story. After achieving success with that goal, Operation Melt has evolved into a platform to help inspire, motivate and equip people to achieve their own personal and professional goals so they can live their best lives.
I am trying to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.
Throughout my journey, I have learned that many life lessons can be learned by getting fit. This week I am sharing another installment of Fitness Lessons are Life Lessons.
Working As Designed?
I have been a project manager for a long time (almost twenty years) and have managed a lot of different types of projects. The most common type of project I have managed, by far, are software development or implementation projects. These projects almost always have a similar structure / flow to them.
- The customer and developers agree on what is going to be built through requirements, design or a specification.
- The developers go off and build what was requested and bring it back to the customer.
- The customer then reviews and tests the software to ensure that it meets the initial requirements and works properly.
The testing process almost always finds a few things that don’t meet the customer’s expectations. Some of these things are items that are clearly broken or malfunctioning. Sometimes these items are a place where the developer missed one of the requirements. These items are called “defects” and most of them need to be fixed before the software is released to the end-users, or goes live.
Not every item found during testing is a defect.
Often, when seeing the software for the first time, the customers find additional items that would make it more useful. The software is working as designed, but there are additional things that the customer wanted to be included in the design now that it is more “real.” These items are called enhancements and most or all of these requests are deferred until future projects, otherwise, no piece of software would ever be finished and launched as there are limitless opportunities enhancement.
Most software is never truly “done” and the enhancement process continues for years as people use the software. These enhancements continually improve the software to make it most efficient, effective and useful.
Defects & Enhancements
In an upcoming post, we will chat more about how humans certainly are not computers. But technology can often provide powerful metaphors to understand other facets of our lives. We can borrow from the concept of defects and enhancements to understand our personal development journey.
Not everything we are trying to accomplish in our personal development is about fixing something that is broken. It isn’t all a defect. Sometimes we are just trying to continually improve ourselves. We aren’t broken.
When I went to that first appointment with my doctor, stepped on the scale, saw 325 pounds and then learned a slew of other bad health information, something needed fixing. My health and fitness had a variety of defects that I needed to fix. So I set out on a journey to get healthier and lose over 100 pounds in under a year. But, once I achieved that goal and kept going to lose another 30 pounds, that was no longer a defect, that was an enhancement. Even today, as I work to maintain my weight loss, my goal of maintaining a 13-14% body fat percentage is not a defect. This is not a requirement at all, it is just about continuing to improve myself.
Similarly, my lack of daily exercise was a defect, so I set a goal to start exercising daily at the beginning of my journey. This turned into running, which turned into half marathons which turned into actively trying to burn at least 1000 calories per day in exercises that I track. None of that is a defect, it is all enhancement.
The list of areas where I have goals that are enhancements and not defects goes on and on. The one thing that they all have in common is that I don’t have to fix something. I am not broken. My life is not broken. My health and fitness are not broken. My contribution to others is not broken. I just have things that I want to improve.
We all have things that we are working on. Keeping a solid perspective about which of these things are defects and which are enhancements can mean a world of difference to our happiness.
If we don’t keep a good perspective of what things in our lives are defects vs. enhancements, we run the risk of throwing away our happiness. By viewing everything we are working to improve as being broken, we are always focused on trying to fix ourselves. This means we are never happy with where we are – and isn’t that the real goal?
Consider all of the things that you are working on improving in your life. Your health, your career, your wealth, your relationships, your skills, or whatever else you are developing. Then ask yourself a simple question: can you live a happy, healthy and safe life without changing this?
If the answer to the question is “no,” then ask yourself what is the smallest change you can make in this area to change the answer to yes. Or, in software project terms, what is your minimum viable product. Focus only on correcting that small item, not going beyond. Once you have corrected that small item, and you can answer “yes” to the simple question, you can focus on continuing to enhance that area.
I bet there are many things in your life that are enhancements, not defects. This is because you aren’t broken. You are doing just fine and are simply on a path of continuous improvement.
I Need Your Help
Before you go I would like to ask you for a favor. I can’t build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness on my own. Please consider helping your friends find today’s post by following me on Facebook, on LinkedIn or via Instagram and share today’s post to your feed.
While you are at it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on today’s post, your goals or anything else on your mind. Send me a note via my Contact Me form,
Thanks again for reading today’s post and here’s to achieving your most important goals!
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