In addition to being a history nerd, I can be a bit of a current events junky. Because of this, I read a lot of news. Frankly, the “news” is bad. No, this isn’t a political statement in support of or against any individual or policy. I just mean that a very healthy chunk of the news is almost always very negative. This occurs despite the fact that there are extremely positive things going on in the world all the time. Scientific advances and individuals helping people just because they can, all sorts of things that just about anyone can agree is a net positive, yet they aren’t covered by the news.
Same thing happens at work. Every time you have a failed restore, a unsuccessful deployment, or a failed data load, everyone knows about it. Meetings are scheduled to discuss what happened, who caused it, and, hopefully, a remediation course so it doesn’t happen anymore. There is a non-stop list of all the stuff that is bad. Granted, if we can’t restore our databases, this is something that needs to be fixed, without delay. However, in addition to that failed restore, not discussed was the successful one (or six).
A big part of our job as technologists is to prevent bad things from happening, so we can focus a lot of attention there. However, to inspire us to more and better work, I’d argue a good and regular does of positivity is needed. Did your DR process work? Scream that from the mountain tops. WE ROCK! WE DID A GOOD JOB! List out how you saved the company money because your monitoring solution has enabled you to be proactive in disk management rather than reactive to the downtime caused by the lack of the same. Celebrate your successes as loudly, louder, than you trumpet your failures. You’re doing hard work, and doing it well, make darned sure your organization is aware of that fact.
Focusing only on the negative aspects of your job (or life on this planet), can make work (and living) a pretty dark and depressing activity. While we have to address and deal with the bad things as they occur, focusing on and celebrating the positive things will make dealing with the negative things easier.