Marcus Aurelius jotted down the following thought: “This advice from Epicurean writings: To think continually of one of the men of old who lived a virtuous life.”

This piece of advice might sound farfetched, but think about it! It’s actually quite useful and pragmatic. A piece of advice that can help you in many situations regardless of your experience. Are you an aspiring developer? Are you a medior who wants to become a technical leader? Are you a senior who wishes to keep up with the latest trends in our (not so) fast-changing profession? Do you just lack motivation sometimes?

It doesn’t matter which one you can identify with, you can always find someone who in certain aspects is better than you, someone who you admire. If anytime you feel that you could do better, think about that special person, think about what he or she would do. If you don’t know, ask yourself what would your hero do if she was in your situation!

This will help you separate your ego from the situation. Then you can think about it from an external point of view. You can imagine your hero, you can depict what your hero would do. He or she doesn’t even have to be a real person. He can be Luke (or Anakin…) Skywalker with a cool lightsabre. The only thing that matters is that you should put yourself in the place of your hero’s and think from her perspective.

This simple action will make things much easier. As soon as you think about what Luke would do, you stop thinking about excuses. You will only think about solutions instead. Whereas if you think about what you should do, your brain will immediately start to rationalize and to justify why it’s totally fine to not do anything.

As soon as you have the solutions at hand just by thinking what your hero would do, you made it much more difficult to opt-out. You cannot say anymore that it’s not possible, because you actually know it is. Eventually, you will start implementing the winning solution. Thanks to your hero.

Get yourself a virtuous hero and her unique perspectives! And the next time you feel lazy to write a unit test for a piece of legacy code, just because it seems complex, think about what your hero would do!