Motivation to do your best every day — The Light Bulb Theory

Abhilash Marichi
2 min readApr 17, 2021

I want to share one of the incidents from 2012 during my initial years as a software engineer.

Photo by Burak K from Pexels

I stayed with my Uncle’s family back then, and almost every other night, we would have post dinner chats about various topics, he is one of the top executives at an MNC and has enormous wisdom that he loved sharing with me whenever possible.

One evening, I was feeling a bit low and in our post-dinner portico chats, my uncle asked, how was my day at work? I said it was pretty bad, and I told him that there was an escalation on me for a minor issue. And I added, looks like my team-lead forgot how hard I worked just last week to meet challenging deadlines.

My uncle smiled and pointed towards the light bulb in the portico and said, Look at that light bulb. Even though the light bulb worked just fine last week, if it creates an issue today we will change it. It does not matter how hard the light bulb work before but we always look at how best it is working today.

In the same way, an organization is like this entire house, we are all light bulbs, for the whole house to be lighted, all the light bulbs must function as expected every single day. If one bulb stops, it would cause issues, either we try to fix that light bulb or we change it.

So always keep in mind, how you are performing today is very important not how you performed last week, how you are adding value to the company today matters the most.

I keep reminding this line every now and then. There is so much wisdom in it. It always motivates me to do my best every single day even if I am going through a bad phase.

I hope this wisdom is helpful to you and pushes you to do your best every single day!

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Abhilash Marichi

Data Engineer at Amazon. I write about Data, Product & Life.