Feel the Passion

Does your attitude need an adjustment?  When you feel demoralized and cranky about design opportunity (or lack thereof) in your current project, or the client or co-workers on your team, try feeling- passion.  When you truly love what you do and are excited about it, that excitement creates a whole different energy- one that is about creativity, possibility and opportunity. To find the love, start seeing the glass as has full:
  1. Know who you are and what you stand for as an architect.  When you know your strengths are are excited to share them with others, that inspires them  to draw on their strengths too.
  2. Every job is an opportunity.  You can win an award for designing a bus stop that truly enriches the lives of those who use it and pass by it every day, or you can complete projects with price tags in the hundreds of millions and hate what you do.  It's all in how you frame the design problem and whether you are excited to make a difference.
  3. Keep your cool.  We all know the meaning of pressure- last minute changes, under-performing consultants, problems that don't seem get resolved smoothly.  Don't take it personally, and don't let your stress make you that person that everyone is afraid will bring a gun to the office one day.  As long as you work quickly and proactively to identify what is going wrong and create a plan of corrective action, you will be the  hero that  calmly led the troops.  
  4. Be impeccable.  Pretend that someone is videotaping you and will send a copy of the tape to all of your clients and co-workers.  Actions taken out of expediency often lead to regrets later.  Make the best possible decisions you can with the information available to you at the time, and you will always be respected and able to defend your actions. 
  5. Keep a constructive outlook.  There are no bad ideas or bad people, just less optimal solutions.   Every idea has some merit and deserves to be talked through.  You may find a germ of usefulness in even the most off-base  suggestions.  Being receptive to ideas informs you of how others are thinking and the process of how they work.
Above all, believe in yourself and what you do.  If you still find yourself being dragged into a cesspool of negativity- then its time to use that passion in yet another positive way, by walking away- gracefully.