I read "Drive" by Daniel H. Pink and I need it. Drive.

I woke up one morning last week and realized, I’m lost. Ever since, I’ve been in a perpetual brain-cycle of self-discovery. What is it about my day that makes me feel like I’ve abandoned who I am?

Is it my job?

I think blaming a job is a cop out, because at the end of the day, I could just leave. But I don’t. I’m still here. So some part of me is driven to continue, to invest, to master being an employee of this company. My choice to stay doesn’t belittle the fact that there’s something I’m not getting out of it that I used to get out of my job, and blaming my job doesn’t help me answer the question:

What am I not admitting about the role I have to play in my own unhappiness?

I once lived in a world where I was inspired by everyone with whom I worked. I was inspired by the goals they set, the knowledge they shared, the values they held, the passion with which they tackled their job. I want to re-create that world here. I want to surround myself with people who are so enamored with bettering themselves and their craft that I catch their enthusiasm like a laugh. It’s a matter of living versus working. I would like to live again, and I haven’t really put any energy into doing so.

Patient Zero

Like any contagion, I should probably start with a patient zero. So the first question is

How do I inspire myself into a perpetual state of motivation?

I have started with a few daily todos. The original ones were

  1. Read a thing
  2. Doodle a thing
  3. Write 10 < words towards a thing

These have evolved over time. Take this morning’s ` //TODOs ` for example:

May 16 TODO

If developing software under the Scrum framework has taught me anything, it’s that my brain needs a regular cadence. I am 100% a creature of habit. What this list offers me is a daily checkpoint - with a pretty low barrier to entry - for my level up effort.

My change in attitude was pretty immediate. I started smiling at work. I started staying at the office later than absolutely necessary. I started doing the laundry before I ran out of clothes. - ok that last thing had nothing to do with work, but I’d be silly to think it unrelated.

I can usually stick to a thing for 3 weeks, so that will be my timebox to “infect” patient 1 with motivation. That way, come week 4, I can feed off of others’ motivation to fuel my own.

Patient 1

I think I’ll start by encouraging others’ ideas. I identify with Jimmy Collins’s idea of a follower.

I have taken on improv’s “yes and…” approach in the case where someone comes up with an idea for the team. “Totally! Let’s try it for a sprint!”

I hope it will inspire autonomy and ownership. You wanted to try a thing. And we tried it. And we’ll keep it if it was successful. And it was all your idea. You made the team better.

I hope it generates more ideas, a thirst for being better, a thirst for improving and evolving.

And then the motivation infection will run rampant throughout the company!

Will check back on June 1 to see how I do.

Written on May 16, 2018