Tag: Motivation (home)

A real person has two reasons for doing anything... a good reason and the real reason.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Persuasion, Motivation

In a restroom at IBM's Watson Center, a supervisor had placed a sign directly above the sink. It had a single word on it --"THINK!" The next day, when he went to the restroom, he looked at the sign and right below, immediately above the soap dispenser, someone had carefully lettered another sign which read --"THOAP!"

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Humor, Motivation

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Of course, you could do even better with a dead squirrel.

permalink source: Fred Schwartz
tags: Humor, Persuasion, Motivation

Vacuuming is so much more fun when the hamsters are loose.

permalink source: Meghan Skinner
tags: Humor, Motivation

U.S. Populace Lurches Methodically Through the Motions for Yet Another Day The wall-eyed, slack-jawed U.S. populace, beaten down into a state of near-catatonia by the relentlessly deadening banality of their joyless, insipid lives, dutifully trudged through the motions for yet another emotionally blank day Monday, sources reported. Against all logic, the nation's citizenry, their insides withering away with each passing moment, somehow managed to continue filling out invoices, shopping for footwear, loading dishwashers, eating Whoppers, pressing buttons, watching reality-based TV programs, vacuuming floors, engaging in conversations about petty office politics, riding buses, sitting in traffic, mailing letters, and tending to the little rubber mats people wipe their feet on as they enter the lobby areas of vast, windowless industrial complexes. How they managed to do it, no one can say. The populace's minor victory of continuing to participate in the meaningless charade that is their lives, sources said, was rendered all the more futile by the inescapable realization that they must do it again tomorrow, and the next day, and so on and so on unceasingly until the day they inevitably die. "Hello, Tri-State Amalgamated Office Supply, a division of Global Tetrahedron International Unlimited, customer-service hotline, can you please hold?" said 37-year-old Sandy Lindemeyer of Garland, TX, barely summoning the strength to push the button activating her headset. The incident marked the 13,227th time she has uttered the pre-scripted greeting. After hearing a heavy sigh on the other end of the line, followed by a barely audible reply of "Yes," Lindemeyer somehow found the will to press a second button, patching the person into a pre-recorded, continuous message loop telling the caller, Lindemeyer's 714th of the week, that his or her call was important to Tri-State Amalgamated Office Supply and would be answered by the next available customer-service representative. Elsewhere, in the suburban wasteland of Schaumburg, IL, frigid housewife Ellen Campion, 42, her face an impenetrable mask of detachment, drove her 1991 Toyota Camry through a seemingly endless sprawl of strip malls and convenience stores, eventually arriving at the bloated expanse known as Woodfield Mall, where she purchased a pair of shoes. "This morning, as my husband and I stared blankly at each other's faces over breakfast, I mentioned that I saw an ad in the paper for a sale on ladies' footwear at Marshall Field's. He asked if I was planning to go, and I told him I guessed maybe," Campion said. "So after he dragged himself to work and I gazed at the wall for a few hours, I went to the sale." Looking down at her feet, Campion added, "They're nice shoes, I suppose." "Today is Wednesday," said Waltham, MA, resident Gregory Pafko, 50, an actuary for a screen-door manufacturing company in nearby Plovis. "Wednesday is 'Hump Day.' If I can get through Hump Day, I'll have made it halfway through the week." "Then again," Pafko added, "every day is Hump Day, really." Later, as he does every day, Pafko headed to the company bathroom and sat for 20 minutes with a loaded gun in his mouth. Once the shakes subsided, he removed the bullets from the gun and returned to his desk. According to experts, as American society slides ever-downward into the swirling vortex of nothingness that saps our wills, numbs our hearts and freezes our very souls in an impenetrable layer of black, icy futility, the importance of going through the motions only grows. "As James Joyce showed in his classic novel of modernity Ulysses, just making it through one day in this world constitutes a heroic achievement," Yale University English professor M. Clement Voorhees said. "God knows how unrewarding it is for us to endure each day's pointless, relentless barrage of non-events. I'm surprised we're able to do it at all. But continuing to go through the motions is crucial, because if everyone stopped faking, we'd.... Voorhees then trailed off, remaining silent for several moments while rubbing his eyes. "I'm sorry," he said. "I forgot what I was going to say." In a perfunctory attempt to acknowledge the nation's collective pyrrhic victory, President Clinton thanked and congratulated the populace Monday for continuing to participate in the meaningless fictions that comprise their daily existences. "My fellow Americans," Clinton told a national television audience, "you have truly accomplished a great feat today. By continuing to get out of bed, wash yourselves, dress, work, shop, watch COPS, surf the Net with WebTV, and put food into your bodies at regular intervals to sustain your metabolic functions, you have shown the world just how willing-to-live the American people can pretend to be." Following the broadcast, the president endured several minutes of smiling handshakes before excusing himself to the Oval Office restroom, where he splashed water on his face, leaned on the sink and stared unblinkingly into his weathered, exhausted reflection, wondering how he was going to face the next day. (c) Copyright 1999 Onion, Inc., All rights reserved.

permalink source: The Onion
tags: Humor, Motivation

Xvxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll xxcxpt for onx kxy. Xvxn though thxrx arx 46 kxys that work wxll xnough, just onx not working makxs all thx diffxrxncx in lxgibility, corrxctnxss, and xffxctivxnxss. Somxtimxs it sxxms that our group is somxwhat likx my typxwritxr, not all thx kxys function propxrly. You think, "I am only onx pxrson. Thxy don't nxxd mx. I can slack and it won't makx much diffxrxncx." But, you sxx, Christ has madx us diffxrxntly. Xach of us is uniqux, and xach of us is rxquirxd. It is writtxn, "God has arrangxd thx parts in thx Body, xvxry onx of thxm, just as Hx wantxd thxm to bx." And also, "Thx wholx body, joinxd and hxld togxthxr by xvxry supporting ligamxnt, grows and builds itsxlf up in lovx as xach part doxs its work." So thx nxxt timx you think you arx only onx pxrson and that your xffort is not nxxdxd, rxmxmbxr my old typxwritxr and say to yoursxlf, "I am a kxy pxrson madx by God for a purposx and am nxxdxd vxry much."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Church, Community, Ministry, Motivation, Teams

"Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines."

permalink source: John Benfield
tags: Motivation

When Joe Paterno first began coaching the Penn State Nittany Lions, they got off to a dismal start. During his second year (1967), he noticed that his starting players were just going through the motions, playing without commitment or intensity. He also noticed that the sophomore replacements played with enthusiasm. Paterno realized the time had come to prove himself as a coach. He made a decision to "get rid of the sluggards." During the next game against Miami, he replaced each going-through-the-motion senior with an eager sophomore. By the end of the first quarter he had a whole new team on the field. They played with such intensity that Penn State upset the highly favored Hurricanes. That season, the Nittany Lions began a winning streak that continued for 31 games-it didn't end until after all the "Sophomore Wonders" had graduated. Paterno proved himself as a coach, and his young players proved to everyone that enthusiasm is a team's greatest weapon.

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Leadership, Motivation, Attitude

A well-dressed European woman was on safari in Africa. The group stopped briefly at a hospital for lepers. The hear was intense, the flies buzzing. She noticed a nurse bending down in the dirt, tending to the pus-filled sores of a leper. With disdain the woman remarked, "Why, I wouldn't do that for all the money in the world!" The nurse quietly replied, "Neither would I."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Money, Service, Motivation

Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox, March 4, 2001: Retaining Key Staff: What High-Tech Employees Say versus What They Do Summary: Never listen to what people say in response to a survey: asking high-tech employees what will keep them in their jobs provides very different answers than the factors that actually drive retention. Getting and keeping good people is one of the greatest problems facing Internet companies. Even with the latest slump in the industry, we still face negative unemployment among people who understand the Internet. We have all seen the clueless ads looking for Java programmers with ten years' experience. Indeed, those ads started appearing back when not even James Gosling would have qualified. The real issue is not so much number of years as it is amount of insight and skills which translate into real experience. In the human interface field experience is largely driven by the number and diversity of user tests somebody has observed. Some usability professionals run a test per week; others may only get exposure to real people a few times per year. Assume that you have succeeded in hiring an excellent staff. How to keep it? At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in January 2001, Dr. David Finegold from the University of Southern California presented an interesting study of employee retention in high-tech companies. The most important finding in the study was that what employees say will keep them in the company is quite different from those factors that actually determine whether they quit. We have seen similar findings in many other studies of very different issues, which is why I always caution against believing what people say in response to a survey. Never listen to what people say. Instead look at what they do. What employees say is important for making them stay at their current company: Work/life balance Job security Financial rewards Professional career satisfaction Degree of influence over own work These all sound very important, right? Well, that's not what makes highly valued employees stay in the high-tech companies in the study. After running a multiple regression analysis, Dr. Finegold found that there was no positive effect of work/life balance on the retention of staff. People may say that they like to spend time with their family, but giving them such time doesn't make them stay with the company. Self-reported surveys are always a weak source of data, but people's responses are particularly unreliable when it comes to sensitive issues or questions where certain answers are deemed more socially acceptable than others. Pay for individual performance (typically salary and bonuses) did not score highly as a way of keeping employees, except for men under 30. The only type of financial rewards that increased retention for any other group was rewards based on over-all company performance (typically stock options). Interestingly, having a viable and well-communicated strategy for success was important for making employees identify with the company but did not make them stay with the company. The top three factors in retaining staff were: career advancement financial rewards based on company performance innovation and risk The high score for innovation and risk may be a peculiarity of high-tech professionals, but if those are the types of people you want to keep, you have to give them bleeding-edge assignments.

permalink source: Jakob Nielson
tags: Excellence, Motivation, Teams

A father noticed that his son was spending way too much time playing computer games. In an effort to motivate the boy into focusing more attention on his schoolwork, the father said to his son, "When Abe Lincoln was your age, he was studying books by the light of the fireplace." The son replied, "Well, when Lincoln was your age, he was The President of The United States."

permalink source: Anonymous
tags: Discipline, Success, Motivation, Ambition

Andy Grove on Leadership

[Note that quote comes from a transcript of the talk that the folks at Harvard gave me (Bob Sutton). I have edited out a few lines, in part, because Grove made some comments about the Soprano’s TV show that were funny, but distract from the main point]. Grove said: "None of us have a real understanding of where we are heading. I don’t. I have senses about it... But decisions don’t wait, investment decisions or personal decisions and prioritization don't wait for that picture to be clarified. You have to make them when you have to make them. So you take your shots and clean up the bad ones later. And try not to get too depressed in the part of the journey, because there’s a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you can't motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing." Then, Clay Christensen asked, "So how do you work on that part about keeping good spirits or managing emotional response, leading your team." Grove answered: "Well, part of it is self-discipline and part of it is deception. And the deception becomes reality -- deception in the sense that you pump yourself up and put a better face on things than you start off feeling. After a while, if you act confident, you become more confident. So the deception becomes less of a deception. But I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly."

permalink source: Bob Sutton's Blog, http://bobsutton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/03/andy_grove_tell.html
tags: Leadership, Perfectionism, Decisions, Motivation

Talk, Don't Listen, To Yourself

Have you realized that most of your unhappiness in life is due to the fact that you are listening to yourself instead of talking to yourself? Take those thoughts that come to you the moment you wake up in the morning. You have not originated them but they are talking to you, they bring back the problems of yesterday, etc. Somebody is talking. Who is talking to you? Your self is talking to you. Now this man’s treatment [in Psalm 42] was this: instead of allowing this self to talk to him, he starts talking to himself. "Why art thou cast down, O my soul?" he asks. His soul had been depressing him, crushing him. So he stands up and says, "Self, listen for moment, I will speak to you."

permalink source: D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Spiritual Depression, pp. 20-21
tags: Motivation