Motivation and being happy

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Cleaning out – uploading ‘stuff’

Unexpectedly a couple of links to TED talks.

For some reason, I made notes about these on a plane… maybe they’ll make someone who hasn’t seen them, watch them.

Daniel Pink

(‘In the C20th…Management did not emanate from nature… somebody invented it. And it doesn’t mean its going to work forever…’)

Intrinsic motivation:

The desire to do things because they matter, because we like it, because because they’re interesting, they’re part of something important

Fedex time, 20% Time – the results only work environment

Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose the building blocks of a new way of doing things.

Traditional notions of management are great if you want compliance. But if you want engagement, self-direction works better.

Think again about motivation – they don’t always work for every task.

3 Conclusions

1. 20th C rewards “if then” motivators we think are natural do work, but only in a surprisingly narrow band of circumstances
2. If…then rewards often destroy creativity
3. The secret to high performance isn’t rewards and punishments but that unseen intrinsic drive the drive to do things for their own sake, because they matter.

Alain de Botton

Happiness – A kinder, gentler philosophy of success (a lot of ideas and some deep implications packed in here!!):

Easy to get a good job, very hard to be happy.

Not necessarily materialistic – society has pegged emotional rewards to acquisition of material things – we crave the emotional reward


Meritocracy a ridiculous idea if you take it to its extremes self help books – you can do it – but any position in life becomes purely a result of merit – “an unfortunate” vs ” a loser” 400 years of evolution – who’s responsible for our lives? but too many random factors

envy (dominant emotion in modern society?) driven by equality – they’re just like me – when you can’t relate to somebody, you don’t envy them

Made to feel by media etc that likelihood of becoming Bill Gates is much greater than acceding to the French Aristocracy

A real correlation between a society that tells people they can do anything and the existence of low self esteem

Fear of ridicule linked to a lack of understanding/appreciation learning from Tragedy – Hamlet is not a ‘loser’ but he has lost

Lack of anything transcendent at the core of our lives, for the first time…

You can’t be successful at everything…

Definition of success (where does it come from? Are they our own?) Any vision of success has to admit where the element of loss is

Don’t give up on visions of success – interrogate them and own them.


Happy New Year

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Happy 2009

– found this early December last year courtesy of PSFK and DJ DSL.

I have been waiting to use it.

May your year be as simple, elegant, functional and enjoyable.


5/11/08 – No comment…

Hope speaks for itself…

And in the best of all possible worlds acts for itself.

More than enough ink and talking head time already spent on US ’08.

Just two items from seperate articles on the Creative Review blog which in my mind are linked:

The iconic – Shepard Fairey, again enough said – already a point of reference


The real hope – postcard from Anthony Burrill

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Pic courtesy

Been avoiding this to some extent, because it has been ‘blogged’ to death but more probably because it is scarily concise as I wish I could be! (even with its typo – ‘are’ instead of ‘and’) A brilliant sketch.

Perhaps I have waited the equivalent of a Victorian Mourning period for it to be socially acceptable or perhaps I have finally overcome the personal quandry it put me in!

Instead of beautifuly crafted rubrics about work, brands, love or anything else, I wish some Advertising/Marketing Companies had something like this on the wall in their reception area for staff and visitors to see.

It could have been more beautifully put but not much shorter or more powerfully.

Better – Seth Godin

Are you better at what you do than you were a month or two ago?

A lot better?

How did you get better? What did you read or try? Did you fail at something and learn from it?

Does that mindless stuff you do at work when the boss isn’t looking (or all those meetings you go to are all those emails you answer) make you better or just pass the time?

If you got better faster, would that be a good thing? How could you make that happen?

A lot of questions so early in the morning, but the truth is that marketing rewards improvement. It didn’t used to. It
used to reward stability.

Corn Flakes are Corn Flakes.

First Thoughts…

I’ve been living in the U.K. (Near Epsom to be exact)

for about 3 weeks now and am to start work next week on a project in Central London.

Many people have been asking me what I make of it as it has been over 13 years since I last lived here. Read the rest of this entry »


A fairly quick and self explanatory entry this week. Iknit was something that Rich Lamb-Hughes and I came up with whilst we were thinking of building the ‘one good idea a month with an obvious sponsor” web group that was to support/become ‘Free lunch’. Since then we have discussed, improved and shared it with quite a few people and the most work has probably been done by Robin Jutzen – the person who did most on/for ‘Free lunch’.

A fantastic idea probably not to happen… Read the rest of this entry »

There’s no such thing as…

free lunch.jpgpic courtesy Jardel

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things and no good thing ever dies”

This is about free lunch which was an initiative a group of people tried to set up in Cape Town. First some necessary reference: Read the rest of this entry »