Tuesday, June 16, 2015


I've started and stopped so many posts.  My brain is full of thoughts I'd like to articulate here but cannot find the words.  Or rather the perfect words ...and that stops me cold in my tracks.

So today we're getting a ramble - a free flowing mixup of what I'm trying to say with hopes that it can undo some of the blockages in my head.  In advance, bear with me or just skip this one!

I've got an insatiable desire to understand human motivation.  What drives people - if you can understand that, I think problems can be avoided or solved.  As a kid, I often processed the math problem from back to front.  I guess it's the same thing here - start with the answer "the end goal" and work your way forward to the solution.

It's like a knot in my head that i desperately want to detangle.  I guess it started with my career shift.  Having worked in finance my entire life, motivation was somewhat easy - money.  It motivated everyone.  It motivated the deals that were made (how probable was getting 3x with the least amount of work and the least amount of time) and it motivated employee relations.  It was always money - job well done - better bonus.  Think you're doing more than your share - negotiate for a raise.  It was the language we all spoke.  It was how people said thank you, good job, keep it up, stick with us.

When I walked away from the higher salary for a better life balance, I thought I knew what I was doing.  I never anticipated it would brew such a complex feelings for me.  On one hand, compensation is an easy, and universally accepted, way to measure professional value.  At least in finance.  There's an underlying understanding - money = worth.   But in other industries, the line is blurred.  Is a fantastic social worker, slaving her days away  in a rundown office of less worth than the accountant?   Of course not - but if we're not deriving value from more than a paycheck, the answer really is yes.  Is it on her/him to just be so self-aware that she can look beyond what our society thinks and say "I know what I do matters and that's all that counts."   Or, I'm happy regardless of my neighbor's big house and nice car.  I'm following my heart.

I guess part of my examination should include my own relationship to money - what do I really think it means and why?  For a long time, I sat in the comfort of my luxurious office with every perk imaginable and thought - I don't need this.   But is that true?   I'm not saying it is or it isn't....I'm just asking myself the harder questions.   More later.....