Rewards, deadlines, and motivation

March 21, 2012 § 5 Comments

Or: My love-hate relationship with deadlines

Yesterday I told my wife that I need to start writing more short stories. She promptly responded that I should give her one each week and in return I would get, da-da-da-da, “the red plate”. Now the motivational aspect of the red plate is a curious thing. I can’t say why I am so covetous of it, but it holds some mystical allure for me. Growing up, whenever any of us kids did something worthy of praise like getting good grades or making a sports team we would get “the red plate.” It was a big deal. I don’t know why, it just was. So when I got married, my wife and I were given a red plate of our own, with which she can motivate me cheaply.

Really though, the red plate was just icing on the cake. One short story a week? That sounds nigh impossible. Challenge accepted. « Read the rest of this entry »


The Three Stooges Syndrome: a life lesson I learned from The Simpsons

December 11, 2011 § 7 Comments

Over the years, I’ve been known to say that everything worth knowing in life can be learned from The Simpsons. That’s a lie. It’s also a pretty good reason to question why you’re reading the blog of someone who gives such terrible advice. That said, The Simpsons have taught me a thing or two over the years (don’t judge me).

In season 11, in the episode “The Mansion Family” (thank you Google, yet another reason you are my Obi wan Kenobi) Mr. Burns learns that he has every disease known to man (as well as all the unknown ones too). The only reason he hasn’t died yet is because in something called “The Three Stooges Syndrome,” which amounts to all of the diseases trying to kill him at once, but by doing so are preventing all the other diseases trying just as eagerly to get through the proverbial door. « Read the rest of this entry »

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