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Motivation February 22, 2008

Posted by caveblogem in blogging, DIY, Other, web 2.0.

You know those motivational posters that some people (people people, obviously) have in their offices? I don’t really want to post a picture of one of them because people are still trying to make money selling them, and they make me wince, somewhat involuntarily and think uncharitable thoughts, but click here if you really don’t know what I am talking about.

Anyway, I work in a fundraising office, so I used to see these things everywhere. For a while, mine was the only office (not including cubes, just the ones with doors) on the floor of my building that didn’t sport one of those posters. I remember wanting to ask my boss whether they were purchased with state funds, since we were on a mailing list for a company that made them.

I was thinking about them for the last couple of mornings because when I take the dog out I am confronted every morning with the vision below. It is a little hard to see with the crappy quality of my cellphone camera. This morning’s unexpected snow obscures the fact that the leaf had fallen on about two inches of solid ice about a week ago. As the leaf absorbed the sunlight it melted its way through about 3/4 of an inch of that ice. It’s a metaphor for something, I kept thinking.


But I don’t really have any idea what it is a metaphor for. The slogan above is a hipshot [My lovely wife asked me last night when I was going to post again. She has started a blog and has more excitement about the whole thing than I have had in quite a while. For some odd reason I told her I would post today. So you have her to thank.] Here’s another one:

Erosion: An unintentional benefit of being opaque.

Please feel free to suggest better ones in the comments.

Thinking about that leaf led me to think about those motivational posters, so I looked them up, and there’s a site that lets you make your own, of course. I must have missed out when this thing got Boing Boinged.

It also got me to wondering what it is that people get from these things. Do people really draw motivation from this stuff? I have been reading Darren Brown’s Tricks of the Mind, or at least re-reading sections of it, this week. He points out that motivation is a strange sort of reification. People only talk about motivation in a negative way, he says. They only use the word if motivation is lacking. All that “being motivated” means is that you are working. It doesn’t really mean anything, as such. I’m still thinking about that.

What I am certain of is that I get stuff done when I can keep my sense of humor. So whether these posters are funny in an ironic or sarcastic way, or whether the posters are sarcastic and, thus, funny in a straightforward way, I draw motivation (however fictitious the concept itself is) from them. Sort of a paradoxical sort of thing, iznit?


1. writinggb - February 22, 2008

How about this?

Independence: Face it…you’re all alone with one foot in the grave.

2. prairieflounder - February 22, 2008

I think the best site for this kind of stuff is http://www.despair.com/
When I worked at HP people would use the giant printers in the camera division to print posters for their cubicles.

3. Oscarandre - February 23, 2008

Well, I really enjoyed a poster that said “It’s time to put the fun back into dysfunctional” and when I was a callow teenager friend and I added “cos no-one else wants to” to the College motto “Know thyself “

4. jessa - February 24, 2008

Now *that* would be a poster I’d proudly hang on my office wall. You know… if I actually *had* an office…

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