No Boring Subjects

When you have intellectual skin in the game even “boring topics” become interesting.

I have noticed repeatedly over my life that the more personal time I invest in a subject the less boring the subject becomes, if only to me. Of course, I need to make sure I remember this when I start sharing the subject with others.

In my first job as a computer engineer on a large team I was assigned the task of source code control, being responsible for how the code all of my fellow programmers wrote was monitored, shared, and built into the final application.

We had an extremely rigorous process to understand and build the programs. I studied it intently in order to do my job well.

One day, after doing the job for many months, an engineer came to visit our team from corporate headquarters. They were providing official training to the entire team on source code control. It was fantastic, he also provided interesting insights into the tools, the philosophy, and the discipline we were using. I loved it. We built medical software, so it may be he was training us officially to comply with Federal regulations, I don’t remember. Anyway it took ALL DAY and was quite engaging.

At the end of the day I was talking to my co-workers and discovered, much to my surprise, that they were completely and totally bored. To them, the day had been some form of corporate torture.

I was slightly befuddled at first, but after further pondering I came to appreciate the difference. Because it was my job, I had prepped my brain. I had already studied and practiced the discipline, and I began to actually care about it.

Care matters.

I could listen with interest, reinforcing old paths, and exploring new insights and connections. I was motivated to learn more. I could flow with the presentation, entrain with the presenter, and enjoy the day.

I have frequently said “Agile is a state of mind to adapt to change.” It is also a prepared mind, with a foundation laid for continual learning. If you find yourself frequently bored at work, look inward for the problem and the solution.

“There are no boring subjects, only disinterested minds.” G. K. Chesterton

What are the fundamental principles guiding what we are doing? Here is the thing, apples don't fall up. If I walk into your office and you begin to tell me how, in your business, you make money "because apples fall up" then I know, really fast, we have a problem.…
A foundation premise. Secreted away inside of weddings, graduations, religious services, and sporting events are powerful techniques for dramatically increasing human performance—ways to grow productivity, strengthen relationships, and improve your bottom line. The secret is ceremony. For over two millennia, ceremony has demonstrated its power to transform our world. It is a…