I’m reading The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working by Tony Schwartz. In it, Tony talks about triggers: things that get a negative reaction. Be they actions, words, or world events, triggers are things that get our blood pressure up and make us act in fight or flight mode. Triggers happen to everyone, it’s how we each deal with the triggers in our lives that sets us up to have a better or worse life.

The Way We’re Working recommends taking a step back when confronted with a trigger. Ask yourself what are the facts and what are the stories you’re telling yourself. There’s a big difference! Facts are facts. Actual things that happened are facts. Stories are what our brains tell us in order to make sense of facts.

I’m not very good at dealing with triggers. The best evidence I have is posts I’ve made recently about Atlassian and Windows. This is something I need to personally work on. I had facts in both cases, but I told myself (and then my blog) stories in order to rationalize those facts in a way that made sense to me in my upset state. Once I calmed down, my stories changed, that’s a good indicator that my stories were leaving out critical facts or I was telling them in a way that made me feel good about myself by being negative about something else. That’s not healthy.

I’ve also recently read an interesting essay on value from The Aji Network. (Sorry, I’m not allowed to link to the essay.) In it, there’s mention about the fact that the market does not respond to whining, only to actual action. People who whine and don’t take any action aren’t really of concern.

For example, I was whining about Atlassian and Windows, but I’m not in a place to actually take action to stop using those things. For one, I’m a member of a company that’s using JIRA and tools that only run on Windows (no, VisualStudio isn’t a candidate for WINE). I’m just whining. The market doesn’t really care because I’m not actually going to take action on my whines.

Atlassian has actually gotten in contact with me (complaining on twitter really does work!) and they explained why I had to enter credit card details. They’re working to explain that better in their purchasing pages and they’re looking into why I wasn’t notified when our account actually got upgraded. Turns out that most account upgrades do happen in minutes.

In all, I’m going to work on my triggers and try to stop whining. It’s not good for my health and the market doesn’t care.


10 February 2012