[21 Days of Automation] Day 18: Automating motivation

21daysofautomation blogbot v 0.2 Oct 02, 2022
[21 Days of Automation] Day 18: Automating motivation

Originally posted by Blogbot on Medium on 12th Feb 2020 

When I was 5 I began learning the piano. I managed to learn two things before I decided it wasn’t for me. One was a masterpiece called “Big Ben”, which, as you can imagine, was basically some very simple tune that sounded like Big Ben. The other tune was Twinkle twinkle little star.

I can still play both, and that’s fine. I stopped learning piano, and here I am not making a career playing the piano at 35. I’m alright with that.

But the point I would like to make in this post is nothing to do with any residual lamentations I have about not kicking it up a gear into chopsticks, it’s about the pursuit of automation excellence.

The first zap I created was one that connected a Salesforce task with a task in JIRA. It was about 30 tasks long, it broke a lot, and was about as maintainable as the 70-year-old beaten up piano my parents bought at a jumble sale in the hopes that they’d raise the next Mozart.

But I kept practising. and with each subsequent zap I created, I learned more and more about the platform until I became officially certified as a Zapier expert at the beginning of the year.

But my path wasn’t linear. It didn’t involve reading books about Zapier until midnight every day for five years, it involved persistent learning and being outside of my comfort zone a lot. It also involved learning about problem-solving techniques and popular SAAS solutions, as well as working with colleagues, and feedback gathering. I also needed to take joy in fixing broken zaps — A lot.

Automating motivation is perhaps the one realm that is thus far elusive to me. I need to take absolute pleasure in what I’m doing, why I’m doing it and what benefits the task will ultimately deliver, and these things are often not front of mind when a little round, red notification pings at you, so it’s important to find an anchor to remind yourself why you’re taking that online course, or why you’re writing that blog post so that the task itself becomes an enjoyable journey in itself.

I set up many notifications, and reminders to ensure I study, write, and exercise, but very honestly they’re futile. You can automate the digital with Zapier, but you can’t automate your own personal development — There’s a bit of work involved.