Monday, March 14, 2011


I feel a little morbid. I can't stop watching the videos of the tsunami and looking at pictures of the destruction. It just seems so surreal to me and like something out of a movie. I just found out today that the tsunami hit about 30 minutes after the earthquake. That didn't give residents much time to get to higher ground. I can't imagine how frightening the whole experience would have been and what a horrible way to die. One of the videos showed people running from the wave and it seems like some didn't make it. Other videos show people watching their homes being washed away. The power of the water moving buildings and cars effortlessly just blows my mind. The after images showing buses, cars, and ships on top of 3 story buildings are just incredible. I also think that one of the scariest things about earthquakes is that there are aftershocks. After experiencing a huge, devastating earthquake I think that the aftershocks would invoke an automatic panic response.  I found out too that they had a 7.2 earthquake in the same place 2 days before. The fact that a earthquake that big didn't make the news also blows my mind. That's not a small thing! One encouraging video I saw showed the people who have been displaced really helping each other to get water and find loved ones.  From what I remember, Japan is a more collective society (vs. individualistic like the US) and I admire that that moves them to work for the greater good in these circumstances rather than just looking out for themselves.  I feel helpless and don't know what I might do other than pray for the people who have lost everything. One woman interviewed said that she didn't know if it was good she had survived. She lost everything and it will take a long time to rebuild.  I pray for hope for those people.  It is all so terribly sad.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I am reading the book Drive by Dan Pink (along with a bunch of other books since I can't seem to sit down with just one for too long). I find it very fascinating and I am looking forward to seeing if there is some practical tips I can use to improve things in my own work place. The premise is that intrinsic motivation is in many ways squelched by external rewards/punishments which is the traditional way for motivating people/employees. I think about our attempt at work to reduce central line infections and how not everyone is on board with doing the things a collaborative group of hospitals has said will help to reduce infection. Based on this book, the things we have tried (parties for increasing numbers of days without infection, etc) worked as expected. The reward system works in the short term (and it did for us), but people's long term motivation to see it through wanes (and our data says that we are taking steps backwards). So I think that the best way to approach it is just to say "we are doing this because it will create the best outcomes for our patients" and make that the focus. Irregular, unexpected rewards acknowledging a job well done are allowed, but if they become consistent, the reward becomes expected and the same problems result. Per the book, intrinsic motivation can be developed and is found in work that has autonomy, requires/allows the person to obtain mastery, and gives the person a sense of purpose. I am just now in the chapter on autonomy so I'll have to let you know how the rest of the book goes and what I think.  So far it is an interesting book based on psychological approaches and studies I find fascinating. After reading books like this and Freakonomics and it's sequel I sometimes think I should have been a behavioral economist or something (I didn't know that economics was the study of the way people behave). I find it so interesting (but I'm not sure I'm creative enough to think like they do).  I took an assessment from the book's website that says I am more extrinsically motivated than intrinsically. Guess I will have to work on that to be able to really make something of my life and be fulfilled.

Friday, March 4, 2011

God is Good

Our pastor challenged us today via email to list ways in which God is good to us (especially if we're going through a low time).

God has blessed me with an amazing family. I was raised in a Christian home with parents that really live out their belief in God. They are even fun to be around (you can just ask the guy I'm dating).

Even though she drives me crazy sometimes, my roommate is a blessing. She's always there to talk about things (sometimes too much talking though). She is a great ministry partner (teaching 6th grade together and serving in other youth events) and a good friend.

God has given me a man of character just as I asked Him. If only this man were also a follower of Christ I would marry him tomorrow if he asked. :-P

God has blessed me with a stable job where I can make a difference. It allows me to make enough money to pay my bills, travel the world and to share with others.

So, despite the fact that I am not where I might have dreamed I would be at 28, I am in a good place. :)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Who I want to be

This morning I met a new hire at work who has the unique ability of connecting with you almost immediately. She makes you feel so at ease and as if you are instantaneously one of her best friends! I like her already. I would love to have her interaction abilities! I think I'll have to pay attention to what it is she does. She has an openness about her and I know the key is that somehow she makes you feel good just by talking to her.  I always wanted to be the type of person who could light up a room just by walking in and I think the key is definitely being a sociable person.  I'm gonna work on it.