No, this is not an article about politics or economics, it's about productivity and development. Both happen in nonlinear fashion. For the sake of simplicity I will use running as an example. Let us assume that only five different race distances matter the mile (or 1500), 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon. Despite being involved in the sport and active and doing workouts through all of 2010, I did not set a personal record at a single one of those distances. Over the last 12 months I have set a personal record at all of the four longer distances.
This is part of a larger idea, that productivity has moments of significant accomplishment as well as periods of drought. That is not to say that things are not getting accomplished, it simply means that there is nothing final to show. This happens. It can not be avoided.
I bring this up because at work we took a survey about employee engagement, and the results were not 100% positive. As one of the people on the bottom I wonder, "what does it take to get people engaged? What does it take to keep me engaged?" It is a strange question for me personally because I feel that the things I want to keep me excited about my work more than I am now really have nothing to do with my work. In other words, free bagels or doughnuts once a week would be nice. Free coffee would be great. A free polo or something would be great. I have two hats with the company logo, but after working there a year and a half, nothing more. That is fine, I don't need a shirt or a doughnut to enjoy my job. The work is already interesting, that's why we do it. If we could find something better we would be there, but obviously we are here.
Another subject behind this topic would be the dating world. I am definitely below the average and the median! Just to call out my sister, because she called me out yesterday, we have drastically different relationship experiences! And our parents are always interested to see how the two are so different.
Circling back to productivity, sometimes, too frequently if you ask me, I look at what I accomplished in a given time and am severely disappointed. Other times, I wonder how I was so brilliant. But most of the time I feel like the lazy person not living up to my potential. I've been out of college nearly three years, and my race times have not improved nearly as much as I would have liked them too. Professionally I think I am progressing just fine. In fact, I have some news in the next few days...
In summary, life is non-linear.