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Puzzle of Motivation

Autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives.
Mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
Purpose: the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.”

That’s Dan Pink talking about “The puzzle of motivation”. He points out that scientific studies have consistently shown, regardless of culture, that the more monetary (external, carrot and stick) motivation you use to promote behavior, the less creativity and problem solving you cultivate. If you want creativity and problem solving, you must allow autonomy, mastery, and purpose to flourish (internal motivation).



Sometime in 2003, when this online space was only 4 years old, I thought: “I would love to be a dentist.” The journey is the destination and all that, but the destination is pretty great. So, it’s time to start as a dentist tomorrow. My weeks off since graduation have been wonderful, but what’s even better is that I don’t fear the years ahead the way I did the years of dental school. Somewhere, deep down, you know when what you are doing isn’t sustainable. Like 4 hour nights of sleep or back-to-back hotdog eating contests, you know that this is a pace you can’t sustain. This isn’t that. This is an opportunity to learn, to treat patients, and to grow my relationship with my wife.



I am looking for a job as a dentist. If you know anyone who is hiring, please let me know. I’m killing a lot of trees in my search.

Thank you in advance for any information.

And The Trees


I think I’m holding a vigil tonight. And not in the sense of “I think I plan on it,” but rather I mean “I think this is happening right now.” So, what is the subject or purpose of my vigil? I’m reminiscing about life in school at St. Thomas and the U while looking ahead at my life. This involves a lot of mindless clicking around on Facebook, which I usually try to avoid. I find myself regretting things I both did and did not do in my past, and wondering about the future. I’m listening to Sigur Rós. It’s a quarter after 1 in the morning. Mykala is asleep on the couch.


Ash Wednesday

“A patient of yours just checked in, has no appointment for today, and axiUm says the chart is checked out to you.”

This was not the voicemail I wanted to hear this morning during breakfast. I sighed, closed my laptop, and hurriedly biked down the hill to school to see the patient.


Health Coaching

Mykala’s trying to decide what job she wants to do. While I have lived comfortably inside the four walls of dentistry, shutting out the frighteningly wide world of possibility, Mykala has been looking for the right fit for her. She’s whip smart and interested in many things… which makes it hard. I can relate: I love coding, but would never want to do it for a job. Mykala loves dance, but doesn’t always want to do that for a job. What’s more, we both have complicated ideals around work:


In the Future…

I am just so unbelievably excited to own my own business fixing people’s teeth, I can barely stand it. If you’re in the Twin Cities area five years from now, and your tooth hurts, please do look me up.

But seriously, I am SO EXCITED.

Now, I Have a Job

The silence at tumbledry lately has been due to a wide variety of different things going on, which will all be discussed in time. The thing I’d like to focus on for now: as of last week, I am employed! Furthermore, I’m currently investigating how much I am allowed to talk about the employment in this space. Naturally, I will not ever be revealing any information remotely related to people, politics, products, etc. … or even the physical location of where I work. However, I am sure it is safe to say that I work as a contract analyst at 3M. Putting my biochemistry degree to good use should be exciting. Big changes are ahead in my life, and I will keep everyone posted as opportunities to write arise.


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Sometimes, You Feel Like a Spring

One of the biggest obstacles preventing me from writing very much in the past couple of months has been worrying about dental school: specifically, whether or not I have gotten in. I’ve been hesitant to write anything at all about it until I knew one way or the other; it’s awfully difficult to think about, much less write coherent thoughts concerning my hopes, dreams, and fears. Come to think of it, avoiding the cathartic effect of writing may have been a mistake. There are many stories to tell that have happened along the way … but they will fit best when there is some sort of conclusion. Then again, I don’t know if I really want to look back at the journal of my life and read about all this worrying I’ve done. Either way, the silence has been getting to be too much, so I think I’ll pick up on the writing thing again.


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