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By Joe Miller | March 18, 2016


My motivation is being hit with a case of Up Jumped Spring, one of my favorite seasonal jazz tunes, and one of Freddie Hubbard’s best. It’s a tune that feels like what happens when spring jumps up (thankfully a bit early this year). It delightfully messes with my motivation and direction. Different music. Different clothes. Windows open. Furniture rearranged. House cleaned. And work put off.

On a sunny spring day my motivation will move away from work toward the promise of long days, short-sleeves, sneakers, baseball, biking, and backyards. Content, strategies, and blogs can be pushed away by a simple breeze. When you live where it’s cold and grey for very long periods of time, these things happen. You just want to feel good, bask in a sudden sunny day and play around like a kid, even for a few minutes.

William Shakespeare said it in Sonnet 98:

“…April, dressed in all his trim, hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”              

I watch outside my window, stare at the blue sky and dream a little bit. I often end the day surprised at the amount of work I finished. Evidently, amid the spring seduction I’m still auto-tuned to work, meet deadlines, effectively perform and teach, to keep learning, and all that good stuff. But that’s really out-shined by the thought of some sun on my face. What is it?

“It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!” 

Mark Twain

It’s a perfectly logical, confounding time for me. My motivation is refreshed and distracted. But I get things done, even as my motivation switches to pursuing quality of life before quality (or quantity) of work.

I believe it’s all-around healthy to let your mind, body and spirit wander and to have some youthful fun these first weeks of spring. My productive self will adjust and, by summertime, assign my altered motivation its proper place. But we should all remember to enjoy the hope and promise of spring, because just as quickly as spring jumps up, it will fade and fall into memory.

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Joe Miller

Joe delivers copy, generates concepts, and helps determine strategy. He’s been doing it since 1991 when he started working with a small downtown Cleveland marketing firm. Joe joined the designRoom team as a freelance writer in 1993. He has an annoying knack for finding the core of a problem and the heart of a solution. He also makes the best coffee in the office.In early 2008 he joined the Marketing & Communications team at the Ohio Lottery. While there, Joe led the team that developed and implemented the Lottery’s first-ever social media initiative and crafted the Ohio Policy and Procedures and Terms of Use that guided all the Lottery’s social media involvement. In addition, he created a Winners are Everywhere campaign and managed the creative agency responsible for its implementation.Joe is also a professional musician and educator and occasional composer. He’s the Jazz Trumpet faculty and Jazz Combo conductor at Cleveland State University and has performed all over the world.

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