A headline caught my eye the other day while I was looking through the internet. It read, “Most people stop reading after college and 19 other things no one tells you about growing up”. I clicked on it because just last week, I had to force myself to set aside my electronic devices and sit down with a good book. I was an English major in college and I had to FORCE myself to read something because I had come to the realization that I had, in fact, stopped reading after I graduated college.
Before I knew it, I was 70 pages in and relieved. It felt good to do something that I used to enjoy so much and find that it was something I still very much enjoyed. That being said, I had to make a mental note to myself that reading was one of those necessary things I HAVE to make time for because of how much happiness it brings me.
Back to the article and it’s relevancy, it turned out to be a list of things that happen or things you realize once you graduate and start to “grow up.” Aside from the title catching my eye, something else stuck with me. #6 on the list read, “You forget the value of ‘touch’ later on.” It sounded weird but went on to ask, “When was the last time you played in the rain? When was the last time you sat on a sidewalk and looked closely at the cracks, the rocks, the dirt, the one weed growing between the concrete and the grass nearby?” When I read that, I could feel the warm sidewalk on the back of my legs even though it had been ages since the last time I had done that and also, it’s still winter and I was sitting in an office chair.
I thought I’d share the article in it’s entirety because it’s important to pay attention to the small stuff. To do more things that make you happy when you’re not busy working, or spending time with family, or “growing up”. It made me feel good to be reminded of certain things; that you can still be an adult and make time for small things that bring you joy, and also, that other people are experiencing the same thoughts and realizations. Work, and success, and family and friends, are all important pieces to our puzzle but don’t forget: read a book, go for a walk, use your imagination, sit on the sidewalk, and most importantly… #14. NOTHING FEELS AS GOOD AS SOMETHING YOU DO FROM THE HEART.
Have you ever finished a work week and thought “that was a really great week, I feel so energized!” only to follow the next week with “well that week was a struggle…” Have you ever wondered what makes one week so different from the rest? Check out Daniel Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.
For those who haven’t read Drive, it’s a workplace thriller. If you’re wanting to motivate your staff, catalyze your inner motivation, or make changes in the workplace, this book is a great start.
Pink focuses on the three main elements of modern-day workplace motivation:
Here’s what I learned about each category:
Generally, we are motivated, self-sufficient, and driven when we have control over what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and when we’re doing it. If you’ve had a controlling or micro-managing boss, you know what this is all about. If we as employees, and as human beings, do not feel autonomous in our work, we lose interest and commitment.
If we’ve mastered something, we’re no longer interested in doing it. Part of what drives us as human beings is a constant curiosity. We’re curious from birth, and we stay curious as adults. Because of that fact, we find drive and motivation in solving problems and continuously seeking and learning. Part of finding fulfillment in a career is finding a job that gives us the freedom to continuing learning and striving to be masters.
We need to make money at what we do. That is the central premise of a job. We have to work to live. Purpose goes above and beyond sustaining our livelihood. We want to make money, but that is not at the heart of what drives us. We want to feel like we are making a difference, like we are working for a purpose. And while money can fill a momentary drive, it, like the firework, is soon gone, leaving us thirsting for greater, more exuberant fireworks. In order to find what drives us, to be motivated at work day-in and day-out, we have to find purpose in what we do…and no amount of money will make up for lack of purpose.
Emily Villines, CPSM, MA
Director of Marketing and Outreach
Python is a free (in most cases) high-level programming language with an intuitive syntax. It is especially useful
collecting and storing large sets of hydrologic data, as well as moving data between formats (e.g. generating/inserting
reports from a database into Microsoft Word). The following link is an introduction to the easy-to-learn programing software: https://automatetheboringstuff.com/
Thoughts on Essential Value in Green Stormwater Infrastructure
For those of you who have heard me speak at conferences or lectures, you know how passionate I am about the idea that we, as designers, must continue to push the idea that high quality of life, resiliency, and sustainability are not just buzzwords to be used for marketing. We are accountable to our communities and humanity to design and build infrastructure that makes these characteristics and qualities ESSENTIAL, and not just “added” value.
If you think about it, any piece of infrastructure is already a “place”…
noun 1. a particular position or point in space.
We should be focused on making infrastructure into places… that are attractive, enjoyable, durable, and of course - functional.
Younger generations clearly appreciate quality in the places they choose to live – by moving to those places that value quality in place. This is why cities with a perceived high quality of urban life are thriving. If for no other reason, we should all strive to provide infrastructure solutions that we are proud of, that lasts, and that inspires future generations - so that all of our cities and towns thrive.
The “new” paradigm that our firm believes in is actually really old. We look as far back as early civilization to be inspired by infrastructure designs that (thousands of years later) are still beautiful, and still standing! We can no-longer afford to build infrastructure that serves only one purpose, or only lasts as long as its designer’s career. Stream Landscape Architecture collaborates with exceptional design and engineering partners to be leaders in planning and designing truly multi-functional Green Stormwater Infrastructure solutions like Denver’s Ultra Urban Green Infrastructure Guide.
Our infrastructure should enhance the context, improve quality of life, celebrate achievements in civilization, and generate community pride.
Here is a quick read from Stormwater Magazine on one viewpoint on how Green Infrastructure provides value on many levels. From the Author: “… pointing out the benefits not just for water quality, but for the economy and for cities as well—saving money for developers, in some cases benefiting investors, and creating more green space in neighborhoods.”
Jesse Clark is the founder and managing partner of Stream Landscape Architecture. He is a Colorado Professional Landscape Architect with nearly 20 years of experience in public urban and open space environments and a focus on design and planning for water resources, stream channel reclamation, green infrastructure, municipal parks, and recreation facilities. He has been invited on numerous occasions to present on a variety of topics including Integrating Waterways with Recreation Facilities, Replicating Natural Processes in Shoreline Stabilization, and Creative Stormwater Infrastructure Solutions for Urban Areas.