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Vivek Ganesan

A techie, an author, a coach, a learner, a blah, blah and a blah!

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I have been living alone for the past 3 years and thoroughly enjoying it. However, I also realized that I have grown too much into my comfort zone of living alone, without any restrictions whatsoever. One fine day, I contemplated the option of moving to a shared accommodation.

Yes, shared accommodation! Let me make one thing clear to you – I am not anti-social. I socialize with people the very same way the non-loners do. I also derive pleasure from the chit-chat with some particular friends of mine. Now, I am faced with this option of moving to a shared accommodation, where I could socialize with people easily. But, there is this butterfly-in-the-stomach feeling that made me realize my fear of losing my current freedom (again).

Stuck with two options, I started to think how I can evaluate the possible shift to a shared accommodation. After a few moments, it hit me - Moving Motivators!

I finished reading Jurgen Appelo’s Managing for Happiness and Management 3.0 a few weeks ago. Jurgen explains in his book about a thinking tool called ‘Moving Motivators’ which helps one to evaluate how a change affects a person’s internal motivations. Using this tool would mean that I could evaluate how I am likely to feel after the move to shared accommodation, even without doing the move. (Don’t get me started on how the name ‘Moving motivators’ itself motivates my move!)

Moving motivators is based on Jurgen’s CHAMPFROGS checklist of motivating factors. If you do not know what they are, you can take a look at the list here.

I printed out the ‘Moving Motivators’ cards on an A4 sized card, cut them into individual motivator cards and tried evaluating the move with an imaginary friend of mine as an observer. There are two steps in this activity namely,

  1. Sorting
  2. Change evaluation


Before I got into sorting, I read through each of the cards carefully to check if I needed any more information to begin the exercise. There were two cards that created extra work for me even before I got into sorting.

Card - 1: Goal - My purpose in life is reflected in what I do

Challenge: I do not know what my purpose in life is! Poor me! I had to list down my short term and long term goals in order to get ahead.

Card - 2: Honor - I feel proud that my personal values are reflected in how I work

Challenge: I know what I value in myself but I have never actually verbalized it. This led me to take some time to verbalize and write down my value system.

Step - 1: Sorting

In this step, I am supposed to horizontally place the cards in the order of importance, while speaking my thoughts aloud. The first card to my left should be the one that matters the most to me and the last card should be the one that matters the least to me.

This is how the cards looked after sorting.


My order of motivators is the one below.

  1. Goal
  2. Mastery
  3. Curiosity
  4. Honor
  5. Relatedness
  6. Acceptance
  7. Status
  8. Freedom
  9. Power
  10. Order

At this point, my friend blurted out, ‘You and I are too much different in our wiring.’ I responded, ‘Despite that, we are friends! Isn’t that interesting?’.

Now that the sorting is taken care of, I moved on to the evaluation of my move to a shared accommodation.

Step - 2: Change Evaluation

In the second step, I need to evaluate whether the proposed change would affect each card positively, negatively or not at all. If an item is affected positively, I need to move that card up and if negatively, I need to move that card down. I kept some space in the middle for cards that do not have any effect because of the proposed move.

After some minutes of mumble jumble, my card arrangement looked like this.


Now I knew why the idea of moving to a shared accommodation occurred to me in the first place. Almost all my top motivator cards have all either moved up or stayed in the middle. Looks like the move is going to affect my motivators positively – at least that is what my mind believes.

Thanking my friend for his time and patience, I proceeded to make the payment of advance towards the new place that I would call my home, at least for now!

Thanks, Jurgen for helping me in this decision!