Here's my own version of "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens".
What makes me happy
1. Innovation - Operations is really important, but if I can spend dedicated time each week creating something new, I feel invigorated and inspired.
2. Focusing on one thing and doing it really well - In our multitasking world, it's hard to meet everyone's expectations for real time response if you are focused on a single task at a time.
3. Teaching a willing student - Sharing the lessons I've learned with my family, friends, and colleagues is very fulfilling for me. Teaching my daughter has been one of my life's great joys.
4. Experiencing the world with a friend - I enjoy exploring exotic locales from museums to mountaintops with my best friend - my wife.
5. Time in the wilderness and outdoors in general - Every week I try to spend time hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking or climbing.
6. A breakfast of rice, tsukemono, vegan miso soup and big cup of Gyokuro green tea from Uji - It's healthy, low calorie, and satisfying.
7. Vegan Pot Pie or Split Pea Soup after a day working outside - These are definitely my comfort foods.
8. A Saturday morning at home with a coil of blue incense from the Kungyokudo Incense shop (near the Kyoto train station)
9. A glass of red wine on a cold winter's night.
10. Growing Japanese cucumbers, eggplant and shiso. The taste of cucumber salad (sunomono), grilled eggplant with miso (nasu dengaku), or shiso on soft tofu reminds me of summer nights in Japan.
What makes me unhappy
1. Unplanned work that increases scope without a change in resources or timeline
2. Needless administrative or bureaucratic processes imposed by those who are not actually doing the work
3. The guy behind you who honks 2 milliseconds after the light turns green
4. Flights that are delayed or cancelled due to equipment failure when the airlines run so lean that no spare aircraft or parts are available.
5. Cold callers from organizations you do not support
6. Your neighbor whose dog barks continuously and whose children play loud musical instruments, but who objects to the sounds created by garden maintenance at noon on a Saturday.
7. Staff at home improvement stores who have never done home improvement
8. Monday morning quarterbacks who lack the expertise to do work but are happy to criticize others' work.
9. People who believe that the louder they yell the faster those around them will work
10. Machiavellian people who use politics, relationships, and manipulation rather than hard work to get ahead.
There you have it.
Last night it was 25F and I enjoyed a glass of Syrah with a vegan pot pie, spent the evening with my family, and then focused on writing a book preface. That makes me happy.