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I have a pretty good boss. Of course, we're all adults. Anyway, our boss has this way of treating everyone differently -- knowing which buttons to push. With me he'll always give me the occasional harder task saying "This is going to be easy for you"; with my coworker, he has to press harder and say "this is important, don't screw it up".

I was recently depressed and without really having been told anything he gave me this hollywood-movie pep talk along the lines of "it's important that you know that you have great talents so don't sweat the small stuff and tell me if you're in trouble".

Maybe this is pretty much off-topic, but the point I wanted to make is that people react to different things and much of the art of squeezing motivation and productivity out of them has to do with understanding this.

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