GHDR Report 0707: Creating Mission Certainty

Posted Sunday, July 7, 2024 by Sri. Tagged GHDR
I'd driven by Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, NH for 24 years, but this year I didn't want to miss out. This deliberate action helped get me unstuck.A sunny day picking raspberries on a fruit farmA sunny day picking raspberries on a fruit farm (full size image)

While zero progress was made on the goals declared in June, I decided to consider it a first step toward reducing uncertainty about my mission and the reasons behind it. This helped clarify the different needs of the audience I'm trying to reach.

Happy July! It's already the half-way mark for Groundhog Day Resolutions (GHDR), the yearly planning ritual that runs from February 2nd to December 12. Last month, I had set a single goal of talking to friends about my idea for a "cultural studies group" for people with a predominantly-prosocial motivation profile (aka PPMP). This was a term I had coined to describe the conditions under which I am motivated and productive. There were just two action items:

  1. Write about the Cultural Architecture Studies Group on
  2. Rewrite the DS|CAFE Virtual Coworking Page to be more about prosocial creative stuff.

I did neitherI did bill a lot of project hours and made a good chunk of money, so I wasn't totally lazy! :-).

I faced a lot of internal resistance due to the uncertainty whether I could really describe what PPM Profile and "cultural architecture" was. In casual conversation with friends, I got the impression that what I was talking about really was a foreign idea to them because it is a uniquely Sri personality quirk. While people generally understood that it was a group of some kind that was built around my personal values, it didn't seem to evoke excitement or epiphany.

I'm trying a new productivity technique I'm calling Removing Uncertainty Bit-by-Bit:

My neurotype is such that I find uncertainty of any kind a huge resistance factor. I know it's silly and I should "Just do it", but that's not the way my brain is wired. I crave certainty and clarity in a very stubborn way, and it's automaticNot an uncommon trait described by other people on the autism spectrum..

THE INSIGHT - For me, eliminating uncertainties is much more satisfying that bumbling past them and feeling anxious. I have found that in actual practice, it takes me about the same amount of time to find a solution as someone who doesn't resolve uncertainties first. Also, because eliminating uncertainties goes hand-in-hand with creating rock-solid mental models, the quality of the delivered solution is often of much higher quality. I've been using this approach in my software development for a while; why not apply it to everything?

Instead of pushing forward step-by-step, focus instead on resolving all uncertainties until the path is clear.

With that in mind, let me apply it to "getting unstuck" in my GHDR Goals. First, let me consider three uncertainties that may be the source of my lack of progress. If I resolve them, then perhaps I can move forward again.

Uncertainty Factor A: How to Attract PPM Profile Folks

My goal is to attract at least two people who really "get" what I'm talking about with regards to this group, and then convince them that we can build something concrete and shareable that will make it real.

To recap, the Cultural Architectural Studies Group mission is to create a "seed" of principles and methods that catalyze communities to become cooperative sharing economies of mutual benefit. It's built around the basic idea of people who self-select as being positive-minded, self-empowered, conscientious, curious, generous, and kind. The seed itself is a collection of manuals and metrics that help people anyone with desire to start a community get off to a good start.

While this isn't a particularly unique mission in the world of benefit organizations, what's different about this one is the intended members of the group: people with the unique PPM profileI define this loosely as being motivated by seeing nearby people overcome challenges, grow, and succeed as the main motivator of a person to action. In other words, the motivations of a person with the PPM profile are centered on individual success, and this has lead to an emphasis on understanding individuals as the center of skill acquisition.. The kind of people who fall into this category are anyone engaged in human-centered activities with an extremely strong personal desire to really reach and connect with people in a hands-on way.


  1. Present a recognizeable scenario that PPM Profile folks recognize
  2. Present a list of characteristics that PPM Profile folks recognize in themselves

Uncertainty Factor B: How to Present "The Meadow"

"The Meadow" is my shorthand vision for a place where PPM Profile folks would hang out. Expressed as a positive vision:

The Meadow is a place where where All the Animals are Friends, cooperating with each other to empower and elevate each other toward shared prosperity.

There's deliberately a childlike appeal here because it feels earnest and heartfelt. In my private moments, this is how I like to feel about the world! If I wanted to be more serious in tone, the language of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) also describes a similar idea but with one key difference: DEI is not about the animals empowering themselves. The language of DEI is written for the majority view so they see the drawbacks that come with a lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This material is not written for We the Animals. Instead, we are the material.

Anyway, the darkness underlying the childlike appeal of a friendly Meadow filled with happy animals is that they are the survivors of being neglected, unseen, or abused by others. These animals were too different, too weird, too smart for their own good, too incomprensible and challenging. Always inconvenient. Sometimes exploitable for financial gain or as easy targets to build one's social standing. Some of us went mad or died. The lucky ones were able to find their own way to achieve a modicium of security and happiness, and we never want anyone to experience that fear again. Part of my skillset has developed in response to this experience as tools for fantasy or survival!

Wit this in mind, I can express the dark history that underlies the positive vision:

The Animals want to live free of the fear for being different. They want to be heard, be seen, and understand each other. It is worthwhile to build a place together that can serve as a sanctuary that is good for everyone who practices this in good faith.

The combination of positive vs dark history is the emotional core that drives my prosocial motivation. It breaks my heart knowing that there are people who feel unseen or are unable to represent themselves.


  1. The story of The Meadow, retaining childlike joy and darker fable-like undertones, would help set the emotional tone more completely.

Uncertainty Factor C: How to Present "Sri"

As the person who is proposing a Cultural Architecture Studies Group, this makes me the implicit leader. That will be the case even if I present the group as a seminar of equals or an open exploration. It is best, I believe, to purposefully take these reins and provide firm scaffolding for how the group develops, setting examples for how a prosocially-motivated cultural group works in day-to-day interactions.

Prior to actually having the group, though, there's the matter of personal credibility as well as presenting myself as an actual person. I think personal credibility is not as much of an issue because of the amount of material I have on the Internet; a quick Google will show quite a lot of positive feedback about what I've done. I'm more concerned about emitting the right resonant energy that helps attract the kind of people that I will get along with.

As I mentioned above, my professional side is just the logical/analytical part of me that supports my emotional core existence. I have hidden my emotional core from direct view, choosing to systematically analyze and intellectualize my emotions publicly. Don't get me wrong; this is really useful and I've met a lot of cool people from this type of writing. However, I would much rather lead with my heart than hide behind system diagrams:

I am aware that many people are uncomfortable with the expression of emotion, silliness, or personal details. It's important to me to present my reality in its messy imperfect details. To continuously fail and experience despair and depression, and eventually get up. To measure myself against what I think success is and fall short. To dare to think that maybe I am worthwhile despite my doubts. To celebrate small victories and lend a hand to the person next to me, secure in the knowledge that they'll land a hand to me too. Even when dragged down in the muck, our eyes still seek the shining horizons together. This is the kind of camaraderie I crave to bring into existence. I'm highly aware that my desire to present myself this way is at-odds with common wisdom. It will turn away the majority of people who are looking for the authorative answer, the expert consultant, the sure-fire time-tested plan, and the industry superstar. It will be weird and different, unrelatable and uncomfortable, for the majority of people who don't want to look trouble in the eye...


I have failed to achieve my Groundhog Day Resolutions goals for so many years, at least not in the way that looks like success that mainstream media expects it to be, and it's been demoralizing. It makes me question my sanity, wondering if I have overestimated my ability and drive. It's hard to keep moving at times. But I want to be defiantly optimistic and cheerful in the face of it, and share that with others. This is both an opportunity for my own personal growth and to be the kind of comrade I can be to others who recognize that my journey is also their journey.

I'm not sure how to express this, but let's start with this.

Sri is a weirdo and something of a hot mess, but her eyes will always seek the shining horizon with you. Maybe it will be fun to hang out and see where it goes for a little ways?


Presenting Hot Mess Sri suggests that I consider the media outlets. There's a place for logical, conceptual, and community on my various online spaces.

  1. Resurrecting as the serious/analytical site, historically the repository of my online writing and published tools for the past 19 years. I had stepped away from it while grappling with gender transition, as "David" was something of a dead name to me until recently.
  2. This site is the experimental musings site, my working knowledge base with an open laboratory.
  3. The DS|CAFE Discord Server is like the "public square" or "tavern" where fellow travellers can meet. It's where people who are interested in what I've been showing on and can come to engage with me.
  4. For Hot Mess Sri who wears her heart on her sleeve, I think that will be my DSri Seah Medium Account. I'd like to write the more conversational musings there, trying a more lyrical approach to my thoughts.

Between,, and Medium, I have different aspects of Sri covered.

  • It starts with musings on because this is my personal knowledge management system and journal. This is not polished material for publication, but it does provide an honest glimpse into the heart of my thinking.
  • The resurrected will resume posting about selected topics related to productivity and personal development, as well as making announcements about tools and other things.
  • The Medium account is a new audience that's a replacement for the old blogosphere networks. It's a chance to develop a more personal tone in my writing that is for a broader audience.
  • As a bonus, the Patreon account provides a hook into the audience who just want solutions in the form of tools. These can be framed as the practical benefits of a working community that follows CASG principles.

Updated Goals for July

With this post, I've identified a number of writing tasks:


  • Write about the Cultural Architecture Studies Group (CASG) on
  • Rewrite the DS|CAFE Coworking Page, also on because it's no longer about co-working. Emphasize it's for engaging with me and those interesting in some aspect CASG. It's no longer just a coworking space.
  • Rewrite the Patreon mission. It's a gateway both to and DS|CAFE, which are both gateways to CASG discussion. However, retain its emphasis on making things and testing tools. Any useful material should be released here.


  • Write up the scenarios and characteristics of a PPM community space and its operating principles
  • Write up the fable of The Meadow as a story that could become real


  • Take any of the GHDR posts from this year and take one idea only from it. Expand it and post either on Medium or depending on which part of Sri is talking.

That's it for now! This is a lot of work, so in the spirit of cooperation please help me out by asking about anything here that interests you! Thanks for reading! hear 💞


This year's single goal is Building The Colony!

Made a simple "functional area" diagram using Whimsical to help gather my thoughts.

I converted the Whimsical doc from yesterday to Affinity Designer.

Created new subsite at /the-colony/

Wrote stream-of-consciousness "vision statement" for later cleanup

Convert stream-of-consciousness into a "phrase cloud" for further deconstruction

Artifacts of The Colony: Pebbles, Seeds, and Rings

Created a "refined phrase cloud" grouped into five categories, based on boot 05's work.

Extracted "foundational" statements from yesterday, but they didn't leave a strong impression. Punt "why" to tomorrow's post.

Created a "Selfishly Sri" printable assessment to gauge outside interest.

Reducing scope from Colony to Outpost.

Desired results are distilled down to two main ideas, which will cover the next couple of months.

A slow start to the year, as I focused on paying work for most of the month. Set four directives to achieve this mont

The set of analysis notes that I authored with ChatGPT4 to refine my understanding of "prosocial motivation"

New goal is to start connecting with future chatty collaborators, as my brain runs on "prosocial motivation" and meaningful human connections.

Delving further into my "predominantly-prosocially motivated" profile (PPMP), and how to turn this into action given the dilemma of "needing the energy from a group to start a task" being at odds with "needing to start a group so I have energy".

The task of "talking to someone in-person about PPMP-based community" didn't happen. Happily, I had several empowering insights along the lines of wealth, doing what is good, and accepting myself that I think will help with that.

A new approach to "reduce uncertainty" instead of "pushing through" tasks, I take the time to define the mission and audiences more carefully.

Change of emphasis to All The Animals Are Friends as the anchoring concept for communicating my ideas!

Aug 8


Sep 9


Oct 10


Nov 11


Dec 12