Status Quo vs. Innovation

I was bored out of my skull. I was an Engineer Level 1.  Working at GM.  Every few weeks, I spend 2 days running tests and collecting tons of data. Then I take that data into excel.  My job was to create 20-30 different charts and graphs. Tedious.  Repetitious.  Time consuming.  It would burn an entire day of me just creating charts. Every few weeks I’d have to do it all over again. One evening, I watch a show that talked about a huge volcano under Yellowstone park.  If that erupts, we are all screwed. I’ve always been curious about volcanos.  How they work.  So I sit down to watch. Scientists take measurements.  Collect tons of data.  Then plot graphs in excel.  Only, they didn’t do it.  Excel did it all by itself.  Charts and graphs appear at break neck speed. The scientist points to the computer.  “Once [...]

By |2019-01-01T10:22:06+00:00January 1st, 2019|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

How Don Knotts Saved Christmas…

I stand in my parents living room, staring at the TV.  I’m frustrated.  Tired.  I rub my eyes, look at the ceiling and sigh. That’s when I knew I couldn’t take it anymore. In the past few weeks I’ve been in Michigan, my parents have consumed steady diet of old westerns.  Western movies.  Western TV shows. Lawman, Cheyenne, Brett Maverick, Gunsmoke, The Rifle Man, The Virginian ... For at least 10, if not 12 hours a day, every episode of every show goes in the same pattern. Someone is murdered. Bad guy does bad things. Women scream. Women get slapped. Good guy shoots bad guy. Bad guy dies. Everyone laughs at the end. In other words, death death death and more death. Every day.  Day after day.  Week after week. And mom wanted to stop me from watching the Coyote Road Runner show because it was too violent? [...]

By |2019-01-01T10:13:19+00:00January 1st, 2019|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

Bento Box

Between text messages, facebook alerts, new emails alerts … even phone calls from our pocket, everything is built to distract us.  Everything vies for our attention. These distractions prevent me from being in the moment.  Impacting my relationships.  My time with the person that I’m with suffers\. The only way I could keep my relationships strong was to create my mental bento box. Some people call it compartmentalization. Compartmentalization is simply to divide or separate items into isolated compartments.  For me, it’s my mental bento box.  One compartment for work.  Another for writing.  A third for family.  One for friends. In my 20’s and into my 30’s, my thinking was the melange of disparate thoughts, each focused on a different activity.  It wasn’t hard for something to completely distract me from whatever I was doing.  Having dinner with friends?  Suddenly I have an idea how to solve a [...]

By |2018-12-31T12:29:56+00:00December 31st, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

The Impact You Have …

We never know who will be impacted by the small, minor actions that we take today. Or how they will be impacted. Many moons ago, a man sat at a desk for the Miami Herald. On the desk in front of him was package after package of submissions for a reporter position. He was in charge of the Life section of the paper. He opens an envelope. Scans the cover letter. Looks through the clippings. Tosses it in the trash. Not a good fit. He opens another envelope. Followed by another. Each meet with the same fate. Into the circular file cabinet. One envelope, which looks like the others, reveals its contents. It’s from a young man in New York City. He reads. Nope. The kid is not a good fit. But he keeps reading. And reading some more. Finally, he gathers the content of the envelope. [...]

By |2018-12-25T09:47:52+00:00December 25th, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

94,500

Last night, my brain spun like a top. Probably why I slept so bad. Or because I forgot to pop my melatonin. My good friend Ryan wrote something yesterday that triggered my brain. It put things into real perspective. I’ll paraphrase it here, using my own numbers. On Facebook, I’ve written 189 of these posts. Each averages 500 words. 189 posts x 500 words/post = 94,500 words. The average novel is 40,000 … therefore I’ve written 2 books this year. At first, I thought it was pretty cool. I drank my coffee and went about my day. But that planted a seed in my brain. That seed started to grow. Throughout the day, it blossomed and consumed my thoughts. As I stared at the ceiling last night, I thought “Wow! I really did write 2 books! I’m all that and a bag of chips!” From a recent Jocko podcast, [...]

By |2018-12-21T06:31:32+00:00December 21st, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments

I Kill Myself

I have a confession to make. One of my time management techniques:  I deliberately kill myself, trying to reach my goals. The first time I was introduced to any concept of time management was in college. My engineering design team’s assignment:  create a non-conventional passenger aircraft.  A huge undertaking. Our professor drew a bell curve on the board, “College students typically will do 80% of the work in the last 20% of the time allowed.” My teammates and I vowed we would not do that.  We met every day for at least 4 hours to work on our project.  On the weekends, we met 8 to 10 hours both days. Guess what? We did 80% of the work in the last 20% of the time allowed. I wouldn’t understand why until reading the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.  He wrote about Parkinson’s Law which states “Work expands [...]

By |2018-11-12T06:36:48+00:00November 12th, 2018|Impact of the Day, Mind|0 Comments