Because We Can

If the future were left to those who believed the status quo was the best that we could be, we would never evolve to find our full potential.

It’s not the sane and the rational who move us to new abilities. It is those who refuse to accept anything less, those who do not know it cannot be done, and the sheer willpower of the stubborn who declined to be defeated.

You have heard me state before, and it is true that up until 1900 knowledge doubled about every hundred years. Today it doubles roughly every 13 months. Except for some newer technologies. Nanotechnology and a few others are still doubling every 2 to 3 years. From our healthcare systems to our space programs, to our better understanding of our world, and even to the better understanding of each other, our lives are improved through the expedited growth we are enjoying in knowledge.

This is not the time to dig in heels and claim we have to slow down just because we don’t know or understand. Now is the time, like none other since the Elizabethan era, when we should learn everything we can, do everything we can, and find ways to help everyone we can. Why do we do this? Because we can, and now we are allowed to grow and be part of the solution like no other time in history.

For millennia, governments have feared change. Even our own government wanted to keep items such as breaking the sound barrier out of the news and ventures into space limited to the government people charged with doing so. Now government partners with the private sector to fulfill our future in not only spacecraft and space travel, but also a whole host of other initiatives which used to be the government’s domain.

This incredible resurgence and growth in knowledge are fueled in large part by significant companies once again willing to perform research to first discover and build the items that will then, at a later date, give them monetary success. The advantages we gave up when we curtailed our willingness to invest in unknown research are slowly coming back. We are not the smartest nation. We are not the best-educated nation. We are not the healthiest nation. Yet, hopefully, we are the nation back on the path and going back to where we’ve been before.

 

Slow Down

For a time, when I served in the Air Force, I worked for great Chief Master Sergeant. He worked very hard both completing a mission of vital importance, and training those who worked for him to be better workers, and better leaders.

The Chief always said one thing I never understood at the time. When people would miss a deadline, including myself, he would tell us we had to slow down. At that time, I did not understand the concept of slowing down. If I was missing deadlines, I felt I needed to speed up. It took me years to appreciate his wisdom in the statement of slowing down. And, today I know it.

The idea of slowing down is not one of ignoring what needs to be done. Slowing down means taking the time to do things right. To slow down correctly, you need to know the importance of each task you take on. And, allocate the proper time to those things that are important and must be done within a set timetable.

 Will some things still not get done? Probably. Yet, knowing that gives us choices to make. The first choice, is this something I should do or is it better delegated to someone else? Is this time sensitive? If so, have I been given enough time to complete it. If not, have I asked for more time?

I understand now that slowing down doesn’t mean doing less. Instead, it’s doing the things that must be done, wisely. And, always ensuring you have the time and resources to complete any task you undertake.

Thank you for being with me today. Hope you’re here again tomorrow.

It Is Definitely Better Than Shooting First

Good morning.

It’s a beautiful day today. And I am lucky enough to be able to sit in my house and listen to planes and helicopters flying and enjoying the spring weather.

Although most people would think of hearing aircraft as mere noise, the sounds remind me of how connected we are now as a people. And how good it is to be able to have that contact which is a lot closer timewise than it was even 75 or 100 years ago.

It used to be that we would get a fragment of a news report. Because of vast distances and slow communication, we would not be able to fully confirm nor deny the story. And, because of that vacuum in information, we would do what humans do best. We would think the worse until proven mistaken.

I’m not here to pick on us. Yet, think of how many times in our lives and how many times in history are dander is raised, and ire rule the day until more information is received. Is this unneeded concern a bad thing? Although usually not needed, I believe it is a primitive defense mechanism. If you don’t know what’s going on sometimes, the safest thing is to assume it’s not going to be good. We can always backpedal later.

Today we are lucky enough that we have excellent communication, good databases and easy ways to find the correct facts. I am not recommending that we should paint everything is rosy until proven otherwise. I’m just suggesting, a broad middle-of-the-road stance until we know for sure, is always a good policy. It is definitely better than shooting first and asking questions later.

Being knowledgeable, understandable, and a proper stance are things we should strive to accomplish. It makes a difference now as we live in our world and try to bring our global village together. It will mean more and be needed even more as we discover new things including new sentient species.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope you are with us again tomorrow.

Let your Spark Shine

Thank you for being here today. I know many of you have been following the blog over the last week or so as we talked about some very interesting topics. I truly appreciate you reading our blog, and I really appreciate the comments. Thank you so much.

I have seen trainers, writers, and others say that if you have something and it’s only in your head, you really have nothing. I strongly disagree. If you have that idea or goal in your head, you have an idea or a goal.

That idea or goal in your head is the spark. You need to bring it forth. I liken this to the Boy Scout fire building contest. Building your idea is a lot like building a fire. You have to make sure that the spark has air to breathe and fuel to burn. If in trying to start the fire you have too much air, the spark extinguishes. Too little air in the spark suffocates.

The same can be said with the fuel needed to add to the spark for fire. The fuel is wood from the forest. But if you try to use large logs or big slabs of wood the spark will never catch. We used to teach our scouts “thin to win.” Rather than using large slabs of wood, use little real thin pieces of kindling that the spark can easily heat up and catch fire.

The same for your spark of the idea or the goal. You need to get it out in the air where others can see it and help it grow. At the same time, you can’t immediately throw it into a demand to grow fast, be an overnight sensation, and make some bazillion dollars the first year.  A good idea needs the time to grow and be a stable platform.  The best and brightest ideas take time to start earning money.

Never let anyone tell you an idea in your head is nothing.  And, take the sparks of ideas out of your head and see what they can really do.

Remember the idea about slow and steady, and thin (lean) to win.

Making Luck

Ever wish you had more luck? Ever hope that things would go your way? Ever dream you could just find that edge? The truth is, you can. It is just that the actions to get there are more straightforward and more accessible than you think.

I worked with a great Boy Scout troop in California once. We would go on about three camporees a year where the troops would participate in a set of games to show their camping skills. It was always a lot of fun.

About two weeks before the Camporee, our troop would have a campout of its own. Everyone would train on the skills that would be tested during the jamboree. This was an excellent sharing of knowledge and helped the scouts to know and understand what they were doing. Because of this, our scouts would almost always place well in the competition. I don’t believe it is because they were smarter, or better than any of the other kids. I believe it was merely the fact that they had explored those skills and the best practices to actually make the skills work.

This is a fantastic set of actions I think we can all learn from. If we want something in life, we should explore it. Understanding and knowledge can always go far. I remember once a veteran telling me about a time he was on a field exercise. He was a very young soldier newly enlisted in just through technical school, and he was driving a deuce and a half on the exercise.

During a stop, he was little bored, and he was reading the information plate on the inside edge of the door to the driver’s cab. He closed the door, and within a couple of minutes a general came by and talked to him. Because he had just read the plate from the door, he could tell the General that he was driving a fantastic truck that could do haul up to so many pounds, the type of drivetrain, and even that the tires were self-inflating. The general was very impressed and shook the soldier’s hand before walking on.

I am not sure I would go out of my way to look for luck. There are many positive experiences all around us. Rather than grasping at the intangibles that seem to continually evade us, be curious. Explore things that you want to be known for and share that knowledge freely. For that is when the intangibles will come.

Collaberate Within

Good morning.

I have a great question for you this morning. What have you done lately for the person in the mirror?

Have you sat down and had an honest talk with the person? That’s right, the one in the mirror.

In here worried that somebody is going to consider you certifiable when they find you talking to that person in the mirror, do when you’re alone. Do it in the morning when you first get up, or in the evening before you go to bed. Point is to compare with that person and do it often.

Why? Only you truly know how you feel. Only you really know what you think. And only you, are the person who can make this happen, for you.

Yes, to make things happen on the follow-through, you need to reach out to everyone you can think of who may be a stakeholder or part of what you want to do and where you want to go. Only you can start the way and keep the ball rolling and be the primary guide through its journey to a successful conclusion.

Everybody has people who can help them. Sometimes when you start doing even know who those people are going to be. Yet, they are out there, and as you open up about your work, you will find them and sometimes they will find you. The thing is if you’re not out there trying, they will not know to come to your basement and seek you out.

You need to go forth in good faith and demonstrate the path you walk. For as you do, you will find many footsteps both seen and unseen walking with you.

Initial Momentum

Good morning.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I was able to get out in my yard and trimmed back all the invasive bushes some of which had gained a good 6 feet and thought they were going to be trees.

It is incredible how we can be stymied by so many things to do. So many things that we can’t get anything done. And yet the piles still grow and grow. And then all of a sudden, one small piece of serendipity, a break in the calendar of things to do, or something else happens, and we can suddenly be swamped doing everything that had us crying uncle just a few days before.  Truth is the initial momentum to start moving something takes more energy than that needed to keep it in motion.

Because of that three extra hours that kicked everything off, this week I have a meeting with the tax lady to complete her taxes, and a procedure on Thursday. One of those procedures for people over 50 that we have to prep for. Well for a little bit I guess we have to be careful of what we wish for. In this case, though everything is indeed a blessing to be able to get it done.

I recommend that everybody look for that small break, that one thing that can get you started. Once you are started, you can go as far as you want to. My idea: never stop.  After all, it takes less energy to keep something moving than to start it moving in the first place.