Comfort Zone Security

Looks like we secured some of the technical problems with the computer and the microphones and today we are looking at why somebody would move out of their comfort zone.

I like my comfort zone. It is not neat, and not pretty. My comfort zone, though, is something that I am used to living in. I know where things are. I know most answers to whatever may come up. And I understand what my expectations and limitations are within my comfort zone. And yet, I have had to move out of the comfort zone many times before, and I know I will do so several times in the future.

Sometimes we move out of the comfort zone because we search for something better. Sometimes we move out of our comfort zone to support others in their quests. And sometimes we are forced out of our comfort zones through actions and changes which we had very little control over.

Some of my changes in comfort zones were because I was in the military and moved from one base to another. These changes were very agreeable to me because as a child my father was in the military, and we would move every two or three years. I liked seeing new surroundings, seeing new things and of course learning.  Every time you move from one comfort zone to another you learn new things.

Sometimes those things aren’t what you really wanted to learn. That is okay. I have a philosophy that says learning is good. At one point after I retired from the military, I learned what it was like to have your factory to close and move all of its operations overseas. I did not ask for this to happen. I was unhappy for myself and the hundreds of people out of work. This forced me to change my comfort zones whether I wanted to or not.

Everything being equal, you are at most risk when you move from one place to another. It is true when you go from one house to another, and when you’re on the road. The risk is present when you move from one job to another and have to learn new ways of doing things. When you move from one neighborhood to another, positive changes include meeting new friends. Negatives include the fact that you don’t know what the good and bad of the new neighborhood will include. Risks are always unpleasant. To minimize risk, we always want to get back into our comfort zone, new or old, as fast as possible.

With your permission, in upcoming blogs, I would like to explore the idea of the comfort zones a little bit more in detail. And maybe with the help of you and others, define some precautions that we can take while outside of our comfort zone which will make getting into the new comfort zone easier.

Thank you for reading, please leave us a comment!

 

 

 

What does your comfort zone look like?

Team,

Due to some technical issues, I will not be able to give a full blog to you this morning.  I would like to leave you today, though, with the thoughts that we will explore for a while, starting tomorrow.

When do you feel most comfortable?  Is it when you are in your comfort zone or when you are transitioning from one comfort zone to another?

The experts say we rarely leave our comfort zone of our own accord.  What would cause you to leave your comfort zone?

I will be back tomorrow, and we will look at these in detail.

In the meantime, please use the comments section below to share what your comfort zone looks like and what it would take for you to move to another comfort zone.

 

Balloons

When I was a child at the ripe old age of seven, I had to go one day and get some new shoes. Probably for school. With the help of my mom, I found a great pair of shoes. Then as we checked out, the salesman insisted that I take a balloon. I did not want the balloon.

I did not want a balloon because balloons always broke. It made me sad when they broke. Even then, I knew that taking a balloon would equate to sadness at some soon, but future, point. However, I was encouraged to thank salesman and take the balloon.

I diligently protected the balloon under my overcoat as we walked to my grandparent’s row-house. I made sure the balloon, which came complete with cardboard feet, had a place on an end table where it would not be hurt. And as the night went on, after dinner I wanted to play with the balloon. I did so by pushing it into the air, and then every time it started to fall towards the floor I would tap it with my fingers. It would rise back up a few feet into the air and start the process again. Of course, everybody knows what’s coming up here. In about 15 minutes the balloon popped and with that, started the sadness.

This was not the balloon’s fault that it popped. And just because it popped did not mean I should not have accepted the balloon, because the balloon did bring me joy. Yet, there is a very important lesson between me and the balloon. One that I share today only because it is a good lesson for all of us.

What is the lesson of the balloon you may ask? When you love something, do not hold too tight or it may break. To enjoy a balloon is a great thing. Remember though, the balloon comes with its own needs and circumstances. And, to expect a balloon to be able to thrive outside of its operating parameters is to expect sadness, and sometimes breakage.

People are a lot like balloons. Maybe not quite as fragile, yet you would be surprised. People are also tricky because, in a world of seven billion people, there are actually 7 billion different human operating systems. For in a world of 7 billion, we are all individuals.

This means we have to take care when interacting with other people. We need to know that their parameters are not exactly like ours. They may need, want or desire different things. And, also remember if we hold them to close, care for them too much, or don’t let them breathe in what they need, they, like the balloon may break.

Be The Person You Want Helping You

Lately, I have read a lot from many entrepreneurs about which is more important, to make a lot of money or to help the client who needs that help?

This is a fair dilemma. If you don’t help people and do good for them or their companies you really can’t make very much money because you will not have many customers. If you spend all your time helping people giving away most of what you do and not making a sufficient income, you will not be able to continue due to a lack of funds.

This reminds me of a similar debate in manufacturing. To provide the customer what they are paying for, the winds need to build quality products. To earn sufficient funds to pay for the lines running, asserting quantity must be built and shipped to the customer.

Poor quantity means not enough product to satisfy the customer or keep the line running. On the other hand, poor quality means returns, reworks, and loss of reputation.

Let’s  look at this in action. You have a young line with new builders who have only the most minimum of training. The manufacturing manager steps on the line and tells everyone they will build and package 350 units by the end of the shift, or else she will find new people to build her computers.

The new people, needing the jobs to support their families and themselves are terrified and start doing whatever they can as fast as they can. Quality inspectors, who work for the manufacturing manager (poor choice in organizational structure) are letting all but the most serious of errors through inspection believing if the units are bad they will fail at the testing stations.

Although it’s a squeaker, the 350 units are built and shipped by the end of the shift. Everybody feels elated. Even the manufacturing manager has something on her face, although it’s not sure if what people saw was a smile, or sneer. Alas, this is just the start of the story and not the happy ending. The units shipped have a myriad of flaws, and the customer believes some units have major flaws which require repair before the units can be sold on the open market.

The 350 questionable units are shipped back to the United States from Europe and with 400 units that were built but not shipped underwent re-inspection and repair. When planning the economics of the line, a re-inspection and repair of units at this magnitude were never contemplated. The factory now has to pay for transportation of units, storage of units, a work crew to inspect and repair units, certification of the work by the customer’s inspectors, and re-shipment back to Europe. This is what we call a hidden factory. It’s not something you plan for your factory to do. Not something you’re going to get paid extra for. It is just a drain on the resources of the factory.

Let’s move this back to our question of the day and are we out to help people, or are we after the big bucks.

If you help someone, hopefully, they tell a friend. And if you help their friend, they’ll tell someone else, maybe two. If you build a quality product and put it in a quality program and charge a fair price, you may go far. Doing good things for people grows a following.   

If your product is filled with errors, grammatical problems, ideas that are irrelevant to the reader you may find items being returned and fees requested to be refunded. That is never a good start and is certainly a bad end.

So, what do you do? Do the best that you can make sure your work is relevant to your customer and you go from there.  And…

Be The Person You Want Helping You.

Are You an Original?

A simple question.   Are you an original or are you a duplicate?

It’s also a silly question, one asked, not to be insulting or demeaning; rather, one to look at considering. And either answer is all right

I am an adult educator and trainer by profession. I am also a writer and an artist. For some of these roles, I’ve done years of extensive schooling. For others, I have either taken other classes or worked with the help of mentors and informal education.

I keep an eye on what’s being talked about looked and taught online. I do this, first, because I need to learn and continue learning. Knowledge continuously changes and grows. I like to keep up with my contemporaries.  I truly believe that online learning, done right, is the best training you can possibly get.   Online learning can fit both into your time and your economic constraints (of these two items, time is the most valuable.)

I look at many offers for classes online, each selling the idea that they have the secret and that if you follow their way of doing things hundreds of thousands of dollars could easily be yours every year.  I have seen some ads which talk about a quick $5000, and others that suggest up to a seven-figure annual earnings.

The interesting part is as you look at their offerings and go to their webinars they start to merge together. Various deliveries give you the same information and lead you to the same actions and conclusions.

This puzzled me at first, then, as I looked at and contemplated this I began to understand. I came up with a plan which was suggested from one of my mentors.

 It works like this; the happiest, richest, and most content people are often those who pick a road early on and stay on it as they walked through life. This is true in religion, it is true in marriage, and it is very true in education. The reason for this is that the alternative to taking all roads at once turns out to be physically impossible and economically impossible. You just can’t do it, and it’s not very productive. Anyone jumping between roads headed towards their destination will find that the changes and costs will keep pulling them back towards the beginning, away from their goals.

If you have a religion that meets your needs, brings you closer to your God, to your beliefs and makes you a better person, follow it. If you have a marriage and children and it looks like a lot of work, that’s okay. Work it. Although things look better elsewhere, the look is just the wrapping on a package of things you don’t even know about yet. If you commit, stick with it. There are hundreds upon hundreds of educators online willing to show you the path to riches and greatness. If you have three or four that you believe in, follow them and stay with them. Jumping between various mentors and trainers can become costly, confusing, and more than taking your money it can steal your time. You can always get money, yet each of us only has so much time and no matter how we use it when it is used it is gone forever.

Yesterday I talked about outliers and the difference between being an outlier and following the crowd. If you wish to be an outlier, don’t be the crowd and don’t be a duplicate.

Be the Outlier…

                                  …Be Original.

 

 

The Right Tool Always Works Best

Do Not Try This at Home.  Have you ever tried to put a nail into a board by pushing it in with your fingers? Or maybe just banging it in with your fist? It could get painful. Have you ever tried to drill a hole for dowel with your fingernail or really dig into it with the thumbnail? DO NOT try any of these methods. There are better ways. Just a few minor manual tools such as a claw hammer and a hand drill would not only be safer and less dangerous, they would get the job done a whole what faster.

Tools are a wonderful thing. Tools are there to assist you to do a job that you want to get done. The right tool always works best when used for the right job. There are manual tools and power tools, a screwdriver will open a can of paint, but it can also slip and cut your hand. Believe it or not, most stores will give you for free a little key to open your paint can easily and safely.

You don’t have to have fancy power tools all the time. A cordless drill always helps, or the circular saw if you cut a lot of wood. Yet, there is nothing more fun to watch, nor anything more enjoyable than seeing the happiness in a kid as he uses his first manual tool set to build his first birdhouse or his first sailboat. Although inexperienced, the young one is thrilled with his first tools.

Tools aren’t limited to carpentry. Mechanics have many types of tools to help every day. And, we have other great tools at our disposal.  I had a birthday yesterday which helped to remind me I am not the youngest rooster in the barnyard. I do not mind the slow walk toward senior citizenship, it does bother me when I feel I am acting the senior citizen stereotype.

The nice thing is, there is help using the right tools to keep me on point. Just like the carpentry tools, these tools can be very simple and manual or very complex and powerful. We need to play with them to understand which ones are right for each of us. Whatever we use, these tools should not cost us an arm and a leg. It doesn’t matter how much we would like to turn in that arm or leg for new one.

The last three weeks, we looked at goal setting and building a map to where we wanted to go in life. This week started out with a wonderful tool called a decision tree which helps you to record how you work on a problem or solution. The work can be done on a piece of paper, a notebook, on a tablet or a computer.

The decision tree doesn’t have to be fancy to be effective.  Simple is just as good. I’m sure there are people designing software to make the tree quite complex.

The simple fact, the decision tree is a tool. It won’t do everything for you, but it will help you with the task you’re trying to complete. I would like to show you some other tools you use to accomplish what you want to do, help keep your tasks straight, help show  what should be done first, help determine what is value-added, and what is not value-added. And, a few other things

If the tools start to look like something from process improvement class, you are probably right. Are we going to force everybody into groups to talk for hours each week and drag out long decisions over storyboards and printed slide presentations?  Oh, heavens no! We are going to simply take some tools and mold them, so they work for the needs of each of us. This means you’ll get to customize your tools to better do what you want to be done. In the end, the tools will help you to be on time, pay the bills when due, keep in touch with others, make better decisions, and save some money by spending it more wisely.

Bottom line, I’m not writing about the tools, is much as I’m writing about what you can do with them.

Have a great day and tomorrow will start with our next tool.

Thanks for being with us.

 

You are way too good and way too needed

Yesterday, we thought on perfection. Do you view the world in black-and-white? Do you view the world as infinite shades of gray? Or do you live in the Technicolor world, where all dynamics, shades, colors, and opinions are viable depending on the circumstances?

By the way, I should tell you, answers are neither right or wrong here. There are the answers of each individual, who has to decide those are answers which are right or wrong for them.

I am not a philosophy major.  I am an education major with extensive education in corporate training, process improvement, and quality.

I ask these questions to have people think.

The reason I like to have people think is for one very clear fact.

I like to sit in my basement either in the easy chair or laying on the couch, watching my favorite TV shows or listening to the radio, or reading a good book. It is not the only thing I do. I take classes, I am at the library every other week, I have my volunteered and other actions. And I write, develop books, and develop courses which often tie in with the books, and develop charts for measurement and process improvement.

I like to do all this. And it keeps me busy. Yet I find that is because I get up off the chair or the couch in my basement turn off the technology and go out to communicate and collaborate with others.

The sad fact is if we sit in our basement or the backyard or the TV room and wait for somebody to come and help us, show us something better, or improve our lives for us, the dust would grow, and we will be long gone before anybody shows up. And those who do will mainly be looking for the source of the smells, and to collect the bones.

You are way too good and way too needed for such a destiny. Now is the time for you to stand and make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

Think about how you would like to learn or help and what you could do.  We will talk again tomorrow.