Eye Test Time?

How are your eyes working for you today? I hope they are doing well. We talk about eyes.  We use them so that we can see the things of this world. It is a beautiful gift that should never be taken for granted.

I have come to know some of those with sight problems.  I have learned, those who see best have sometimes lost the mechanics within their own eyes to perform the function of sight. Having eyes to see things makes it easy and at the same time intolerably difficult.

Those without site often see better because they listen and hear and smell nuances and understand smells and laughter. Those with sight impairments have the advantage and ability to use the other senses. These people I talk of are able in their mind to see the good and the bad. We have to admit there is both good and bad in most things around us.

Televisions and radios give us instant access to information. That’s a good. When someone spends all their time sitting in a chair either listening to the radio or watching TV, they miss out on wonderful things around them. They miss these things because the brain has fooled them into thinking they’re actively doing whatever is on the screen.  The truth of the matter is they’re just watching other people pretend to do it.

Cars have good and bad attributes. They get us where we want to go, they can save lives with ambulances. And they bring families closer. On the other hand, think about how many people are killed in car accidents each year. Think of how many kids run away with the use of a car or a ride from someone else. Think of what the cost is for the car,  gas, insurance, and mechanical upkeep. And, think of how often jealousies arise because of somebody wanting a car that’s better than the next person’s car.

There is good to bad in many things. And some things cannot be seen by many, no matter how good their site is. Think of the caring and love of one another. Isn’t that a good thing? Think of people tonight who have food on the street because somebody cared enough to show up and help out complete strangers. Think of those who at their own expense, to fly somewhere and help reconstruct the church after a hurricane. Or help repair the school dormitory after the tornado. Or, jump into a boat and go out on a flooded town to see if their neighbors are all right and if they can help get them to dryer ground. I’m not sure if this type of sight really comes through eyes are not, I know where it comes from though. It comes from the heart. And everyone has one of those.

Maybe there are better organs than the eyes to look with.

More Than We Can Handle?

Have you ever watched jugglers? Jugglers start off with three of whatever they are juggling. So if they are juggling bowling pins, or balls, or even bowling balls, they always seem to have one in each hand and one in the air. Of course the better they become as jugglers, they still only have two hands, but rather than having a total of three items to juggle, they may have four, five, or six various items. This means many more items in the air and a higher chance of missing something.

And of course, the more items the juggler has in the air, the more likely it is that what will happen? Yep, something happens and all the items being juggled fall to the floor.

The juggler will tell you dropping things is part of growing and stretching their ability. To grow as jugglers, they have to understand that they will drop objects while they are learning. And, they will drop objects while they expand their reach. They know that is part of growing as a juggler.

I believe in growth. I believe in stretching one’s abilities. Although not a large proponent of multitasking, to a large degree, I do know that this is an important talent.  One sought after today in the marketplace.

I noticed that if I’m multitasking various issues at the same time, one of them gets the majority of my attention and the rest during that moment have cursory attention. Does this mean that I will miss things? Will I drop things? Could something end up going undone? Sure, I’m only human. Surprisingly enough the same can be said of all humans who juggle or multitask.

We do not drop items on purpose, although it will, at some time, happen.  At times, in business, we all need to juggle. We and the people we work for take that chance. The trick is…

Not to Take On More Than We Can Handle At A Given Time.

I Am Under Construction

First off, I have to apologize for not being with you the first two days of this week and for that I am truly sorry. I know that the largest part of everything is to be there. I promise you that I will work hard to ensure daily blogs are there when you’re ready to read them.

 

Not as an excuse or reason for not being here, rather something good that hopefully affects all of us, I am now taking courses to help me with the work I do for you. These courses will hopefully help me to make better learning modules, better blogs, and to be able to share more information on those things which you are interested in hearing about.

 

In the meantime, I will keep the blog going daily Monday through Friday, and as time goes on, I will keep you updated on the how the training is going.

 

One thing I can mention now is that I’ll be doing some interviews in the next week or two to learn about to learn more about you and how I can better help you. The interviews are for gathering information they are not sales calls nor will I sell anything while talking with you on information calls. I am just an old scholar learning new ways. But the key thing there is learning. For most people, it’s learning the new that keeps you young.

 

If you would like to participate in the interviews, please let me know in the comments section, and we should be able to connect and set up a time and date it’s mutually agreeable.

 

Thank you for putting up with me, and starting tomorrow will be back to looking at neat and interesting things.

 

 

Real Riches Are Never Measured In Money

Have you ever contemplated what work really is? We learned fairly early in life, usually around 11 or 12, that if we go out and do something for somebody, we can get a reward. Five dollars to shovel snow from the walk or to weed a garden. Fifteen to 20 dollars to cut the yard depending on size. And as we grow little, babysitting money.

Even at a young age, these small jobs can be big bucks. Young, smart entrepreneurs can easily maintain a list of five or 6 yards to cut in a weekend earning them $75 to $100.

As we grow older, we can then hire the neighborhood kid or our own children for those jobs we do not wish to do ourselves. And then later on when everyone’s grown, once again we find is ourselves doing those jobs with one small catch. No one is paying us. Wait a minute?

Is what we view as a job promotion for a life we spent becoming something else? I don’t think so. Cutting the grass is cutting the grass. A labor of love?  Again, I don’t think so. I would often be happy just to let it grow. Pay the neighborhood kid to do it? Last time I did that, he demanded the money up front for scout camp and then, he never cut the yard.

Side benefits for cutting the lawn? It keeps my significant other from more complaints. And, a good completion, if lucky, may even result in a kiss. Yet, it’s something that still has to be done. You can’t stop grass and shrubs from growing.

We do a lot of things, for rewards that have nothing to do with money. Raising kids is work, and at the same time, it’s a labor of love. The reward is when the children grow into adulthood and find their positive directions in the world.

Taking care of the house is a job. The better you keep it up, the easier the job becomes. When you keep the house like I do you end up with a true work of art. My house is post-modern clutter.

We all have chores we must complete. Chores that are often considered paid jobs to other people. Any chore or job that is done is a direct reflection on the person doing it. If a chore goes undone, is that not also a reflection upon the person in charge and the person who is supposed to complete the chore? This is something to contemplate.

Almost every action you do is an action someone else gets paid for. Chefs cook dinners.  Barbers shave people. Home health care workers wash people. Critics watch movies and TV shows and talk about them. If you’re doing these different occupations, for yourself, you’re working for yourself. And you are giving to yourself what others would be paid. This may not be in the coin of the realm, however, think of the riches you have and those you gain in doing these chores. After all…

Real Riches Are Never Measured In Money.

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 Problem Ranking and Planned Fix Chart

Welcome back we’re glad to have you with us again. If you’re new, we are glad to have you too.

We are looking at various ways we can use process improvement tools in our daily life. If this is your first time joining us, or you joined recently, you may wish to look back at the blogs from June 5 and coming forward. It will give you a better idea of what we are doing.

Yesterday I talked with SAM, and he added to his list. It is below in the form of a chart, and we will get to it in a few minutes. First, though, I need to tell you that what we are going to do today is a highly modified Pareto chart. Pareto charts are usually built on data rather than just anecdotal information.  After we do this for the home, I will also (next week) make a Pareto chart for a work situation so you can see the difference.

For now, how can we take the every day and add quantifying data? It’s not as difficult as it seems. Let’s look at the problems, and next to them (in the chart below) we will add some data I was able to glean for some of them. Remember antidotal problems are still problems. Fixing problems is just easier when you can measure them.

Here are the concerns and what SAM has told me:

  • SAM said that there were snakes in the yard and it was too hot to cut. When I talked to him, he said they had seen eight snakes in the last month. We have data we can use.
  • In winter, there is little heat in the house. We moved that statement to down the list. SAM said it barely gets over 60° in the house during some storms. Now we have data and identification of a health risk due to possible hypothermia. Yet right now it is summer.

I think you get the idea on finding some data for measurements.  There were talks and discussions. The same friends who helped with the affinity chart came over and helped them to think of ideas on how to rank the problems and cure them. For where they were, and what was going on, everyone it is agreed it would be okay to ask for little support.

Talking to others is great. A few neighbors, worried about the lot volunteered to help the next Saturday. Another neighbor had a good mechanic who needed some copywriting done for ads he wanted to run. SAM is working to be a writer. A trade of services could greatly reduce the costs of getting the car fixed. The mechanic got ads, and SAM got to work on a project with his writing skills.

The landlord was invited over for fried chicken dinner that was supplied by SAM, his wife, and his mother-in-law. The landlord appreciated the good-looking lot. All the noise created by everyone working (and being very careful) and making a lot of noise scared away the snakes.

Talking to the landlord, the idea of saving money on the water bill was viewed as a great idea, and he personally came over the next week and replaced all the washers in all the faucets.

Below is the chart that shows the ranked problem areas, the measurement, and the fixes.  As I said this is not the normal use of a Pareto, and I will show you a regular Pareto chart in action, next week.  For now, we will call this chart ‘The Problem Ranking and Planned Fix Chart’

Problem Ranking Problem Data Fix
1 SAM said that there were snakes in the yard and it was too

hot to cut.

Saw eight snakes in the last month. In the early morning next Saturday, the group of neighbors who found out about this problem while talking to SAM will come over and have a house party to help them cut the yard and fix the place up. We thank SAM’s mother-in-law for talking to friends and helping to get this started.
2 Car needs to be fixed Car failed 3 times in one month The car failed to start three times in the last month. That is the problem and the data. This moves to number two on the list. It is now July, and the house heater has until November when it will be truly needed. Lack of transportation isolates people.
3 Money in is less than money out. Income per month is $1500, and pay out to bills is $1750 School debt, minimum-wage, and credit card debt can be put into one item. Money needs are not supported by the wages earned. Add up to everything that must be paid in the month and all the monies that are brought in in a month. If the income is less than the payments required, there is the data.
4 SAM and his wife needing jobs better jobs Quality of life and ability to meet each person’s potential We combined both into one item. This is not a matter of “Gee, I don’t want to work,” it is a matter of them fulfilling their potential. They cannot quit and hold. However, they can seek and find.  With the car fixed, they found good jobs in a medium sized city, just a 15 mile drive each way.
5 House too hot in summer Uncomfortable Their next-door neighbor had 2 fans in the attic doing nothing.  These were loaned to SAM and his wife
6 Too cold in the winter Health Hazard The landlord had the heater inspected, and all the vents cleaned.
7 Poor shopping choices considering the income Too Costly An agreement to stay within a set meal budget was agreed to, and a garden was planted in the now snake free yard.
8 Being overwhelmed Too many problems with not enough ideas SAM and his wife learned many good skills from their friends studying process improvement.  Those skills now serve them at home and at work.
9 Cranky Landlord Scary Everyone responds well to positive communication, collaboration, and a great fried chicken meal.

We will continue tomorrow with how data can help show a hidden factory.

Have a great Day.

 

 

 

 

 

SAM’s List

Thank you for allowing me to be back with you again.

I hope you had a chance to read yesterday’s blog and make a list of those concerns and problems which are trying to overwhelm you. One thing to remember is that you were rarely alone.

Because I do not know the specifics of everyone’s problems or what their list may hold, it would be wrong for me to suggest somebody perform a set of action items based on that list. Yesterday we talked about making a list, and the lesson plan called for you to make a list. This list will be for your use after we’ve gone through this week’s lesson.  By the end of the week, you should have a good idea of how it works.  If you want to ask questions at that point, please write or call me, and we can talk about them,  The list is a starting point so you can try what SAM is working on right now.

Remember SAM? We looked in on SAM last week. He was having problems, and we watched as he made an affinity diagram, and a cause-and-effect chart (Fish-bone diagram.) Cause-and-effect charts and affinity diagrams are great for pointing out concerns and problems. By changing the causes, you are able to change the effects.

SAM made a list last night.  SAM is a pretty smart avatar. And we are going to look at his list  and help to get things sorted out.

Sam’s list looks like this:

SM'S PRO

+= a safety concern     * = a Health Concern

The big thing to remember when you start looking at problems is that you are not alone.  You may have friends, family, significant others, social clubs, religious organizations, or neighbors. You also have this blog. Please remember that nothing is so horrible it can’t be worked out and good remedies taken. And also, please remember the rules of numbers. One person can be fooled, overtaken, or defeated however some people working as one can easily win the day.

SAM did a pretty neat job on his list. I did notice he left out some of the concerns he had listed earlier.  Although everything gets tackled in an order according to how it affects the overall flow of the home and work, if an item is not on the list, it misses getting considered.  The list will be in great turmoil if it is unnecessarily interrupted.

Please notice that SAM noted safety and/or health concerns.  Putting these issues towards at the top of things to fix helps to save money and heartache in the long run.

Did you leave anything off your list?  It is better to acknowledge a concern than to ignore it.  Ignored items have a tendency to come back and get us.

Consider this and tomorrow we will help SAM (who will have a complete list ready) to plan his order of attack on the problems and have some solutions ready to go.

I think you are really going to like the actions and ideas SAM and his friends have in store for tomorrow.

Thanks for being with us today.