Friday Thoughts

I know movies are only make-believe, especially the ones with spacecraft and other worlds, or dragons and magic. And I know that through this form of imagination, new products such as cell phones, emerge and new technologies are born into the world.

There is a wonderful idea from the Harry Potter movies that I wish someone would invent. A place to store memories when you need to clear your head and pay attention to what happens in front of you. Imagine how much better our concentration could be. Think about the ability to work much faster and better without the clutter of memories getting in the way.

Is there a theory out there? I am sure someone must be working on that. Think of how much more time and capacity we would have to make good things happen. How much time would be saved not having to get off and back on the right track?

If we could only concentrate on what is in front of us, does this mean that we could work faster? If we now spend 50% of our time thinking non-productive thoughts, does that mean I could do twice as much? We fine-tune computer processors to speed them up and place new tools within. Can we find ways to do so with our processors in our heads?

I guess these are just thoughts for Friday. I wonder if the telephone was first thought of as a Friday thought. I wonder how many Friday thoughts make it to the light of day.

Thank you for being with me today. I hope to be with you again soon.

More Control within

We hold more control than we ever know.

We’re pushed on by forces beyond our control every day. We do not have to bend to those forces. And most times, it is better if we do not. The forces at play are concerned about themselves, what their needs and desires are, and how they achieve through the skillful use of others.

We have to do this because of the money. We should really be doing that because of politics. We should be doing the other because of the neighbors… It seems as though demands are never-ending and resources are often meager at best.

With all of the above going on in our lives, I would just like to offer a thought. What if we didn’t? What if we gave up on letting others tell us to do this, that, and the other?

I’m not saying not to do anything. I’m talking about finding new voices to guide you. We always follow voices different than us, mainly because they’re different than us. We assume their difference makes them better. I believe I have found something even better than them.

I’m not saying to forget conventional wisdom. I am saying to look inside find that quiet voice within you. Not the one screaming in your head saying you’re doing everything wrong, rather the quiet voice, and consider it.

Do good for yourself and your family, and others. Strive to better yourself. And, help others to find that good within themselves. The real treasures in life aren’t things, the real treasures are the times we share with each other.

Together

Thank you for being with us again today.

In researching items for the course, I am preparing, I was reminded of a very important point. If we have spouses or others who we partner with in life, in planning our future we have to consider and work in tandem with them. This is because we are no longer an individual, we are now a team member.

One important fact that we should remember:

Teams work better when they work together.

Please remember, no matter how good the plans or intentions, if not developed and shared with the team, doubt, fear, and confusion often ensue.

This is just something for us to keep in mind whether it is planning the weekend or the trip to the rest of our lives.

Thank you very much and will meet again tomorrow.

Who’s Fishing, What’s Biting, Be Pleasant

Thank you for being with us again.

Today we take a final look, for now, at comfort zones. From time to time we will come back to the comfort zone, as we are exploring other things.

When we’re going to move from one comfort zone to another, it is always good, as with anything we do, to do our research. Research is the homework that makes us look better when we’re out in public. We want to know the basics that we can find out on the computer before we arrive.

It’s good to know the company motto, the mission statement, the major company beliefs, a general overall ‘who is who’ especially for the top brass. These days, you can find out who the senior staff is on a company website. If there are no pictures there, you can look up the leadership individually by name, and there will usually be a picture, especially on their Facebook or LinkedIn.

If you know a few facts about the company or recognize the head of the plant or the director of manufacturing before being introduced, you score some big points because at that point you are no longer a visitor, you are starting to grow into the role of a member of the tribe.

You want to research the facts that you can find and know them. Yet, at the same time, you do not want to over think things. And you don’t want to come off as the nerdy geek. I’ve already filled that job. Be yourself never try to reach for something you’re not. It is over thinking and overreach that killed more opportunities than anything else.

Remember that smiles are better than frowns. And, letting the person in charge lead a little is always good when you’re not quite sure. Finding your way into your new comfort zone is a time for smiles and positives. Think of what people like, what you like and be that person. If you have been invited into their company and they have shown interest in you, they really want you to succeed. The last thing that anyone on staff wants is to go back to the drawing board to find someone else.

Whether your new comfort zone is being the new plant manager or occupying the fishing spot under the tree on the bank. The work you do to get there is the same. Know who is fishing, know what’s Biting, and be pleasant.

 

 

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.

 

A Quick Question

Today I have a quick question for you:

When you look to find out something online, how often do you just want one piece of information, and how often do you want to know a little more about the item or subject?

Please think of that and let me know in the comments.  The comments section does not put you on a mailing list, it just allows me to take a quick poll of people.

Tomorrow, we will look at the answers and talk about this idea a little more.

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.

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.