How to Prioritize Danger

As humans, we often fear or panic over things which may happen in the future and for which there is no evidence at the moment. The lights might be turned off because ‘The utility bill is due at the end of the month.’ Or, ‘Southern Colorado might have a blizzard in a week, so we need to go to the store and stock up on everything right now.’ Or, ‘There was a bump in the road, I need to go back and look right now. Because someone may have gotten hurt and I may have hit them without ever seeing them.’ I won’t say that any of these things will never come to fruition. However, the odds are very favorable that none of these ever really will.

Is it wise to take precautionary measures? Yes. Is it a good thing to panic over things that have little chance of happening? Not so much. And yet, to the person having the panic attack, it is very real, and drastic measures must be immediately taken. How do you help this person down from near hysteria?

Start by talking to them calmly and ask them if they see anything within a 3 inch to a 6-inch radius around their body that poses an immediate danger. The answer is usually no. If there is, help the person to decide if it is a real danger or only a perceived possibility.

Next, ask them if there is anything within 18 inches of their body threatening danger. Again this usually has a negative response and follow-through is the same as the paragraph above. Next question, is there anything in the room that’s an obvious threat. From there go to the block and then the neighborhood.

You can go as far as you need to with this. Usually by the time you get to the neighborhood, the person you’re talking with starts to understand and feels better. Just because somebody occasionally feels overly upset about something, does that not mean that they have a medical or mental problem. Given the right circumstances, anyone may show this type of fear. If this is a full-time ongoing problem, the person may want to speak with a professional about it. If not, make it one less thing to worry about.

Have Many Irons in the Fire?

Too many irons in the fire hark back to the days of blacksmiths when irons were heated in a fire stoked by a bellows.  The irons were heated red hot and then pounded into shape by the blacksmith using an anvil and hammer. Having too many irons in the fire meant that the blacksmith could not handle all the work he had to do. Today, we use the saying for too many projects that we’re doing.

It is in our training and in our desire to help. We take on some tasks which interest us we take on even more because the powers-that-be want us to do more. And sometimes there is not enough money for two people to do the tasks and therefore one is let go in the other one has to do the tasks for both. This happens more than you think.

Often, this takes place without a lot of complaint up the chain. For one thing, we still want the job, and the higher workload is one of the requirements to keep it. Another item that’s not so well understood is that many of us are wired to take on added work and/or are ashamed to admit that we need help. We see asking for help as a sign of weakness.

Here’s the question, and if you’re new to our blog so I always ask questions. Is it better work as hard as you can, knowing some things will fall through the cracks; or, is it better to ask for assistance or delegate work?

As much as we would like to be the hero, save the day, get all our work done and never need to ask for help, it does not always happen. Would you rather be standing in the boardroom explaining why a pet project was not completed? Would you rather be standing in the board room,  congratulated along with your team that helped to complete the project?

We all live with some fear in the back of our mind about what others may think of us. Most of that fear leads us in wrong directions. Leadership always prefers the person with that will ask for help when needed because the action shows they put the project first. And everything being equal, leadership respects and honors positive project actions.

Next time you have too many irons in the fire get a few more blacksmiths and just pound that project out.

Thanks for being with us. We have piled up a few irons in the fire ourselves. And I am hoping by the end of this week or the beginning of next we will have some exciting news to share.


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.


I find it amazing what people can do when they put their heads together. Singularly we are but one voice in the wilderness. Yet, put us together, and amazing things can happen. I am working in a multinational class learning to run my business better.  I do this so I can better serve my customers (That’s You.)

We are working to make our businesses better, not for greed, or money, or fame. We are working to make our businesses better so we can reach out and do better for those who need to learn and grow. We each have our own idea of how we can help others.  Working to help others helps make the world a better place. We have people from many countries and continents all working together to better learn our craft.

Our goal is to learn how to develop and maintain a workable business which allows us to keep a flow of both good and goods to others who need the items and education.

The people who are teaching us are smart, energetic and willing to give of themselves and their time to help us to learn these wonderful nuggets of knowledge.

They say that as you rise into space and look down on the earth, you do not recognize borders. You recognize land and sea, clouds and ocean, some rivers and of course the great barrier reef and the great wall of china. You know that there are people down there. It seems to me the more we work with people and the less that we let invisible borders impede the flow of education and knowledge, the better we all will be.

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 Vibration of the Atom and the Tick of the Second Hand

Hope everybody’s doing well today.

One thing, we can all agree, is that time is precious. We cannot manufacture more time, and we can’t dispose of time. Time is a constant. Is time relative? Yes, I believe it is.

Time can be measured through the vibration of an atom, the orbits of the solar system and the movement of the stars within our galaxy. What is a lifetime to us, as humans, is an almost insignificant time on a galactic scale. The time it takes us to make a full rotation within the Milky Way is almost unfathomable.  And yet through all this, the vibration of the atom and the tick of the second hand keep a steady beat.

So what do we do with this wonderful thing called time? To devise ways to go forward or backward within time would seem to be a waste. For our time would keep moving steadily forward while we either try to understand the debates about what went on before us, or what will happen to us later.

I think we get the idea of doing this because of our driven desire for voyeurism. Before you get too excited, I challenge you to think. We go to the movies or sit in front of a TV (or laptop,) where we watch wonderful shows: romance, horror, thrillers, science fiction, comedy, or tragedy. When we watch this, we sometimes have a feeling of having accomplished something or done something based on the show we watched

Truth be told, all we have really done is sit in a seat, and maybe eat some candy or popcorn. We were entertained by somebody else pretending to do something. We did not kiss the lady or the man, climbed the Matterhorn, go to the bottom of the sea, or to strange new worlds. The people in the movie did not do that either, they merely pretended to.

Time is precious, and I am not against movies or television or film clips on the computer. I just wonder sometimes if I could not spend my time a little better by doing some of that for myself.

What would it be like for me to ride or drive a race car? What it would be like for me to fly in a fighter jet? Or jump out of a plane? Or even better, interact with others?

What would it be like for me to interact with others and help to make their lives better? Can I do that sitting in my easy chair watching a rectangular screen? I don’t think so.

I live in a house with just two occupants and very few visitors. If I want to interact with others, have fun, or do some things for myself rather than sitting and watching other people pretend to do it, I need to move out of the comfort zone that I have developed and venture into a new realm called, “outside the house.”

My challenge to myself for the next week is to go out for a walk every day. To meet a neighbor, or talk to a pet in the neighborhood (I talk to the dogs next door.) 

The dogs next door were snarly in barking when they first moved in. I did not approach them, I just talked to them across the fence. Within about 2 ½ weeks they went from being the fierce defenders of the home to a pair of pups jumping up with paws on the fence and looking to get a scratch on the head. I recommend starting out by just talking.

I know it seems as though I’m talking about things that are distractions. Things that take away time from other needs or duties. Yet, you may be surprised. That daily walk may give you a new and vigorous strength, make you feel good, help the body out a little bit, and although the clock keeps ticking and the atom keeps vibrating, you may find yourself more productive with the time you do have.

Just one person’s thought.

Hope to be with you again next week.

On this day, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence

Hi, because today is a holiday, I wanted to pass along this holiday note for the fourth.  We continue our normal blogs tomorrow.

Long distance relationships almost never last.  Mine did not last, although we are still good friends.  The relationship between England and the American Colonies did not last, although Britain and the United States are the best of friends now.

On this day, we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. Actually, it was signed on the second of July.  With no mass communications and no copiers in 1776, it took a couple of days to write copies and to get the word out.

It makes me wonder.  If long distance communication were available at that time, would it have made a difference?  Money is the root of many breakups. Could, however, the economic problems, between England and the Colonies be settled amicably before they grew so large that the two entities had no choice except the War of Independence and the legal separation, which was akin to a divorce of peoples?

This sounds like an academic quandary to be debated, and yet, we are on the cusp of the exact same problems in the very near future.  The people of Earth are planning to colonize the Moon and Mars.

The distance to the Moon and especially the distance to Mars will test the ability of communications. Not that communications are as slow as the 1700’s, there is a lag time that will start out as a nuisance.

Just as with England and the American Colonies. When the colonists of the Moon and Mars mine their ores, their focus will be on their work and not as much on the massive cost the Earth spent to get them to their colonies and provide for them as they began.  The Earth, like England, may be in a rush to reclaim the money spent to set up the colonists.

Special care needs to be planned for the missions to ensure a premium is placed on collaboration and communication.  These must be real communication and collaboration processes, not just buzz words.

Understanding what lead up to the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago is vital to future plans of colonization.  George Santayana reminded us why, when he said, “Those who cannot remember their past are condemned to repeat it.” (Wikipedia, last updated, 2/13/2006)

A special thank you to Paul Nielsen for his discussions and suggestions on this blog.  Thank you.