Ever Play 20 Questions?

When you were a kid did you ever play 20 questions? It was a fun game to help pass the time. It basically worked by everyone agreeing on a topic (person, thing, activity, etc.) One person would pick something based on the topic. Everyone else playing the game would ask the person questions for a yes or no answer. A few years ago, an electronic game of the same name, and played the same way was a hit in the marketplace as a holiday gift.

Today, I promised you forests of decision trees, and here I am talking about games. The neat thing is, the 20 questions game is the same decision matrix which is used in the decision tree. You ask a series of questions for which there can only be a yes or no answer. You do need to verify the answers as you go. This, though, is often the easiest, and smartest way to discover root cause, or help you decide on a course of action.

If you look at the trees, each junction has two branches. A red branch which we will call the ‘No’ branch, and, a green branch which we will call the ‘Yes’ branch. It is always good to draw your decision tree as you go.

You can do this in your notebook, on a whiteboard, on your computer, on a tablet, or on your smartphone, depending on what type of software you have loaded. I like to put mine either in my tablet or in my notebook so I can refer to the decision tree later.

Remember, a no is not always the end of a line of questioning. You can explore a no route, although it is often easier and more correct to follow the yes trail. By doing so, you stay on a positive path. If you do this, ask the questions in a way that yes leads you on, and no helps you to eliminate something. In that case, and it is the case I recommend, your tree will look like the one on the right above.

Let’s run a practice decision tree just to test one out. This is something that happened to me last night, and although I did not draw the decision tree at the time, these are the steps I took.

Last night the pencil to my iPad did not work, I was frustrated. It cost hundred dollars, and I was in no mood, nor prepared to buy another one. So this means I had to figure out why and make the pencil work again. This decision tree will be the one on the right, not the forest on the left.

  1. Is the pencil not working properly? Yes, not working
  2. Is the pencil charged? Yes (I charged the pencil for 15 minutes to ensure it was charged.)
  3. Is the charge port working? Yes (I could charge the iPad)
  4. Does charging the pencil external to the iPad work? No (tried it, this means it’s not the charging port)
  5. Is there an explanation in the pencil guide online? Yes (I followed the instructions)
  6. Does the pencil now work? Yes

I learned new things last night. I also learned not to be the cliché of the guy who reads the instructions only as the last step. Next time, I will move reading the instructions further up the list.

Whether I do it consciously or subconsciously, I like the decision trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy Each Moment for Where You Are

Morning. I hope everybody had a wonderful weekend.

Last week we mapped out a set of goals and milestones. Before we move on to our next round of ideas and workshops, I would like to give one more thought on reaching your goals. I wish to do this because many people look at the goal as the end. As you get to your goal, you’re going to find out, most likely, that the goal you have reached is merely the stepping stone to the next and even greater thing.

It seems that in nature and in life nothing is as simple as start-middle-end. For as each end is seen, new beginnings emerge. And, as new beginnings emerge they denote the end of something in the past.

And yet, not really, for when there are new beginnings. It is more flow from one thing to the next. The flow is natural and it is to be expected. I’m not telling you something as simple as go with the flow.  And, I know it’s a cliché to say each ending is a new beginning. I guess what I’m trying to say is everything is continuous. Therefore, enjoy each moment for where you are and who you are with.

Tomorrow, we are going to look at forestry, in a sense. We are going to grow a forest of decision trees. Decision trees are great, and they will help you in making some tough decisions, sometimes.

Please enjoy today, and we look forward to tomorrow’s discussion.

Thanks for being with us. 

Recap

I hope all is well.

We’ve gone over quite a bit in the last few weeks, and I thought today would be good to take a moment and recap a little bit and help anybody who’s coming in late to go back and re-look at the blogs that were posted over the last few weeks.

We started out back on 5 June looking at the fact that perfection is different for every person were all individuals and what we look for and what we desire is going to be something different than the person standing next to us. And that is good. It is those differences which helped propel the world forward and make life interesting for us.

Next post, we talked about taking a stand and making a difference. This was done in a post, “You are way too good and way and too needed.”  In this blog post, we called everybody to make that stand, to get out and see what was possible.

We talked about comfort zones in a blog post and why it’s so hard to get out of a comfort zone, no matter how much you hate it. And in the post after, we talked about finding your goal. Each person has their own goals, their own desires, and their own needs. I encourage each of us to find the ones we need and desire and are truly our own.

We considered how to talk to people. And how to hold attention. The best oral exchange of ideas, training, and sharing of ideas comes with a soft and caring voice. These exchanges rarely take place with emotional yelling or screaming.

The next blog talked about how to plan for your goals, and why that is so important. After all, you cannot get what you don’t aim at. That same day I republished my website and let everybody know. It doesn’t have anything to do with the course we are going through, it was just a goal of mine. And, you are welcome to enjoy www.readingsticks.space anytime you wish.

The next blog gave you ideas on finding supporters and mentors. No one seems to get anywhere in a vacuum. For within the vacuum, no one else knows what is happening. Mentors and supporters play a very positive and very needed role within the lives of others. It’s a good thing to have, mentors, and a good thing to be, a mentor or supporter.

Our next post highlighted the fact that computers are taking over many jobs. Many reports say as many as 38% of the jobs will be done by computers within the next 15 years. Although I’m still have not received my flying car and jet pack, if you would like to know more of what I think will happen, please check out my book “Thriving as Humans in a Computer Run World,” which is on Amazon right now.

Earlier this week, I asked you to consider your goals. And, we talked about the fact that having a goal gave you something to work towards that you wanted. We also talked about the need to research the goals, and sometimes change those goals, due to life events.

Then we spent two days mapping those goals. Actually drawing the road to where the we are planning to go to reach each of the milestones is important. The milestone, in turn, help us to reach our goals.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this so far. I would really like you to send me a comment as to what you like, and what you would like to see more of.

Next week we will continue the fun. And I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for walking this goal path with me.

 

Mapping Your Goals Day Two

Did you get a chance to think about your map last night?  Maybe start laying out the roads that you might go on? We are talking about this for a second day, yet it will probably take longer to complete your map. Some maps stay in a state of flux. The changes happened not because the goals themselves are constantly changing, rather new milestones and side trips along the way.

I added mile markers.  You cannot expect to always get to a mile marker on time.  It is good, though, to know about where you are.  Mile marker one is the fact that you started. I did not put a mile marker for your start, I did add a hiker, and that is you along the trail. The big circle at the beginning allows you space to put in who and what is going with you on your journey.

Mile marker number two is gaining your knowledge. Whether it is a certificate, a degree, a seminar, or something else, knowledge is the thing that we were not necessarily born with, yet pick up along the way.

Milestone number three shows your climbing the trail, and this milestone reminds you to stop and smell the flowers. Enjoy the good things around you. There is a difference between taking a little time or enjoying something and letting it deter you from your goal. Being able to enjoy ourselves is the reason that we are going towards that goal.

Milestone number four is the family if you’re younger, you may be developing a family along the way. If you’re a little older like me, you may be bringing your family with you. Your family is very important to you. Nobody makes a trip like this alone.

Milestone number five climbing the corporate ladder. Whether you are in a corporation, entrepreneurship, profession, or in some other structure, a ladder to climb will always be there somewhere. You need to gain your professional reputation. And you will need to learn as you grow. And the more you assist others, the more you are helped in return. My father-in-law was a senior executive with IBM, and I remember him telling me to be nice to the everyone you meet on the way up, those of the same folks you’ll see on the way back down.

Milestone number six is a decision. I do not know why I only know that everybody encounters decisions. In this version of the decision, having done well to this point, do you want to press on towards your goal? Or, want to look at pushing higher in the big city and doing more and earning more? Or is it time to go to the beach and enjoy the sunset? Yesterday I told you that changes do happen sometimes caused by life events and sometimes caused by changes in desires. Any choice you make here is right as long as it’s your choice. You’re not at your goal yet. You can get to your goal by just continuing to climb towards it. And yes there is hard work on the way.

Milestone number seven was my goal. A nice compound and a boat to go sailing with and a lot of fun. Your goal will be different, and it is more important because it’s your goal.

I have a secret all share with you. The goal is great, yet it never compares to the fun you have and the people you work with along the way. Those are where the great memories are made. It is never the destination. It is always the journey.

Thank you for working with me on this. Tomorrow we will look at the next neat thing along the way. Have a great day.

 

Defining the Goal

Now it’s time for us to be able to understand what our goal looks like. I hope you’ve been writing everything down and keeping track of who goes with you to your goal, what goes with you to your goal and something new for you to keep an eye on what and who do you pick up along the way to your goal.

The first step in knowing where you want to go is to know where you are right now.  This is where the lists and notes you have been taking throughout this book come in handy.

You can be different and live in a cave and wear an old monk’s robe and not do anything. You could also be a lottery winner. How often does that happen?  Back to reality?  OK.

The first thing we need to do is help you find out where you want to be, and then we want to work on how to get you there.

Remember, it does not matter how outrageous or costly or in need of education or any other impediment might stand in your way. This is just establishing what you would really like to do. The mere fact of writing it down sets you on the journey. It does not guarantee you anything. It is just a start.

If you are not sure, you can find a short quiz to take online.  There are many free on the internet.  The one I like, and which is free and given to you by the Department of Labor and the Department of Education is called my next move. The web link to it www.mynextmove.org.

You can also check at local colleges, and other organizations in your area to see if the Myers-Briggs test is given anywhere. The Myers-Briggs might be given free by some organizations, and other organizations may want to charge a small fee to administer it. Look around and find your best bargain. Or, look for a free test online. Just be careful, some websites will give you the test and then want you to pay for results. I wouldn’t do that.

If you are not sure what you want to do, and you take some of these tests, they should point you in some pretty good directions. If you take the test, and you still are not sure of what you want to do, don’t worry.  Some of my best friends are over 39, and still trying to figure out what they want to do in life. And, they’re good people, and I know that someday they will figure that out. Do the best you can with where you are and what you have.

One thing I should warn you about so that it doesn’t happen you as it has to so many people. Some people (and I have done this before) don’t figure out what they really want to do. They want to do everything.  Rather than being happy with one goal and one direction, some people are always running around looking. Every time they hear something new from somebody, they are off trying it.

It’s interesting to see new ways of doing things, and it’s fun. It is also, sometimes, very costly and leaves people empty. Why is that? Because they’re looking in the wrong direction for the answer.  Nobody knows you better than you do.  Most of what’s going to motivate you, and make you work do not live in some webinar somewhere, it lives inside of you.

You are the person in control.  You must live with whatever your decision brings. Paying others to tell you about ideas or having others do everything for you is not very helpful.

It is good to take classes and learn things. When you pick something you want to be, do your research and make sure this is the path and the goal you truly want. A little research up front may save you from some real future mistakes.

I know this looks like a lot to do today.  Look into the ideas and consider your options.  Tomorrow we will start to draw the map to the goal.

Have a great day.

 

 

The Computers Aren’t Coming, They Are Here

We have something new that you really need to consider when you’re looking at goals. That new item is an old friend called technology. We all love technology. Technology gives us wash and wear clothes that we can just throw in the dryer pull out and put on a hanger. Technology gives us everything from three-minute popcorn to being  able to watch all shows and movies for next to nothing without even having to leave the house. Computers allow us to talk to anyone in the world. To run our own business., and to do many other marvelous things such as the ability to look up anything we need to know at any time 24/7and be able to get a credible response.

Technology has become so good at what it does that it is now taking over jobs. We’ve all heard the talk about someday and some way. Well someday and some way, have arrived. There are 21 different jobs which automatons now do. An article in the Los Angeles times reports that in the next 15 years 38% of jobs can be run by automatons.

30 years out it looks as though those numbers more than double.

Take a look at the goals that you have set for yourself. Does anything include employment that may be considered dull and boring, dirty or filthy, dangerous or life-threatening? You may want to rethink careers that fall into these categories. The reason is those are the areas that are best suited for automatons to work in.

Humans will never be totally pushed out of the picture.  Yet the positions for humans who want careers done in mass by automatons will go to those who are outliers.  That is to say, those who lead and innovate in that career field.  You can be one of those if you are willing to do what it takes.

Tomorrow we will help you to look at your completed goal.

Have a great day.

Supporters and Mentors

Hi, how are you?

Did you spend some time researching what you would like to do in life?

Remember, it’s researching that will save you money and time. You don’t want to invest heavily in something and then after for six years of schooling and apprenticeship find out that you really don’t like to do the job that you just learned. Believe it or not, this happens to many people.

Part of your research should be finding people who are willing to talk with you and give you some encouragement towards your goals. Trying to improve, can feel like trying to move mountains.  Having people who are willing to help mentor you is a great benefit to your work and your morale.  Find your supporters and invite them to be on your team as mentors, collaborators, partners or friends.

Most people are proud of what they do, and it is easy to get people who will talk with you for 20 minutes. It is easier if they can feel you are not going to put them on the spot, ask for a job, or take too much time from them. Below we have some do’s and dont’s and some ideas on finding and setting up mentors.

Ask those who you admire and look up to in your profession if it would be all right for you to call them some time with a question.  People who rise up in their business are frequently proud of what they do.  Professionals like to talk with others about what they do and how it helps others.  Most of them usually make time (20 minutes or so) to talk to someone or answer a few questions. 

As the person seeking the advice of a professional or mentor, it is important you not waste their time.  When you talk with them, have questions ready to go.  Pay attention to them.  Ask follow-up questions; however, do not argue with them.  Whatever you do, do not ask a professional who is giving you a little of their time for a job.  Asking for a job would put them in an uncomfortable position and cause the interview to end prematurely.  If they ask you, then you can give them a copy of your resume.

An Exercise in Collaboration

Call ten supportive friends and ten people whom you respect and who work in the same profession you want to work in.  Tell the friends what you are doing and ask if they could be part of your support group. Ask if you could speak to them, on occasion, about what you are doing. 

Ask the professionals if you could ask them a question now and then, and count them as a mentor.  Keep track of who says yes.  This looks hard, and you will be surprised how easy this exercise ends up being.

What does a new person to an industry want to know what they want to become?  Each of us will have different questions.  Some of these issues may be:

  1. What does the professional I want to become actually do?
  2. What are the pros and cons of the profession I am going into?
  3. What does the job I want to go to pay?
  4. What are the milestones in the business that I should look for to tell me I am doing well?
  5. Who are the industry leaders in my profession and what sets them apart?
  6. How much do the industry leaders make?
  7. What is an industry leader’s lifestyle in my desired profession like?

Many people will give you 20 minutes to ask a few questions about what they do and how their business actually works.  If you ask to talk to anyone, they will probably say yes.  When you meet with them, you want to ask real and specific questions and honor the time limit agreed to unless they wish to spend more time with you

Here are some Dos and Don’ts.

Do

  1. Have questions ready.
    1. It is hard to think of the right questions on the spot.
  2. Be polite, the person you are talking to is freely giving their time.
  3. If you have questions based on what the professional says go ahead and ask them.
  4. Be on time.
  5. Dress professionally.

Do Not

  1. Ask questions that you can find out from their (or their companies) Website.
    1. Do your research.
  2. Ask them for a job.
    1. Asking for a job often puts them on the spot and ends the interview.
  3. Waste their time.
  4. Dress or act unprofessional.

Next time, we will evaluate the desired positions in relation to new technology that is taking over many positions. 

Have a wonderful day.