Complacency

Complacency is something that will sneak up on all of us.

People love habits. They like the feeling of accomplishment. They love knowing that things are done. And they like the ease of living that good habits will give the people who use them wisely. More often than not many of us will also fail at long-running good habits.

If you don’t believe me, please take a poll about six weeks after New Year’s day. How many people you talk to set up goals for the new year, and within six weeks, have already failed at them? Did they not care? Did they not believe? Did they not try? The truth is they did care, they did believe in they did try.

In teaching new forklift drivers, safety and control are taught and preached for hours both in the classroom and during driver training on the forklift. You would think that most accidents would happen within a few weeks after the training, while the new drivers are still what behind the ears. Not so.

Most accidents for new drivers of forklifts, according to the statistics, happened about three months after training. Why? Complacency. Brand-new drivers are very cautious. They stick to every safety rule. And, they keep the speeds very low. About the three-month mark, new forklift drivers become complacent. They start to get a little sloppy in their safety, speed increases a little and the next thing you know, they bump into something. Sometimes they bump into someone.

Are they bad people? Do these accident-prone drivers not care? No. They did so well for three months driving the forklift that they started to let their guard down. Often, they don’t even recognize it.

These drivers were taught well. Were watched to ensure good habits were being formed. And, did a good job. Complacency just sneaks up on them.

The trick is if you like the results a habit gives you, pay attention and keep it up. Don’t  become complacent.

Take A Look

We all have work we want to do in life, and we all have work we have to do in life.

If we are lucky, we like the work we do. Yet, some of the work is important whether we like it or not? When we get to this point, we need to stop and think for a moment.

Am I about to tell you that you don’t have to do work that you don’t like? Sorry, no. Some work we do not enjoy is still very important work. Instead, when faced with a task you don’t really want to do, stop and consider for a second.

Stop and consider why the task needs to be done. Consider what will happen if the task is not done. I hate to mow the lawn and trim the trees. So, I have some things to consider. Consider what the yard could look like if I did not do anything. Overgrown, bushes turning into trees, and havoc sprouting up everywhere. It would be a real unsightly mess. I may get some comments, but I sure wouldn’t like them.

Next, consider what the yard would look like if you did a half-hearted job. Wayward bushes and trees may be knocked down, most of the grass would be cut, you might even pile the trash into a central location. Yet the place would only look so-so. Would this really make you happy? Will it make you feel good? Or would it just be one more task done until you have to do it again?

Then, think of what the yard would look like if you really set out to do a good job. Trash bagged and ready for removal, the grass neatly trimmed with care and edges clean and straight, sidewalks swept, and proper maintenance of the lawn. Wow, this may take half the day or more. Just think of how you’ll feel about a good-looking yard when the work is done. Consider how future effort will be easier as long as the yard is kept up and maintenance may end up as little as a couple of hours a week, and that time may be spread over many days.

All of us are individuals, and as such, we all have things we do not like to do. We just need to look through the work, to see if we like the outcome.

What Am I Working On

Ever have a day where everything seems to fall apart as soon as you touch it? The big desk computer has a two-hour patch it started automatically. The laptop is fussy and hard to bring up and wants to give a continuous grief. The iPad beckons, and as you try to use it for business, it directs you towards games. There’s only one thing to do.

Dude? You have a fast desktop, a 64-bit dual core laptop, and an iPad. The last thing you should be doing is whining about anything. If you have all that, you have what it takes to run an empire. Just think about how many great people started with so much less. And how far they rose with many of them having none of those three items.

 It’s important every day that I look in the mirror, and remind myself first off how lucky I am. Secondly, and most importantly, I need to remind myself it’s not about me. It’s about doing well for the others whom I help.

When we are given things or given the ability to earn them, then much is expected from us in return. And rightly so. For as we rise in our status, just as we were helped by people before us (and yes, we were helped,) it is up to us to reach out a hand and help those behind us.

We have to remember that even the highest person cannot go any higher until the lowliest person takes that next step up.

The question isn’t what’s working, the question is what am I working on to help the next person.

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.

I Owe You an Apology

First and foremost, I owe you an apology. I slipped away in the last week, only through my own fault. No one else forced me to do this, and nothing else should have been big enough to stand between me and the time I spend with you each week. And yet, I became mesmerized. For this, I am truly sorry and will try not to let this happen in the future.

I am now working on a new course that helps people to research what they want to do in life, find friends and mentors to help them by giving advice along the way, and make a map those goals and the milestones to get to them. We hope to start the first pilot class later this month, and it will be for veterans. I hope to have another pilot class after that for college graduates who are having a hard time finding the work they want to do in life.

Needless to say, this is an interesting and new aspect of a problem that is as old as life itself.  As I worked to build this course and deliver it, and with your permission, I will keep you advised and up to date.

The problem I am working to alleviate is not only held by veterans or college grads. Everyone who leaves one comfort zone for another can find themselves in the same quandary. Especially, if their departure was not planned or completely thought through.

As work goes on, I will keep you up-to-date on how it goes and as we get closer, talk to you about others that you know who may benefit from this.

Please forgive me my absence and please add comments as to articles I could post to help you in the future.

Time to Get Up

Today’s an exciting day. The weather is cool, the sun is out, and for a new day in a new week, life is pretty good.

I am embarking on a new idea. One, I hope will help many people. The project is called Reveille. Reveille is the bugle call you hear early in the morning when it’s time to get up, get started, and go out to win a new day.

No one likes to sleep in more than I do. And yet, all those things that I want to do cannot be accomplished with the covers over my head. I need to get up, clean up, drink up the coffee, and get out there where I can accomplish those items I need to do.

With your permission, as this week unfolds I will tell you more about Reveille, and more about how will be structured to meet your needs. For now, thank you for joining me in this wonderful announcement, and please come back to this blog to learn more as Reveille unfolds.

I look forward to seeing you again tomorrow. If it’s is beautiful where you are, go out and seize the day!

 

New Way

We Have a Plan

Plans are important. If you think the plan will never change, you never faced a true enemy in combat. When you face-off in combat the first thing that changes are the plans. These days my plans normally revert to “yes dear” and “I’m sorry.”

As you craft your plans, the best idea to get everyone who is part of that plan involved. Not only do you get overall buy-in to the plan, but you also have the support of everyone, because they know and understand they are part of that plan.

I know this sounds strange that I’m telling you to plan and then tell you that your plans will change. To demonstrate this let me tell you about Boy Scout Troop which I helped run as a leader.

About four times a year the scouts would go out to a camporee, freezoree, or some other camping adventure with all of the troops in the Council. Imagine a vast field with between 75 and a hundred troops of boys in attendance and camping over the weekend. We used to hold an overnight camp-out a week or two before a camporee and train the scouts in our troop on all of the various skills which would be tested on in the games at the camporee.

Does this mean the kids had an automatic guarantee of winning the games? No. Like everything else in life, things do change. The boys were there to have fun and having a little knowledge about what they were doing made it more fun. The games were never exactly like what we taught them, yet having those skills helped to do well. They still had to do it, and adapt as things changed. But, at least they had a plan of how things work.

As you leave one comfort zone, even though you may not have been exactly comfortable with it at times, you need a plan. The plan alone does not guarantee an absolute victory. The plan and a little practice mean you have a good idea of what you’re trying to accomplish.

Will that plan change? Yes, dear, I’m sorry.