Superheroes don’t all wear capes

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Some carry BBQ tongs.

I led another daring rescue one time. Spoiler Alert. Everything turned out fine. I say led since my dog Seamus started things off, but otherwise he didn’t help very much outside of emotional support. And really that’s what he does all the time, so there was no increased emotional support.

During the summer, fall, spring and perhaps winter, I engage in my favorite activity. BBQ. One fall day, I moved hamburger Wednesday over to hamburger Thursday. So I attempted to minimize the charring on the various pieces of meat for people wanting theirs’ medium and those wanting well done. This activity normally included beer, but I minimize, ok abstain, completely now. The sound of sizzling meat filled the air.

Our backyard contains an extensive network of gardens and raised beds. The pond in the corner holds my various goldfish and comets. Basically carp. A large pump circulates the water and causes it to cascade over a small waterfall. I find the sound quite relaxing.

Our golden retriever, Seamus sat on the deck, Sphinx like, looking into the neighbors’ backyard. A wire fence encloses the backyard and vines and cedars provide sufficient privacy. You can sort of tell through the fence that the backyard neighbors keep a swimming pool going. Their large yellow lab sometimes goes for a swim. A delicate thing he is not. His front legs would come to the surface to be plonked back down. Sort of like your younger days when you used to dunk your younger brother.

Instead, Seamus, continuing his sphinx pose, watched their lab circle around the outside of the pool.   I could see him occasionally through the fence. Over top the cacophony of sounds, meat sizzling, waterfall falling, lab scrabbling, I heard a much smaller series of plonks. But my attention was constantly drawn to increased sizzling whenever a fire erupted.

I suppose the intuitive part of my mind sensed something was wrong. Seamus’ favorite activity includes ping pong back and forth barking with the neighbors’ dog, but both distracted. The smaller plonk sound grabbed my attention, so I walked over to the back fence and peeked over. Now, I think we own this fence since it seems similar to the one at the side yard. But the previous owners must have tried to make their leftover fencing fit since the top of the fence does not have those nice round tops, Rather, they sheared the tops off at an angle. This converted the nice neighborly wire fence into something like suburbia razor wire.

Approaching the fence carefully, I grabbed the least flesh and tendon rendering part of the fence and looked over the top. I saw that the neighbors’ Yorkie going for a swim. I found this surprising as I didn’t think Yorkies liked swimming very much. But I did not know much about the topic. Much like my lack of knowledge about worms.

I scanned the perimeter of the pool and quickly surmised that there was no easy, or any, access for this little dog to leave the pool. He needed help. I momentary wondered about the social and cultural norms of jumping into the neighbor’s pool. I decided that the situation overrode all of that. It seems longer reading about it, and critics might be thinking the word interminable comes to mind, but the entire process could not have taken more than three seconds.

Remembering the suburban razor wire, I dashed to the garage and got my step ladder. Leaning the ladder against the fence, I climbed to the top. Now, at this point I thought some gloves would have been a nice addition. I grabbed the top wires carefully, there is no other way to handle razor wire, and I clambered into a vault position and balanced at top since straddling the top did not appear to be an option.

The next required leaping clear of the fence and landing on the concrete. Dropping six feet onto concrete should be something that all 60 year olds should avoid, but there was no avoiding this and no backing out. The landing came off fine but continued until I came to a complete stop. Sort of frog like with my butt bouncing off the concrete and slapping down my palms.

The Yorkie managed to swim now to the side of the pool and scratched away at the liner, He remained a good nine inches below the pool deck. I ran to the far side as this seemed much better than jumping in. I grabbed the little guy with only his head above the surface, bulging eyes and pounding heart. He shook uncontrollably. Me too by this point.

I walked over to their house and knocked on the door. The Yorkie’s owner became understandably quite distraught when I told her what happened. She thanked me profusely. She offered to let me walk through the house back to the street. Getting back to the BBQ, I could now hear more sizzling, became a priority. Going through their house would require going around the entire block before getting back to my home. I elected the proto-superhero exit. By this I mean a superhero before they received their powers or after they lost them.  Remember how lame that guy was before being bitten by the spider, irradiated by gamma rays, or fused with machines. So visualize them climbing a wire fence. So I gamely clambered back up the fence, without the ladder which remained on the other side. My neighbor started to look a bit more concerned about a 60 year old climbing a razor wire fence. I contained my own concern since successfully getting over the fence became paramount with a watching audience. I managed to hoist myself up and avoid being eviscerated on the top. Putting my foot on the ladder on the other side helped my balance and I could climb down. Jumping back to our side would have been softer with the dirt gardens, but by no means safer. Jumping would mean landing on the field of my wife’s hostas. Even the razor wire seemed a somewhat better alternative. Quicker and done, so to speak.

This shows how connected we can be with all living things if we paid attention. I try to reconcile this with my constant desire to eat meat products. Our backyard neighbors rewarded my wife and me with a nice BBQ set, spices and sauces. So my angst continues as I look forward to the next outdoor cooking season.

(Happiness/Sadness) + Meaning = Well Being

The equation looks simple, but getting the numbers right is the hard part. Fortunately, well being does not include calculus.

Happiness and Meaning provide two powerful motivations in life. Scientific American provided some research on the difference between the two and that happiness and meaning are essential elements of well-being. There appears to be a synergistic effect where one can increase the other but they remain different. One can be happy playing video games even though you would be better off learning something new or completing that homework assignment.

The one thing that increases meaning in life but likely causes unhappiness would be having children of course. Having children seems meaningful when you are finally playing with the grandchildren that go home at the end of the day as opposed to the times when you are up at 3 am with a colicky baby.

Other studies have found that feeling heathy or having wealth contributed to happiness while wisdom contributed to meaning but detracted from happiness. So happiness relates more to having your needs met while meaning relates to helping others met their needs.

Meaning possesses two major parts, a cogitative processing component which makes sense of and integrates experiences and a purpose component which includes motivation and long-term goals. This demonstrates the potential negative impact of attempting to be happy all the time and not experiencing the full range of negative emotions needed for personal development. While connotative processing strongly relates to a passion and perseverance to long-term goals. Which is quite a long-winded way of saying Grit.

Looking back, I can see how I imposed a level of grit into my life approach. My life moto turned out to be you only fail once you stop trying. I certainly had to apply this throughout all my years of university. I was incapable of giving something up once I started it. Unfortunately, I have not included house cleaning as part of those tasks that I am not prepared to give up. I recognize a Sisyphus boulder pushing task from the get go.

Processing and purpose fuse together to provide meaning in life. Examining your life brings to mind Aristotle’s teaching that the unexamined life is not worth living. A more positive way of saying this would be that processing your life makes living more worthwhile. Although behavioral economics has already taught us that that people feel losses twice as much as they feel gains, so Aristotle may have had it right the first time. People are more encourage to act in order to avoid a loss.

Life examination does not appear to be one time thing, but rather an all-time thing. You can’t just examine your life once and forget about it. Each step seems to require its own examination to see how it all fits together.

Speaking of great philosophers, Vince Lombardi said something similar. “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while. You don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately so is losing.” This can be applied in numerous situations as we constantly examine our lives and continue to live our life with purpose. The final part, about the meaning of life needs can now be phrased as to how to live with long term goals and perseverance. 

So when it comes to goal setting, what would Vince, or Jefferson do in a similar situation? Jefferson spent a great deal of his youth studying. He laid out in great detail how one should study and for how long. From 8 o’clock in the morning till dusk he would study all areas of science, law and agriculture. From dark till bedtime he devoted his time to poetry, drama and literary criticism with an emphasis on Cicero’s speeches. At night, he ran past the city limits and back again. After Jefferson, all other presidents stood on the shoulders of this giant.

Taking Jefferson as a role model, we can see the benefits of the setting long-term goals for the mind, body and spirit. Had he lived another ten year, it’s unlikely that he would have allowed his work to have been interrupted by checking the telegraph machine every few minutes.

Leading your Life: Chapter 3

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What Opportunity appears to lie for this approach of using business skills for your life?

There are numerous books on getting an MBA in various business areas already. There are also several books on developing a balance between work and life. However, there are no books that apply business skills to organize one’s own life. Developing a personal vision and mission statement are sometimes mentioned, but they are not mentioned in the way of an entire life strategic plan. A good life simply does not happen. You have to figure out what that means to yourself and how you are going to achieve it.

The primary market would be those deeply involved in business seeking additional self-help books. The title would be sufficient to bring to mind that those individuals should be giving further thought on organizing their own lives. In the traditional self-help section, there would be looking for a bit more of a systematic way to approach life. They may not have ever read a business book before, but if it were in the traditional self-help section for life skills, they would have a greater opportunity to learn about what a strategic plan was all about if the planning was about something that interested them.

A typical user would be the middle-aged business man and woman. Following the largest demographic hump, these people have been working in business all their lives and some have made tremendous sacrifices. They are now looking to work on their own lives now that they have succeeded in business. Some of them may have been great economic successes while they left the rest of their lives enter a form of emotional and physical bankruptcy.

The book would help those that have the greatest of skills but are still lost in trying to apply them to their own lives. These people may be inclined to read the occasional self-help book, but they may be lost in trying to determine what direction to go in. Having a book that aligns with their own personal interests and applies the relevant skills they already possess in order to maximize the returns to their own lives would be a logical extension.

Leading your life-Chapter 2

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Can a business model help your own life?

The question then becomes what is the connection between how a corporation runs and how an individual can run their own life. Corporations have always used objectives such as profits, return on investment and dividends paid amongst other criteria.  Can this somehow predicate the happiness of the Corporation or do we have a similar kind of dichotomy between man and business?

Does the satisfaction of these corporate criteria also refer only to contentment?  The satisfaction of these various corporate objectives does lead to the payment of dividends, wages and bonuses, which can lead to the contentment of individuals.  If indeed the Corporation’s soul is made up of the individuals that run the organization, then we could have an argument that a similar dichotomy exists between contentment and true happiness within a corporation.  This would suggest that a corporation having the values of the individual would also seek to maximize its happiness by leading a highly moral life.

If a corporation could somehow be happy in the satisfaction of its mission and vision statement, then it stands to reason that a similar achievement of a personal mission and vision statement would lead to the happiness of an individual. However, there’s a further questions of whether or not happiness of the individual is somehow separate apart from the individuation or actualization of the individual. 

It would seem that an individual would want to become fully actualized through the accumulation of skills and wisdom and perhaps wealth.  If it individual wishes to become actualized through work, this is somehow consistent with leading a highly moral life.  One should be able to lead a highly moral life and still become actualized.  Actualization may have to do more with the contentment of the individual and the resolution of various desires of that particular individual

Leading your life.

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Examine an analogy between the standard corporation and the nature of men and women. The soulless corporation depends upon the values of those that run the organization to determine its own values. One would think that the values of individuals align with the Corporation’s. Perhaps the true happiness of an individual may be analogous to the happiness of the organization.

The happiness of an individual can be divided into two main criteria. The first requires finding happiness in the satisfaction of the various desires that individuals have. An individual could be happy either based on the satisfaction of these desires or the elimination of these desires. However happiness could be far more complicated. The resolution of various desires would be more clearly defined as contentment. Happiness of the individual would then be dependent upon the moral values of that individual and leading a highly moral life. This may be a bit too simplistic since leading a highly moral life is insufficient. Having good fortune is also relatively important. Sickness and poverty are severe overlying factors that can prevent or mitigate against leading a moral life and true happiness.

So we need to lay out some specific goals to keep centered.

#leadership#motivation#business

Can you lead your life like you lead your business?

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Trying to figure out life’s purpose in the midst of a pandemic can be disheartening.
One wonders if a business approach might help show you how to systematically find this out on your own.

Why a Business Model?

One might think that using a business model to one’s own life simply allows the problem to take control over a larger portion of your existence. But what if there were a way to try and apply what you have already learned to living a better life? Most people are involved in business in some fashion or another in order to earn income. Would applying those business skills somehow be of help to strategically lay out your own life to achieve your own personal vision and mission statement? Doing what you know and do best applies to most things. Certainly this would also apply to life, and using those honed business skills would make your life one of the top organizations for years to come.

I am going to focus on this for a while and let you know what we can find.

#business#leadership#leadership#inspiration

A Study of Einstein

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Einstein made of study of physics and humanity. My favorite quote of his on the values of human nature:

“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.”

Albert Einstein
US (German-born) physicist (1879 – 1955)

Study

Tree Static

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Nature never remains static as everything slides on a continuum. Humans have a choice. Mentally and spiritually they could remain static and refuse to grow. Physically they could choose to exercise and remain active, or choose to do little or nothing and slide down the continuum towards decrepitude.

Trees however exist to fulfill their potential. Being static would not be part of their life experience.

Humans are meant to grow mentally, spiritually and physically.

Be like a tree.

 

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Static

Carving a river

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Our lives appear so busy that we find it necessary to carve time out for ourselves. But if time is a river, how do you carve water out of a flowing stream? Once you have removed the water from a river, it truly is no longer a river. Just a few drops of water.

I believe you have to put yourself into the flow of the river instead and do the things that must be done to become human. Carving time becomes a travesty.

Carve

 

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