Strategy from the surface of the sun

pexels-photo-236730Our organization used to love strategic planning. Whenever we had a new CEO, they would start a new strategic plan to put their stamp on the organization.

Back in the 90s, we attended this out-of-town retreat with our new CEO. About 20 of us attended this exercise. The CEO started with a enthusiastic intro. Things started to spin a bit out of control after that in apparent attempt to impress him.

One manager said that we had to step back a bit and see how things were going. The next manager suggested that we had to take elevated view of the entire economy. The next manager said that we had to take an even higher 30,000 foot look at the past present and  future. The next manager said we had to go even further to take a global analysis of the history and future of the world as observed from the sun.

I made the last one up, but in keeping with the trend lines, everyone attempted to outdo the prior manager in order to show himself as more of a visionary.

Strategy

The Close Horizon

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The horizon may be closer than you think. In the physical world, someone standing on a shore can see about 2.9 miles. But someone scanning the horizon of the future, well the future does not really exist. We only live moment to moment.

If you ask my golden retrievers, they exist completely in the moment. They may know pretty well when its dinner time, but I don’t think the live their lives anticipating it.

You know how you can walk into a room and completely forget why? Golden retrievers live like that all the time. No past, no future, just moment to moment. If they encounter someone in the room, well everything else is completely forgotten.

Mindfulness makes me appreciate the moment. I can only do that for short stretches of time. Being rational animals, we spent a lot of our time planning for the future or brooding over the past. But living in the moment brings out its fully glory.

Horizon

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The Agile Body-2

When I started Karate at the Main Street dojo, our sole mantra was one punch, one kill. The idea being that your technique was to be so pure that you never needed more than one technique to defeat your opponent.

At the Main street dojo, we would always be encouraged to do something a bit crazier to show our dedication. We would often run around the block in our bare feet during middle of winter. Our feet would be quite swollen from the cold and it was quite a shock when our feet warmed up again.

Most often we would going back and forth across the hardwood floor. On occasion I would tear the callus off of the ball of my foot. The blood did make it easier to slide my foot across the floor. But they would generally order me off the floor and get fixed up.

I managed to strain the medial collateral ligaments of both knees. For years I couldn’t sleep on my side with my knees together.

My technique was good, but my competitions were hit and miss. I did manage to win the provincials for my division a number of times. With my left leg and left fist forward, I could easily launch myself several feet into my opponent. This usually overwhelmed them. But I did not do well in the next series of competitions of several provinces, called the Westerns.

I would launch myself at several people always stopping in time. But at this level, they never counted such a technique. I was completely stretched out and there was no indication that I was pulling my punch. You had to be close enough that you would have made contact and could have completely gone through the person had you chosen. Getting closer and closer trying to win a point just meant that I smacked into an opponent. Just lightly.

I continue my training and later that year a few of the old timer black belts got together at the main street dojo. They wanted to pull out the body armor they used to use for full contact fighting.

This was a completely new venture for me. The helmets have full face screens. The chest protectors were hard plastic. Softer material covered the shins. For hands we used the traditional bag gloves. Everyone brought their own cup, thank you very much.

For my next entry, I’ll cover off  how some of that experience went.

Still standing, so it went well enough.

Shock

 

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

 

photo credit

Diane from Pexels

Sea Life

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Whenever I scuba dive, my favorite species to observe always includes the jellyfish. Scyphozans (the “true jellyfish”) are exclusively marine. Jellyfish have roamed the seas for between 500 million and possibly 700 million years which makes them the oldest multi-organ animal.

With no vertebrae, or any boney structure, they are truly able to undulate in any direction supported by ocean water. Their ability to ‘dance’ surpasses about any other living animal.

Undulate

photo credit: Oday Hazeem