The big misconception of remarkable

The big misconception of being remarkable is tenure, the holding of an office.

We really should just call it what it is: lock in. If you are remarkable then you don’t need tenure. However, the owners of the factory want lock in. Lock in is part of the race to the bottom (faster and cheaper).

I have a suspicion that there is someone in your organization that you are thinking of right now with tenure that won’t be missed when they are gone. What a waste.

We won’t ever be able to repay the remarkable ones for the example they have shown the rest of us. You will be missed.

Ducks

If it swims like a duck, quacks like a duck, it’s not a mongoose.

Every duck I have ever seen is really good at being a duck. They swim, fly, quack, eat. They are extraordinary at being a duck. Ducks know who they are and they don’t try to be something they are not. Ducks are great at being ducks.

Don’t be something you are not, like being average. We are supposed to be great.

Don’t be anything else.

Move on or stand still

If your project is important to you, don’t have someone else do it. There is no substitution for your work. It’ll never be as good as you want it to be because of how you have injected it with a soul.

However, surrendering control is a necessity in order to move onto new projects. There is going to be learning curve for the person that you surrender the project to. Failing to trust your team will cause you to stand still.

Move on or stand still. Make your choice. Just make sure the choice you are making is for the right reasons.

The Zen of hiking

There is a peak called Grandeur Peak, 15 minutes from where I live in Salt Lake. It is known as a great training peak. To do it under an hour says that you are at a great level of fitness.

When trying to break the sub hour mark, I was stuck at 1 hour and 2 minutes. I tried over and over again and without fail I would finish at 1 hour and 2 minutes with a round trip time of 2 hours and 30 minutes.

How could one break 60 seconds when I already felt that I was going as fast as I can?

Tactics needed to be changed.

I armed myself with a GU packages and did some experimenting. I knew that my body would hit a wall at the 50 minute mark, so at 45 minutes I would pop a GU pack in. I also decided to run the flat spots. There is one major section at the beginning to gain some time (dangerous to exert yourself so early) and 3 more sections throughout the hike. I finally told myself to shoot for 58 minutes in hope that I would finish seconds before the hour mark.

The time came; pushing through to the top I hit my wall in the final 7 minutes on the summit ridge.

Gasping for air and willing myself through to the end, I pulled out my phone to hit the timer. I had finished in 56 minutes, crushing my previous PR (personal record). The round trip time was still 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The Zen of hiking:

  • Finishing the goal, there was no prize or certificate of achievement, just the satisfaction of doing something hard was all that was gained. Finishing this goal left a whole that needed to be filled. A new challenge was needed.
  • A change of tactics was needed to get a different result. Doing the same thing over and over again saw no improvement.
  • The last 7 minutes might have been the hardest 7 minutes (physically) in my life. Was all this effort to finish quicker to the top worth it when the round trip time remained unaffected? It’s an interesting question. In some ways yes and others ways no. The key is to learn that when putting maximum energy into something you will only be a little better by shaving a few minutes. The key is to be intentional; knowing when getting the extra results is needed and when giving effort (without killing yourself) can achieve many of the same results.
  • I love hiking but at the beginning I stated, “to do it under an hour says you are at a certain level of fitness”, I was living in a world of measurement. I was measuring myself to others. Instead I need to learn to live in a world of possibility, that hiking is something that calms my soul; it helps me challenge myself to get over the hurdles we see in everyday life. I aimed for the 58 minute mark and surprised myself with 56. Makes me wonder about the mental constraints we put on ourselves everyday.

The art of saying no

One of the keys of success is learning to say no. You have to say no a 36,600 times before you can learn this key principle to success.

Why 36,600 times?

Let’s use the example of eating a healthier diet. The plan is to say no to eating junk food such as cookies, ice cream, chips, etc. When the Resistance finds out your plans to improve your life he will wage a war upon you. He will begin to fight harder and you will inevitably see more free treats at the office, a friend stopping bye to drop off a plate of your favorite cookies and going away parties will increase. More treats and unhealthy meals (and for some reason their always free) will pop up more than ever before. It’s just the nature of fighting the Resistance.

So you have to learn to say no.

If you learn to say no 10 times a day then your chance of success to stick with your goals and battling off the Resistance is extremely high.

If you continue to do this for a week that is 70 times you have practiced the art of saying no.

For a month that is 280 times.
For a year that is 3,360 times you have said no.
If you do it for 5 years that is 16,800 times.
If you do it for 10 years that is 33,600 times you have practiced the art of saying no.

What discipline!

No one is saying you can’t have bowl of ice cream again. Before you say yes, learn to say no. Say no 10 times today before saying yes to something you want, not what you need.