More Lessons Learned 2019

Part II of II

Looking back on the final year of the decade, here are five more Lessons Learned during 2019:

Small Step – One of the best books I read in 2019 is “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. Using the analogy of breaking down everything to its smallest part, when it comes to improving yourself, it’s important to not make each step along the way too big of a leap. Thus, if you want to run a marathon, the first thing you do is walk to the end of your block, not try to run five miles. If you want to lose weight, don’t diet, just use a smaller plate and avoid seconds. If you want to memorize a poem, focus today on the first stanza. Seems like an excellent approach… and fitting during this 50th anniversary of the Moon Shot and Neil Armstrong’s famous words.

Quickly Forgotten – A lot of my travel is to work with leaders to create a culture of safety within their high-risk facilities. Thus, I try to live what I teach. Of course, we’re most likely to forget about working safely when under a time crunch or when our thoughts are elsewhere. On Sunday, as our oldest helped me wrap Christmas lights around two pine trees, I set the staple gun on the top step of a ladder before climbing down. Then I said, “Let’s move the ladder over here.” When I picked it up, the staple gun fell five feet… hitting me in the clavicle. A couple of inches to the right and I might have had a head injury.

Getting Faster – Next week marks 21 years in our home, so it was built before technology became a major focus. We’ve upgraded here and there; however, our WiFi speed always seemed slow. So when AT&T offered an upgrade to more bandwith at about the same monthly cost, we jumped. When the installer finished, he asked why we did it. I told him to make things faster, and he said, “I don’t think this is going to solve that.” Wait, what? “You need a WiFi net to increase speed.” One month, lots of research, and $200 later, I installed an Orbi Tri-band system in about 30 minutes… and our speeds doubled.

Solution Rediscovered – The best quote I saw for the first time this year is attributed to the 17th century French mathematician and scientist Blaise Pascal: “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” Seems especially relevant in today’s continually connected, always engaged, checking email, texts and Twitter society.

Gift Giving – If you’re looking for an end-of-year goodwill gesture, please consider contributing to an organization based in the Dominican Republic, where 20 percent live in extreme poverty. Puente – “bridge” in Spanish – utilizes mobile data technology to survey locals and pinpoint where needs exist, then identifies solutions and finds partners to deliver them. For example, Puente distributes water filters, constructs bathrooms and floors, and organizes short-term medical brigades. The son of our lifelong friends left his career 18 months ago to move there and co-found Puente, which has helped more than 180 families during the past six months.

I’ll conclude with this quote from an unknown source: “May you never be too grown up to search the skies on Christmas Eve.”

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Seasons Greetings. May 2020 bring clear vision for you… and continued success in all things.


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