The Sprinter and the Long Distance Runner

251-September 8 “Time is a great teacher. Unfortunately, it kills all pupils.”—Hector Berlioz The sprinter runs at top speed, with an all-out burst of energy, heart pounding and legs pumping to beat the wind to the finish line. Exhausted, lungs bursting at the end, the racer collapses and rests. He will sprint again. Later. The long distance runner cannot sprint—the course is too long. He must learn a different set of skills; he must know how to pace himself, to select those moments in which to push harder and faster, when to ease into the regular run for maintenance. Life is not a sprint. It is a long distance race. Too many people are pushing themselves at top sprinting speed every day, every week, year after year. They … [Read more...]

Teamwork

250-September 7 “Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”—Chief Seattle I stood in the aircraft hanger with my family, looking at the half-built shell of the space shuttle. It was “Family Day” at Edwards Air Force Base in Palmdale for employees of Rockwell International. On this day, we were allowed to climb around, over, up, under, and through the shuttle and its amazing technological support systems. We saw the intricacies of the spacecraft; we gazed in amazement at roomfuls of computer networks, electronic hardware, work stations, and raw materials. Children and adults covered the hangar like ants on … [Read more...]

Swimming in Corporations

249-September 6 “I will smile at friend and foe alike and make every effort to find, in him or her, a quality to praise, now that I realize the deepest yearning of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”—Og Mandino There is a dynamic between business owners and employees that is disempowering to both: resentment. Employees often feel that they are unfairly exploited, that they aren’t paid enough, that they don’t enjoy enough privileges, perks, benefits, freedom, etc. They feel trapped by the bargain they have made to exchange dollars for time, then resent the time and feel the dollars aren’t enough. They criticize the way the business operates, the rules and regulations formulated to govern them, and turn a resentful eye on … [Read more...]

The Optimism Insurance Policy

246-September 3 “How many joys are crushed under foot because people look up at the sky and disregard what is at their feet?”—Catharina Elisabetha Goethe Al the accountant bought a lottery ticket for himself every week. He said that it was his optimism insurance policy. Each week when he bought his ticket, he had fun thinking that he could win the lottery and become a millionaire. He smiled and spoke of how it much fun it was to think about having something wonderful like that happen. It kept him in a happy frame of mind all week. When the day of the drawing arrived, he would look at his ticket and think, “Today could be my lucky day!” If he didn’t win, he would immediately buy another ticket: “Maybe next time!” He always kept his … [Read more...]

The Circle of Abundance

245-September 2 “Money is like manure—it’s not worth anything unless you spread it around!”—Dolly Levi in The Matchmaker, by Thornton Wilder Money is a circle of abundance that is constantly flowing, creating ripples of prosperity just as a stone creates ripples when dropped in a lake. With any purchase, you can easily follow the ripples if you look. For example, if you buy a car, you have created prosperity for many people in an endless chain. First, the salesperson who sold you the car gets a commission, as does the dealership. The manufacturer also is enriched by the transaction. Most people are conscious of this much sometime during the transaction. But the ripples continue: Your purchase of the car sends money into the … [Read more...]