Tag Archives: wisdom

Damn the journalists, full steam ahead

The radio comes on in my bedroom at 6am.

It usually takes 30 minutes before the irritating sound of BBC 4 finally moves me to haul my carcass out of bed. Lately it’s been only 20 minutes, as I’m now having to chauffeur one offspring unit to a new school, which calls for a 10-minute sleep-in deficit. (Growl)

This morning, it only took 15 minutes.

Cause I was mad at the flippin’ radio.

Doom. Gloom. The markets have fallen again. Politicians wringing their hands and covering their backsides. Commentators pessimistic about the economic data, short-term and long-term. All of them hopeless, and focussed on money, money, money.

Oh shut up, the bunch of you.

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20 years is a long time!

Two months ago, I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary.

Now that I look at it in print, it doesn’t seem like such a big number.

But to some, it will seem like a huge achievement. And I suppose it is. Among my peers in the same age range, there are many whose marriages have faltered long before the number 20.

Others whose lack of confidence in the institution (dee-light-ful term, that) has led them to not even try. For you, this post may be a source of painful recollection. (I am sorry. You might want to stop reading. Then again, you might not. You might even find this strangely comforting.)

I am always the first one up in the morning. Neanderthal Man hauls his carcass out of bed, navigates his way downstairs past blind teenage obstacles drifting out of side doors into the hallway, sucks up the requisite bowl of carbohydrates, and returns to bed to rouse his wife, fully armed with two cups of coffee.

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Kelly Johnson’s 14 Rules – Updated

Kelly Johnson is one of the legends of the aircraft design industry. He combined technical savvy is several disciplines with inspirational leadership of his team and single-minded focus on the task at hand. His accomplishments are adequately described elsewhere, but one bears reconsidering: Kelly Johnson’s 14 Rules.

I have never had the good fortune to work in a team that operated by the 14 rules. That’s primarily because they fly in the face of what’s supposedly modern wisdom about how teams should be run. It’s also because, frankly, they were written in a 1960’s US military aerospace culture that doesn’t really exist any more.

As they are excellent principles, I thing they deserve to be rewritten to bring them up-to-date. Here’s how I read them. Tell me what you think.

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Five Suggestions for Happiness!

I got to musing this week about the Five Rules for Happiness that I posted a while ago. It occurred to me that, while admirable, they are very general platitudes, and therefore easy to argue away.

So I thought I’d make them a little more specific, to make it easier to identify when I have (or haven’t) applied them.

An appropriate thing to do on the eve of a New Year.

1. Seek to develop a relationship with someone you would ordinarily avoid. What kind or person makes you uncomfortable or fidgety? For no rational reason? This year, identify someone with those characteristics, and go out of your way to find out how they think, what makes them tick, why they do what they do. You will surely gain an education, and possibly even a new friend.

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Deathbed wisdom

And that wisdom would be, Do your homework!

I came across some lesson for life this week, that I thought were pretty cool. (Still do.)

And, thinking them to be original to my source, I asked his permission to reprint them here. He agreed. They were purportedly given by a dying man to my source in person. He posted them on a limited access LinkedIn discussion group. I copied them to this post, really pleased with myself.

It hadn’t crossed my mind to check for duplicate content elsewhere on the net. So much for my journalistic skills.

Turns out the words of wisdom didn’t belong to my source at all. As point out by an old friend of mine, the words were originally posted by Regina Brett in 2001 when she turned 45, and expanded in 2006 when she turned 50. No deathbed, no dying man, in fact no man at all, but a woman, and a live one at that.

I’d failed to do my homework, albeit negligently. A check for duplicate content on the web reveals no less than 21 links containing the same content. Snopes has the real source and story documented.

So Yours Truly has had his ego chastened (quite rightly) and his confidence in the human race slightly shaken. My apologies to Regina Brett for inadvertently using her material. That’s the last time I use anyone else’s material, even with the best of intentions and all permissions given.

Hopefully the individual who passed the material on to me as his own feels similarly.

Regina’s words of wisdom are still really cool, and worth a read and a reflection. Do it. Tops marks to you, Regina.