Showing posts from September, 2019

Difficulties Are Opportunities To Make Us Stronger

It would be nice to have an easy day at the office, everything goes smoothly, there is no stress and you take home a nice paycheck you feel like you are stealing. Not many people are lucky enough to be in such a state, for the rest of us stress is going to come with any job. Almost everyone I talk to has a job where they have more work to do than there is time to get it done. We need to look at those moments as tremendous opportunities.

Every time we feel overwhelmed, there is an opportunity right in front of you to find a solution. You can complain about it, work a bunch of overtime, or come up with a solution to make yourself more efficient. Finding tools to help you automate, delegating, and developing processes to make us more effective are all things we have the ability to control.

Every day we should look at finding a way to save yourself a minute a day or even a minute a week. Saving yourself a minute a week may not seem like a big deal but that is almost an hour a year. Every …

Injuries And Life's Trials

Recently a friend of my daughter sustained a knee injury ending her soccer season and putting her dance season at risk as well. The most crushing part in this, it is her third injury in the last 4 years. It just breaks my heart to see someone go through those kind of hardships at such a young age. She is such a good, kind and positive person. The last person who deserves to go through something like this.

Unfortunately she is not alone in going through hardships. I've lost jobs and have endured my children dealing with medical issues. Countless people face battles and challenges that make others respond, "I don't know how you do it."

I wish I had some great pearls of wisdom to share with her, but I don't. To encourage her that this is the hardest thing she will have to deal with in her life, but there are no guarantees. The only thing I do know is there is an opportunity to learn something in every situation, good or bad. Sometimes we don't know the lesson un…

Being Honest With Ourselves About Our Strengths And Weaknesses

I write a lot about the need to learn on this site. I believe it is important to push ourselves, learn new things and get out of our comfort zones. I know this because people have always proven they are capable of far more than we give them credit for. A team that doesn't perform very well suddenly finds a way to play their best game and knock off the undefeated team. We all like a good underdog story and I believe there is an underdog in all of us.

On the flip side though, I also believe that each person is made with their own set of unique talents and gifts. We also have our own set of weaknesses and fears. Working together in the right mix is what creates success. The teams you see who are successful generally have a common trait that they are first and foremost a great team. The recognize that having one all-star isn't going to make them successful. They need a team they can surround themselves with that compliment their strengths and cover up for their weaknesses. Michael…

Even An Expert Can Learn Something

I am a big data nerd. I don't do a lot of programming any more but I still use SQL frequently. My favorite application is Excel, it isn't a close competition. I've learned a lot of interesting tips and tricks in using Excel but I know there are still areas I haven't even scratched the surface on. In the last few days I figured out how to create my own custom formulas. That is going to be a game changer for me.

No matter how much I have learned using Excel I know there are new things to keep learning. This is true no matter what the skill is. There is always room for improvement. Even if it is a strength you can still find ways to push yourself beyond your current skill level.

If you are a person that uses Excel a lot in your job, send me a note and maybe we can help each other learn something new. I'm always happy to learn more.

I Think I Thought Way Too Much About This Post

It is easy to get caught up in our thoughts, over-analyze situations, and think too much about what choice is the right one. Over-thinking is something that plagues too many people, I'm guilty of it far too often. 
One of the skills that can benefit everyone is learning how to gather the right amount of information to make a decision. Needing to gather every fact before deciding is a tremendous waste of your time and energy. However you don't want to take things to the other extreme and attempt to make a decision on hardly any information, just picking the first option that comes along. It is a spectrum, the higher the risk and the higher the costs - the more analysis you need. If you are buying a house you want to take the time to get a home inspection, make sure the foundation is good. If you are trying to decide where to eat and can't decide between two places, flip a coin and eat the first one now and the other the next time you go out.
You get better at making decisio…

Microsoft The Musical And The Hidden Talent All Around

It isn't hard to figure out that I'm a fan of Broadway musicals. Especially given the fact I have written about it in the past, (here and here). It gets even better when worlds collide like they did when I learned about a musical video created by a group of interns at Microsoft. That's right, Microsoft the Musical is a real thing.

My first observation, it was nice to be reminded I'm not alone in what many find to be an odd mix of interests. Computers, logic and business can co-exist with a love of theater and being a dance dad. Second, it was very entertaining, especially the way they aren't afraid to poke fun at themselves with the line about how unsuccessful the Windows phone was.

The coolest thing about this though was watching all the way through the credits. The number of people listed as part of making this video is fascinating. All of the talent in creating this video came from what I would affectionately refer to as a bunch of geeks. This isn't just hav…

Someday You Too Will Say "Back In My Day"

My kids are getting old enough we can now play a game called "Back In My Day" for hours of entertainment. Listening to their laughter is great fun as you explain things from your childhood and the struggles you had they will never understand. How you had to wait to call someone long distance after 7PM. Having to explain to them what a long distance call is. Waiting by the radio hoping they play your favorite song so you can put it on a tape to listen to later. Making a mixed tape, the playlists of our generation. Needing to go to the library to research any information you are trying to learn. Having to get up and walking to the TV to change the channel, to one of only 3 choices.

I am in awe of how much things have changed in the last 20 years and am very curious to see how things change in the next 20. My daughter is about to turn 16 so I have to take her for her drivers test. A friend made the comment to me wondering what age of kids will grow up not understanding having …

Shopping Online With All The Endless Choices

I am in the hunt for a new desk. Ever since I started working from home I've realized how much I miss my sit/stand desk that I have used for the last five years. I just work better when I can move around a bit, not to mention it is better for you. If you weren't aware just Google, "dangers of sitting all day" and you will have your eyes opened quickly.

During my shopping process I was reminded of a book I read a number of years ago, The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz. It is a book that has stuck with me over the years and the concepts keep coming up, especially in times when I'm hunting for a new desk and there are hundreds of choices. There are so many choices that I don't want to buy any of them. In his book Schwartz talked about how when people are presented with more options they are actually less likely to buy. I can attest to that reality. The problem is there are so many choices, and their are tons of reviews, some good, some bad. One person says …