Showing posts from November, 2021

Success Starts Early - Camaraderie is Accountability

The alarm blares long before the sun rises, and despite being much too tired to get up he somehow crawls out of bed to meet a friend for an early morning run.  The free dessert at the restaurant looks amazing but she makes the choice to resist the urge to eat it because there's going to be a group meeting to discuss everyone's health decisions.  People make decisions all the time that make sense and are good for everyone, but that they wouldn't necessarily have made without someone else holding them accountable .  All of us should develop friendships with others who are chasing similar goals so that we have camaraderie , which gives us companions to help us stretch and grow.  When is the last time you did something just because someone else expected it?  As kids we all do things that our parents or teachers ask or that we know they'd like.  Peer pressure gets blamed for a lot of bad things, but when it comes to keeping us accountable it can often have a major positive i

Success Starts Early - Joy

"Love what you do and you'll never work a day in your life." Ever heard that line?  I've seen it attributed to several different people throughout history, but honestly have no idea who really said it first.  Do you think it's accurate?  It seems to me that, even when doing the things you love most in life, there are still certain aspects that don't turn out to be all that enjoyable.  Still, the sentiment behind the statement is sound - there is a foolproof way to avoid the drudgery that often comes along with doing the hard work that is necessary, and it's really perfect for the holiday season we're about to experience.  Find the joy ! Growing up we used to watch kid movies that encouraged us to find fun in the chores, and that would turn the work into a game.  You've probably seen a few of these sorts of things as well.  I remember a t-shirt that a friend used to wear that had the phrase "Work is what you make it" along with the picture

Success Starts Early - Communication

I heard a story about the commanding officer on a naval ship who was awakened one night to be informed that a light was spotted in the path of their vessel during the night.  Irritated at being pulled out of a deep sleep, he went to the communications area on board and sent a message that whoever was ahead should alter their course.  A response soon came back suggesting his own ship needed to steer to avoid a collision.  The officer, quickly becoming angry, sent another message that his ship was one of the most heavily-armed vessels in the navy.  A message came back, "That may be true, but this is a lighthouse."  Obviously that information changed the dynamics of the conversation quickly.  Hopefully the ship's officer did the smart thing by adjusting his course, and maybe he learned an important lesson about communication while he was at it.  Most people believe that they are good communicators.  In a way, they are correct - everyone is constantly sending out messages th

Success Starts Early - Massive Action

I live pretty close to NASA, just outside of Houston, TX.  Growing up near the same community where famous astronauts like Alan Shepherd, Gus Grissom, Jim Lovell, and Neil Armstrong have lived has always been fascinating to me, and driving past the Johnson Space Center allowed me to see their massive Saturn V rocket as a child.  Recently they have added some of the newer rockets that have been used by groups such as SpaceX to their impressive display.  According to the lift that was required to propel the shuttle missions into space required the burning of some 11,000 pounds of fuel per second during liftoff (roughly the same amount used by all of the cars on the road during Houston's daily rush hour).  In fact, fuel would account for approximately half of the total weight of a shuttle.  But once the shuttle reached its desired altitude and speed outside of Earth's atmosphere, very little thrust is required and most of the fuel tanks are jettisoned and allowed to fall

Success Starts Early - Passion

"It's better to burn out than rust out.  Set yourself on fire and the whole world will come to watch." A business associate told me this a long time ago before going into a meeting, probably quoting a book he had been reading.  I don't remember much else about our conversation but that word picture has stuck with me through the years.  We've probably all seen rusty old cars that no longer run.  A burning car would be equally useless (perhaps even moreso because there would be no opportunity to scavenge parts), but wouldn't you agree that would attract more curious onlookers?  Now here's the interesting fact: fire and rust are both forms of oxidation, which is a scientific term that describes the reaction of a compound with oxygen.  During oxidation, the original compound loses electrons (the negative part of an atom) and is therefore changed to an ion or a different compound.  In my friend's analogy, therefore, the only difference in the two options wa