Chance favors the prepared mind

I have a small zippered pouch that I wanted to hang around my neck. It has two eyelets, so all I needed was a piece of string. I searched the house over and couldn’t find any heavy string or twine. What kind of home doesn’t have a ball of twine around? Finally, I pulled the lanyard off my iPod Shuffle, pushed the cord through one of the eyeletts and hung the pouch around my neck.

I have a morning routine. I get up at oh-dark-thirty (very early). The first thing I do is make myself a cup of tea. I heat a cup of water in the microwave for two minutes and ten seconds, drop my tea bag in, and let it steep for three minutes. I set the timer on the microwave for both stages of this process. This is five of the most creative minutes of my day. I have some of my wildest, craziest, best ideas. By the time I get to my desk…you guessed it! The ideas have vanished. The pouch hanging around my neck (Did you think I wouldn’t get back to it?) is just large enough to hold a small notebook and pen. I want this to be the first thing I put on in the morning so that I have a way to capture my ideas anytime and anywhere they come to me. Ideas are the lifeblood of any creative endeavor. They’re precious things that must be protected and nurtured. I don’t want to lose them. (Okay, I haven’t figured out how to capture them in the shower…another very productive place.) I also have an idea notebook that I transfer everything to so that I have it all in one place. If you don’t already have a way to capture your ideas, I encourage you to give it some consideration.

Today, I’m planning for 2012.

Things in which I’m interested: writing, music, reading mathematics, teaching, computers, Linux, Arch Linux, programming, computer graphics, creating tutorials, open-source software, home repair and remodeling, bicycling, homebrewing, quality assurcnce, process improvement, manufacturing, small business, blogging, productive failure, trading stocks, creativity, work, jobs.

That’s quite a list. It took only a couple of minutes to come up with it. I do this exercise a couple of times a year just to see what shows up. Some things are always on the list, but there’s usually a surprise or two. It’s important to know what you’re interested in. Barbara Sher (author) says that winning means getting what you want. I think that’s a good definition. I also think it’s interesting that she didn’t say success is getting what you want; she said winning is getting what you want. The things that you’re interested in should point the way to the things you want.

[NOTE] Failure is NOT the opposite of success!

What are you interested in? What do you want? I’m going to try to answer these questions for myself over the next few days.

None of us is as good as all of us!

The Steve(s) Jobs and Wozniak starting Apple Computer in their garage makes for wonderful mythical tale. The reality, though, is that the idea may have come out of that garage, but it took many more people to get to a thriving business. Business is a team sport. I don’t want to take anything away from the inspired minds that come up with amazing ideas or the determination and motivation that fuels dreams. Ideas and dreams are the precursor of all that follows. To turn our dreams and ideas into reality, though, we need many partners along the way. What human resources do you have available?

Family: 3 carpenters, an electrician, 2 administrators, an attorney, a chemist, thespian (actor), dentist, teacher, graphic artist

Friends: electrical engineer, human resources professional, musician, quality assurance consultant, sales / marketing professional

Other: bloggers?

It’s surprising the number skill sets that are represented. How can these resources help me get the things that I want? Perhaps more important: How can I help them get what they want? Each of us has dreams, desires, wants. We can all win if we just choose to play the game that way (Stephen Covey: Win-win or no deal.). I find that I usually get more of what I want and have a lot more fun when I’m helping others with what they want.

I’m trying to find at least one or two blogs every day that I find particularly interesting. This one’s inspirational.

http://www.customink.com/about/our_story

Looks like a good resource too.

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