We are judged by what we finish,
not what we start.

Hectic days infect us with an amnesia of our actions. Despite our certain knowledge of constant and diligent effort, we sense we’ve fallen further behind.

The determination to achieve is fueled by the knowledge that we can do what we set out to do.

Without believing we can make a difference, even the strongest amongst us get run down. Both sprints and marathons require bright ribbons to mark and entice us towards the end of the race.

In a perfect world, the heavens would announce every achievement with a herald of trumpets. In the world we’ve been dealt, we must blow our own horns, even if we’re both trumpeter and audience.

Every achievement, from finishing a tiny scrap of writing, to placing the call we’ve been avoiding, to the completion of that six month project, is worthy of noting and celebrating. Whether it is with a sly smile of satisfaction, a mark made on a list or a dance of joy performed in solitude; every celebration honours past efforts and prepares us for the next activity.

We measure distances with a ruler, time by the ticks of a clock and small steps of progress by tasks scratched off our list.

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Doing it Over

We never have the time to do it right
but always have time to do it over.

We work as if permanently stuck in high gear. We approach every task, regardless of complexity, with equal obsession for speedy completion. We’ve yet to learn that tasks aren’t all vanilla, some have hard shelled nuts in them.

Ticks of a clock are poor measures of a task. Other measures are: quality or customer satisfaction; cost or savings; teamwork or the simple joy of doing it well; and of course, the cost of doing it over.

The speed at which we can complete a project is defined by the task, not by our need to get it done now, or worse, yesterday. Attempt to push it faster and, like last night’s under cooked chili, it’ll return with a vengeance and holding a grudge.

Cutting corners, increases risk. To afford a task less respect than it deserves, is to invite the attention of Murphy. Time saved when we can’t afford it, extracts too high an interest rate.

Tasks take the time they need, either now… or later, when we really can’t afford it.

A task done carefully, is done faster than the task done over

Wink or Blink?

Laws alone cannot secure freedom of expression;
in order that every man present his views without penalty
there must be a spirit of tolerance in the entire population.
Albert Einstein

I’m not like you. We come from different places, we tell different stories, our humour is different, as is our spelling. We don’t look the same, smell the same, believe the same things or even eat the same meals. We’re different. Now what?

That question never goes away. The above litany is always true. It’s true, no matter who we are, where we live or who we work/play with. It’s true, regardless who we compare ourselves to. We’re different. So?

The differences in skin colour, looks, interests, wealth, intelligence, politics and religion, and so on and so on… ad nauseam, are easily used to build barriers. Anyone can do it. No education or skill required. The more ignorance, the better. Obstacles and barriers, chasms and canyons, created while we wait in growing fear.

To revel in diversity requires effort. The recipe is simple. Take one part education and mix thoroughly  with another part humour. Simmer slowly, don’t allow to boil… and tolerance rises.

When confronted face to face, if we blink… we lose, when we wink… we win.

Tricks, Traps and Tips for better Problem Solving

Cost: Nada!
Although you’re more than welcome to send me a note of appreciation and/or order some books as a way to support the costs of providing this service.

Where? Head here for all the details.

If you work for a living, then you solve problems of all types.This session will explore some simple PS concepts and explain how we can use formal, and informal, PS techniques in every day Life.

Peter believes very much in the idea that we learn by doing, more precisely? That we learn by failing at doing.

So??? This presentation WILL be interactive.
1) Make sure you have a deck of playing cards handy.
2) Peter will take ‘questions’ via e-mail as he presents.

Feedback from a similar live session:
Peter … We reviewed the feedback forms this week – of the 90 collected for the Problem Solving sessions, overwhelmingly the ratings were 5s (highest) We summarized the feedback as follows, included member quotes:

‘Over the top’ successful. Very dynamic, excellent speaker.
Members wanted more from Peter; many felt his sessions were too short.
“..energizing & interesting. Very helpful.”
“..too short – was enjoyable & thought provoking!”
“Fabulous, awesome presentation. Great interaction & exercises.
Could have spent the whole afternoon in his session.”
“Excellent session, extremely dynamic presenter! Useful for any level of team member.”
“Peter was the “BEST” part of the day.”
“Please bring Peter back to talk to us.”

Most ignorance is vincible ignorance:
we don’t know because we don’t want to know.
Aldous Huxley

In all human endeavors there lie risks we don’t want to explore, flaws we’d rather ignore, and conflicts we’d rather avoid. We choose the comfort of deliberate ignorance over the insecurity of uncertain knowledge.

We are all incredibly good at stepping around the things we mustn’t discuss. Irrational actions rule supreme in the face of topics smeared with the taint of taboo.

The solution of course, is to take those lonely and invisible 800 lb gorilla problems and place them in the middle of the table. Shave them naked and paint them a glorious glowing neon pink. Make it so that we’d have to be blind to ignore their presence.

Problems grow stronger in the shade of solitary confinement. They shrivel to a fraction of their size when exposed to those dedicated to finding solutions.

Problems by definition ‘need fixing’… actions that result in conspiracies of deliberate avoidance are counter to intelligence.

From a reluctance to tell a friend they have bad breath, to the corporate wide ‘decision’ to ignore unethical policies… problems gain strength from silence.

The unacknowledged problem is forever unsolvable.

Don’t fight forces;
Use them.
Buckminster Fuller

Ships sail against the wind, waters behind the dam give it strength, the weight of an arch bestows suspended flight to waves of stone and steel. In all of these, the forces that work against success, are what make it possible.

Physical force has direction and energy, but no motivation or intention. Manipulate what works against you, into working for you.

Our first reaction to any opposing force is to push back, it’s an instinctive, simple, uncomplicated strategy, and this sometimes brings success. We have other options.

In unrelenting heat, ice cold water is scarce, unless you place it in a porous terra-cotta pot. The evaporating droplets create a chill, just as sweat will cool the body. Don’t fight the heat, use it.

The forces we encounter as obstacles to our goals aren’t always physical, sometimes they’re political, spawned of human nature and desire. The advice doesn’t change, don’t fight the forces, use them.

If someone is an expert at finding fault with a project, place them on the project with the task of avoiding fault.

If someone’s ego is in the way of a change, then frame the success to feed the ego.

Make the force be with you…