Saturday Musings - Simple Solutions

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I’ve just been trying to debug a pretty complex program. One screen displayed the error logs, another the database changes while yet another the actual code. For some stupid reason, nothing appeared in my browser when I run the application……it’s safe to say that I'm pulling my hair out in frustration!

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It was then that it dawned on me…..you moron! I’d forgotten to save my code. Yep, the most obvious of solutions lay withering on the vine of my single-minded focus. A simple control-S saw everything instantly display as it should and my universe come into alignment….well, almost anyway.

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Saturday Musings - Handling Stress

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I know of very few people that don’t suffer from stress and fewer still that haven’t been massively stressed at some time during their life. So over the years, what have I learned about handling stress?

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When I was training for my private pilot's license, my flying instructor explained to me a simple principle about how to handle stress in the cockpit. He said there may be a time when the workload increases to the point where you become incredibly stressed and find your decision making suffers.

I must admit that I thought that could never happen to me, after all, I’m a smart guy so my instructor must have been thinking about other people. How many times have you listened to someone sharing some wisdom born out of experience only to think they were talking to someone else?

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Saturday Musings - Why Networking is a Bad Idea

Saturday Musings - Why Networking is a Bad Idea

I can’t stand the term “networking”. It really iterates me when I hear people talk about “great network opportunities” when they refer to a conference. The reason I don’t like the term is that it’s completely self-centered. It’s all about what you can get out of something or someone.

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How many times have you been in a conversation with someone where the only reason they want to get to know you is because of who you work for or the position you hold? You’re merely the stepping stone for them to sell some product or service. They actually don’t care about you and developing a friendship is the furthest thing from their thinking.

Yes, in business we all do transactions with one another but there is a right way and a wrong way to treat people along the journey. Networking is all about getting something…..I think we should flip the model on its head and work out what we can give.

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Recent Comments
Rawgi
I have found that I have to keep check on my enthusiasm when meeting new people or I forget to listen. Having been around the blo... Read More
28 May 2017
mgilmour
As always.....thank you Rawgi for sharing your own experiences on this topic. There are always people that will try and take advan... Read More
29 May 2017
Wolftalker
Wise Words.
31 May 2017
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Saturday Musings – When Life Brings Changes

Saturday Musings – When Life Brings Changes

Our house has been in the midst of a lot of change over the past week. Tim and his girlfriend flew down from up north for a flying visit and our daughter Sarah is in the process of moving into her own place.

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Life’s been a little bit chaotic with people coming and going. Come Tuesday next week and there will just be Roselyn and I with eighteen-year-old daughter Elise rattling around the house built for a lot more than just us.

When life throws you a whole lot of changes you can either resist what is happening or go with the flow.  I’m an eternally optimist so I like to look on the empty bedrooms as an opportunity.

I recently had a person tell me that I’m too optimistic and that I need a dose of reality. I responded by saying that I like to make my own reality so it may as well be a positive one. I must admit that I get tired of people that always seem to point out that donuts have holes…..for heaven’s sake you’ve got a donut. Enjoy it!

I’m now in the process of turning one of the spare bedrooms into a video/sound studio with a green screen and all. I love messing around with being creative with that type of stuff and my “donut” is looking better every day.

I’ve now bought a high-end microphone, mixing console, and some sound software so that I can record an audio version of my book, Battleframe. I’ve always wanted to do this and now I have the space to do it in…..so get ready for some audio and even video action!

When life brings changes your way remember that not all of them are bad. It seems to me that when your children get older and leave the nest they inevitably bring back someone else with them. You can either view this as a threat to the way things were or an opportunity to get to know someone your kids really love.

Sarah had her birthday this past week and we had all the boy and girlfriends around for a great celebration. It was fantastic seeing them laughing and interacting with one another….it’s one of the many blessings of being a parent.

So decide what you're going to do in your life, look at the donut or grumble that it's got a hole.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

 

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Why My Mother's a Genius!

Why My Mother's a Genius!

There’s nothing worse than when you feel you’re thrashing. If you’ve never heard of “thrashing” then you’re likely to be one of the few lucky individuals that have never experienced it either. Thrashing happens when you have so much on your plate, you end up jumping from one activity to another and never completing anything.

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Thrashing originated as a computer term to describe the hard drive head as it moved across a platter of disks. When users add and delete files, disk fragmentation occurs and the hard drive head has to jump like a jackrabbit all over its surface in order to access a single file. In a non-tech talk.…you hear what sounds like mice scurrying around in your PC.

The technical boffins solved this problem by constantly “defragmenting” the hard drive and rearranging all of the file parts so the hard drive head moved to one spot to pick up the file. We can learn a lot from this approach.

So the other day I found myself on three IM chats, a skype conference call, emails pouring in and a things to do list a mile long.

As an aside, I’ve used the far more sensible metric system all of my life and yet saying my things to do list is a kilometer long just doesn’t sound right. I tip my hat to all of you recalcitrant Americans who insist on still using miles, gallons and ounces rather than kilometers, liters and grams.

I’ve often wondered though how you express thousands of something? Is it kilogallons? Do you ask your local shop for a kilo-ounce of sugar? Then again, you’d probably end up filling up your entire kitchen with that much, so probably not.

So back to my thrashing around skype, IM and emails. After muting the mike on skype (I hope I did anyway) I let out a little scream, smiled and began to politely extricate myself from the myriad of noise that I really didn’t need to be a part of.

That’s the thing. Thrashing normally occurs when you stick your nose into places that it really doesn’t belong. After getting a whiff of what’s there you feel obligated to do something about the problem and clean up the mess. Note to self….other people are quite capable of cleaning up their own messes.

So I looked at my list, had a bit of a delirious chuckle and began removing all those things to do that I didn’t have to really be involved with. In the process I discovered a long last feature of skype…..the away button. It gave me the time to think rather than react.

At the end of my review process I had a more manageable list and I followed my mother’s instructions. For some reason, most mothers are absolute geniuses when it comes to getting stuff done. It’s probably the fact that they have vast amounts of experience ensuring that children are fed, clean and not sticking their little fingers in power sockets. My mother was brilliant at stopping me from doing the latter btw.

What did my mother say? She said, “Get your list together, start one task and don't stop until it’s finished.”

What a brilliant piece of advice! Before computers were invented and hard drive heads weren’t even a technician’s dream my mother solved the problem of thrashing. I sometimes wonder if the techies just sat down with a few mothers we could have had the world of the Jetson’s by now…..what a lost opportunity.

So I did what my mother told me and my MBA be damned. Who needs a master’s in business when you have an expert with a bachelor of common sense to look up to! It was amazingly liberating. Stuff got done, people stopped complaining because I was delayed in finishing a task and I had a smile on my face.

That’s when I realized, that I’d left skype on “away”…..no wonder I’d suddenly gained so much time.

Have a great weekend!

Michael

Battleframe

Recent Comments
Rawgi
You are right , it is so easy to get overwhelmed by trying to do too much at one time. Then again it is an art to prioritize what... Read More
12 March 2017
mgilmour
Couldn't agree with you more!
12 March 2017
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