Business Coach Thom Quinn presents a daily look at the philosophy and psychology of Productivity, Life Management, Leadership, Creativity, Problem-Solving, Peaceful Conflict Resolution, and Eudiamonia (the good life). I invite you to join the conversation!
Since 2008 has 366 days, I suggest using this "extra" day to review your annual goals, revise some of your action plans, and outline any necessary course corrections for the next 10 months. This will help insure that 2008 is great.
"Behavior is the mirror in which everyone shows their image." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I posted the above quote last week and today I'd like to explore the idea with more depth.
Behaviors, unlike thoughts, are observable to other people. Although a witness will often not understand the reasons why someone acted a certain way, they will know how someone conducted their affairs. Your behavior is measurable and can be compared and contrasted in the following ways:
1. What you said you would do (consider the saying "actions speak louder than words"). 2. What your peers or competitors are doing. 3. What others have done in similar situations in the past.
Bottom Line: External acts are the main way others judge our qualities as a human being. The summation of what we do, both small and grand, becomes the public record of our life.
With gas pricing rising, smart driving and thoughtful energy conservation makes more sense than ever. Below are ten great gas saving tips that will help you spend less at the pump and increase your overall mileage.
1. Do not drive solo. Instead, car pool and split the gas bill or choose public transportation.
2. Use muscle power: walk, jog, or bike for local trips. It is good for you body, your pocket book, and your planet.
3. Plan first. Organize your activities/events and then group as many errands into one trip as possible. This requires that you take the most efficient route.
4. Avoid "jackrabbit" starts and sudden stops. When starting your car, press the accelerator slowly. When breaking, apply force slower so the car come to a more gradual stop.
5. Driver slower and more steadily. Cars get much better mileage (sometimes 20% more) at 55 mph then at 70 mph. Remember: driving at a constant rate is best as slowing down and speeding up wastes fuel.
6. Clean your car. Empty your automobile's trunk and keep very little in your car as the extra weight means a higher energy expendure per trip (and fewer miles per gallon).
7. Tires matter. Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned. Each tire should be periodically spun, balanced and checked. Insure that your car's tires are inflated to the maximum recommended pressure.
8. Use the correct oil. Modest mileage improvements (1%) can be achieved by opting for the grade of motor oil recommended by the car manufacturer. It is important to change your oil every 3000 miles. When purchaing oil, look for the phrase "energy conserving" on the API performance label as it contains friction-reducing additives.
9. Time shift: When possible, avoid driving during rush-hour or other peak traffic periods.
10. Replace air filters. A dirty air filter is a problem as it causes an engine to work harder and burn more fuel. New engine air filters will improve your gas mileage. It's a good idea to check your air filter when your change your oil.
Bonus Tip: Avoid all unnecessary trips. 'Sunday Driving' is a thing of the past.
If you have completed your five year plan, I encourage to craft a 50-Year Plan! Expand your time horizon for half a century and plan out all you would like to be, do, have, learn, see, and experience.
What if you are already 80 years old? Then consider what legacies you would like to leave behind and how could you help\influence\impact your family, friends, community, or the world-at-large in fifty years from beyond the grave.
Of course, this plan is subject to change as the world changes; nevertheless, course corrections are easiest when you are already have your bearings and are heading in a single direction.
A rough outline can be completed within a few hours. A superior Fifty Year Plan will take several weeks to assemble as it will involve personal brainstorming, quite reflection, critical thinking, and strategic planning.
"We greatly overestimate what we can accomplish in one year. But we greatly underestimate what we can accomplish in five years.” - Peter Drucker
Successful people usually have a time horizon that spans several years. So, if you do not have a 5-year plan, I highly suggest you take an evening an map out the next few years, consider everything you would like to do, have, be, and experience. Some things are just not possible to complete within 365 days. Increase your goals list to span long-term targets that may take a few winters to accomplish.
Do something different tonight: witness a full lunar eclipse (assuming that the skies are clear in your area this evening) The entire event will be visible from a large area including part of Africa, Europe, North America, and South America.
The lunar eclipse starts at 8:43 EST. Totality itself will begin at 10:01 EST and last for 50 minutes. The entire shows will end at 12:09 EST on February 21, 2008.
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are 100% safe to watch. You can look directly at the 'disappearing' moon without any special filters.
Although the entire event will not be visible from the US West Coast, you still will be able to see the majority of the eclipse.
For more detailed information, see the below links:
"There is one quality more important than "know-how" and we cannot accuse the United States of any undue amount of it. This is "know-what" by which we determine not only how to accomplish our purposes, but what our purposes are to be." - Norbert Wiener (the founder of the interdisciplinary field of Cybernetics), The Human Use of Human Beings, 1954
Today's topic is the "Birth of the Modern" and a very quick summary of a short essay I wrote 15 years ago which argued that that Febuary 12, 1809 is a great benchmark for the beginning of the modern world. I choose this date as it also was the birthday of both Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Of course, many economic, political, cultural, historical, and scientific forces combined during the 19th century that resulted in a new kind of mechanized society that no prior civilization had encountered. Of course, neither Lincoln nor Darwin 'produced' the modern world (it would have happened without them), but their birthdate is a symbolic day.
In some ways, this date is purely arbitary; however, it is also wonderful point of reference for marking the cultural and sociological shift. It is a logical choice when compared to any other 'single day' as history unfolds as part of continous stream of cause and effect, so teasing out a discrete moment is almost impossible. Nevertheless, Lincoln and Darwin were part of that first generation that witnessed a distinct break with ancient tradition due to technological progress. Communication changed forever with the invention of the telegraph as messages could instantly travel hundreds of miles. Likewise, both the speed and distance that a human being could travel in a single day was greatly increased with the steam-powered transit system: the railway. Neither of these existed when Lincoln and Darwin were born; however, they were commonplace when Darwin died in 1882. Additionally, Lincoln was known as the 'rail candidate'.
As a second benchmark, when both men were 50, events occurred that focused their lasting impact on history:
On October 16, 1859, John Brown attack on the Harpers Ferry Armory led to the Southern fears of slave insurrections as a clear threat. This failed attempt became the catalyst for secession and the American Civil War. A year later, Lincoln was elected the first Republican President of the United States.
On November 24, 1859, John Murray published Darwin's book entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, which outlined the unifying principle for biology (natural selection) and changed the way humanity views itself today.
Today is the 199th celebration of Charles Darwin's birthday (as well as Abe Lincoln) and it should be celebrated as he profoundly changed the way humanity views God, nature, and ourselves. A little more on this on my next post.
Food for thought: below is the ending paragraph from this landmark volume, the Origin of Species. It is worth reading:
"It is interesting to contemplate an entangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent on each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved."