Jan 22, 2011

Are You a Nail or a Bullet?

 A successful nail is one that does it's job by staying in one place for a very long time.

A successful bullet is one that does it's job and then gets out of the way for the next bullet to get in there and do it's job.

A bullet makes a lousy nail. A nail makes a lousy bullet.

Using a bullet when you need a nail is bad. Using a nail when you need a bullet is bad.

Trying to be a nail in the chamber of a rifle is not good. Trying to be a bullet stuck in the wall is not good.

Bullets are useful. Nails are useful. Figure out which one you are, or what your situation requires. Don't get the two mixed up.

Jan 14, 2011

Ironic, Isn't It? Part Three...

From Uncle John's Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader:

 "At the head offices of the National Association of Telemarketers in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, a sign is posted on the front door that reads "Absolutely NO SOLICITING"

Anyone that has ever had dinner interrupted by a telemarketer not only sees the irony here, but the glaring hypocrisy. They represent a group that regularly intrude into our homes and workplace via the ringing of a telephone; but they themselves do not want to bothered.

A few years back we dropped our home phone. The wife & I both had cell phones and that's how most of our friends & family would contact us. The only calls we got on our land line phone were telemarketers.

I work in an office of a company that does the testing, adjusting & balancing on commercial HVAC systems. During the course of any one day at least 30% of the calls are telemarketers. It's incredibly annoying.

I'm sure there's some clever lesson I could draw out of the irony here, but just talking about gets me all riled up... Grrrr....

Jan 8, 2011

Ironic, Isn't It? Part Two...

From Uncle John's Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader:

"After actress Brittany Murphy, 32, died of a heart attack while taking a shower in December 2009, First Look Pictures immediately recalled and replaced the DVD cover art for her recently released film, Deadline. The reason: It depicted Murphy as a lifeless corpse lying in a bathtub."

The lesson we can take from this: Sometimes things just happen. Now, I deeply believe there are times when things happen for a reason. Sometimes what we want to call a "coincidence"  is God orchestrating His divine plan for our lives.

But, sometimes things do "just happen." Some people would read this story and say: "Well, she cursed herself by letting herself be depicted dying in a shower." The truth is people die in the shower every day. In fact, my grandfather passed away in 1995 after having a heart attack in the shower. And to come at it from the other side, every day actors in film, theater & TV regularly "die" without dying.

If every actor who died in real life died the same way they died while acting, then we could say Brittany Murphy's death was not a coincidence. An example of this is the "Madden Curse." Almost every NFL star who has appeared on the cover of the Madden NFL video game box art has experienced a decline in performance, usually due to an injury.

 David McRaney at the "You Are Not So Smart" blog talks about the Texas Sharp-Shooter Fallacy. (David is a genius. It would be well worth your time to read this post...)

The basic premise is that with hindsight being 20/20, we take what are really random events and force them into an picture that makes sense to us. We don't like randomness.

The hard part is discerning when something is a random coincidence and when it's not. And if you figure out how to do that, let me know so you can teach me...

Jan 1, 2011

Ironic, Isn't It? Part One.

I"m a huge fan of Uncle John's Bathroom Readers. They are full of articles on history, science, pop culture and other assorted stuff. All pure brain candy...
This will be the first of a series of short posts from an article in the "Heavy Duty Bathroom Reader."

"A 2010 Indiana University study found that anti-drinking commercials that use scare tactics tend to bring out "feelings so unpleasant that alcoholics are compelled to eliminate them by whatever means possible." According to the study's respondents, they cope by drinking. Result: "Alcoholics actually drink more that if they hadn't been exposed to the ads in the first place." "

Anyone that has ever inhaled a gallon of Rocky Road ice cream while watching the Biggest Loser finds this as no surprise.

The lesson for leaders/teachers/preachers: Guilt & scare tactics are not effective motivators.

The lesson for the rest of us: Know what triggers your bad behaviors and be prepared to react differently.