Tag Archives: work

Fire

Fire, then aim.

Fire, then aim.

Fire again.

Fire.

Fire.

Fire.

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carpe diem

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The Snowball Effect

Experience, networking, resources, success, knowledge, opportunities…

You’ve heard of the ‘snowball effect.’ Something starts out small and starts to gain momentum to the point where it’s either unstoppable or out of control, or both. Fire is another good analogy for something that can start small and grow and grow and grow, but how often does something keep growing forever? I can’t really think of anything, which is why I like the snowball effect. You have to control fire to keep it from spreading. Fire spreads on it’s own and doesn’t take any effort. I’ve never seen an idea spread on it’s own. You need people to spread ideas and you need people to have ideas in the first place.

You can’t put an idea in a museum.

Think about a snowball. You scoop up snow from the ground and pack it into a ball. It takes some molding, shaping, and effort to pack it into a tight ball, because if you don’t it will fall apart. Now look at the ground. There’s a bare spot. You took that snow and turned it into something else. You used that resource, you took advantage of that opportunity, you gained experience, you made a connection, you learned something, you became stronger, you became more successful…

There’s still plenty of snow on the ground so you scoop up a few more handfuls and make your snowball bigger. It’s now big enough for you to push it along the ground and pick up more and more snow, constantly building and improving upon what you already have. You approach a hill and see someone at the bottom trying to gather as much snow as they can, too, by making snowball after snowball, perpetually starting and starting over. They use up all the snow around them and try to move to a new area to gather more snow, but they can’t carry all the snowballs. They can only take a few in their arms so they become removed from their snowballs as they must move to start over. You watch them repeat this cycle a few times until they’ve left piles and trails of snowballs showing where they’ve been, yet they only have a few snowballs in hand to show for it. They have as much snow as you–maybe even more–but they can’t do anything with it.

The beauty of the snowball effect is that you need help. You need people.

You push your snowball down the hill and it gains speed, picking up snow as it goes, growing into something too big for one person to manage, and it breaks under its own weight. It cracks and splits into several large pieces. You waive to the person you had been watching and they come over and start rounding out the rough edges and patching up your fractured snowballs with their little ones, filling in the holes until they are round again. Like them, you initially bit off more than you could chew. You carry on, both pushing your new snowballs along, gathering more and more until the load becomes too much and must be shared by yet another, and so on, and so on.

Keep building — experience, networking, resources, success, knowledge, opportunities — keep building upon what you have until you can’t build anymore, before the other part of the snowball effect takes over…

melting.

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“You don’t need to know what you’re looking for. You need to discover it.”

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Memorial

You come home to a house you’ve kept clean for a week solid after spring cleaning, but today you are tired. You drop your stuff on the floor and go to the kitchen to grab some snacks. You’ve worked hard this week. You decide you deserve a treat. You can’t remember the last time you had a milkshake. You scoop out the ice cream, Oreos, chocolate syrup, and some more ice cream, and hold the “blend” button. The blender decides that now is a good time to commit suicide and grind its gears, and not your milkshake, until you hear a pop and see a little wisp of smoke trail away from your newly departed appliance. You now understand the phrase ‘giving up the ghost,’ but you still don’t have a milkshake. You find yourself on the couch minutes later with a long spoon and the top half of the blender in your hand, scraping out the last bites of your milkstir, and realizing that the top half of the blender actually isn’t a bad way to eat a snack. It even has a handle and a spout. Over the next few weeks you keep using the top half of the blender to eat while the bottom half still sits plugged in on your counter top. No, it still doesn’t work. And now you’ve gotten used to it being there that it has just become part of the kitchen counter; a fixture, a statue, a memorial even. A few months later you invite friends over and one of them gets really drunk and asks you why you couldn’t just make margaritas from scratch when the blender is sitting right there. You tell him, “oh, it doesn’t work.” Like it’s supposed to not work. And he just stares at you for a little while because he’s obviously drunk, and nothing is wrong with you, or the blender.

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Avocado Refrigerator

We can’t attempt to compartmentalize things in life; put the oranges here, the greens in a separate fridge with a different humidity than the cheese will allow, and give the avocados get their own special fridge. Of course each food has its own ideal way it can be stored to maintain optimum freshness and maximize shelf life, but if you catered to the specific needs of each individual food, you’d exhaust your resources, your expenses, and yourself by all the running around you’d have to do just to make dinner. You might think you’re doing a good job of organizing, and this might happen elsewhere, too. “There’s too many files in this folder. I know–I’ll give them all their own folder!” So now instead of fixing the problem, there’s “too many folders in this drawer! I can’t find anything!”

While trying to be fair to the food, you are being unfair to yourself. You need to treat yourself with some respect; and actually by stuffing everything into the same fridge at a uniform temperature and humidity, it’s more respectful to the food too. No one gets special treatment so they know not to ask for it. It’s nothing unusual; it’s just the best option. The food might whine and complain, but who doesn’t complain every once in a while? The food doesn’t care if you do anything about its complaints, it just wants to vent. You might say, “This quinoa is going straight to my hips,” and then eat it anyway. Same thing. Otherwise, if you cater to every food and try to please them all with their own special climate, it won’t work; it never does. And all you’ll be left with is an empty avocado refrigerator.

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“It’s better to start slow and finish fast than to launch out of the gate and crawl across the finish line.”

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Not Working Title

Why do people create a title to something and then say “it’s a working title,” when later they just end up changing it to something else? By definition, doesn’t that mean their title wasn’t working?

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“If this was my job, I’d be doing a good job.”

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