Wednesday, October 01, 2014


Standing on sword's edge
I look down, as mirror-bright
the blade says "Decide".

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reorganizational Chaos

So one of the most chaotic and disruptive thing any company can do is a reorganization.  I am always surprised by the fact that companies do not understand this.

In my experience and those I know, reorganizations tend to happen in one of two ways.  In the first version, the reorganization is lightning quick.  Everyone shows up and suddenly you are reporting to someone else.  Maybe you know who it is.  Maybe you do not.  And in some cases, the person to whom you are now reporting may know precisely nothing about what it is you actually do.

In the other version, the reorganization is pretty much an open secret.  Everyone knows it is coming, yet for some reason it is delayed  or held back, sometimes for days or weeks.  Not everyone may know where they are going and so a certain concern permeates the air as individuals wait, knowing that something is coming but not know what it will be.

In either of these versions, the results are the same:  Chaos.  Concern.  Often there is no clear reason for why the reorganization is occurring - in some extreme cases, it is announced but the full details of it are not so people know that something is changing even as they have no idea what it is.

People like communication.  They like to understand.  They like to know what is coming - maybe they cannot change it, but at least they can prepare for it.  And people certainly do not like the instability or lack of concern that is demonstrated when these sorts of things occur.  They begin to worry -first about the company's stability, and then most certainly about their own futures.

Why is it then that companies never seem to understand this?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Picking Cabers

One of the surprisingly great things about Highland Athletics is simply what you can learn about yourself in the course of throwing things.

Yesterday, for example, I managed to get three perfect picks on the challenge caber.  I do not believe I have ever had three legitimate picks on any caber that in which I got it to the point of throwing, even if I failed to have a full turn.  In the course of these picks everything went right:  the caber was balanced, I got low, and I scooped it from the bottom.  All of this with an actual crowd cheering for me.

The focus is what surprised me:  that in the midst of sun, cheering, and my general concerns about lifting the caber in the first place (the event I struggle the most with) I was able to start the first part of the process.

I have a great deal of work still to do, of course, such as overcoming that initial moment of realizing that I have picked the caber and what the heck do I do next and remembering the timing of the caber (you have to pull it sooner than you think you do).  But if I look back to three years ago when I first threw a caber at this venue - my very first games - and see the improvement over time - I can be nothing but amazed at my generally un-athletic self.  I can see improvement.  And it is measurable.

And I remind myself once again that I can do far more than I think I am capable of - if only I can focus.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Morning

So I should already be at work this morning.

I should have already been up, showered, and rushing around to get out the door.  I should - right now - probably be sitting in traffic, cursing my commute and hoping that it will go more quickly.

I am not, of course.

After helping with Nighean Gheal's  band last night and being informed that I had no child drop-off responsibilities this morning, I decided that I was not really in that much of a hurry after all.

So instead I got up at the unheard of hour of 0645 on a work day.  I read.  I did my calisthenics.  I drank coffee and fed the animals.  Right now the sun is crossing my fingers as it rises over my typing - something I almost never experience.

I am relaxed - so relaxed I can contemplate the fact that I really should be doing something else yet feeling no particular drive to do it.  In fact, my stress level is almost nil for the same amount of sleep which, were it yesterday, made me a stress ball.

Work calls, of course.  The e-mails are there.  The questions are there.  And over the horizon, the larger questions of life are looming.

That is okay.  For one morning, I can simply take a little time and be, instead of be doing.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Doing the Basics Well

Along with commitment, I was reminded that I need to focus on doing the basics well.  This is hard for me - much hard than one might think.

Why?  It is not for the reason that you might think, that somehow the basics are too difficult (they are not) or too hard (again, they are not).  It is because I get easily bored and I look to more knowledge as the way to be admired and be great, rather than doing the basics well.

1) Bored:  I get bored easily.  Or maybe said differently, I have a short attention span.  Either way, I have problems focusing on the same sort of thing week after week or year after year.  I lose interest because I have done the same thing over and over and over (and often times, it seems like I am not getting any better at all).  My solution is to continue to want to learn new things rather than truly mastering the basics well.

2)  More knowledge:  I want to be acknowledged and recognized.  Badly.  So badly that I think that quickly moving forward to more visible appearances and presentations (through greater knowledge) is the key.  I often tend to skim over the stuff that is difficult (or boring, see item 1) rather than work to really dig down and get that right.  Why?  Because somewhere I have come to believe (and maybe in the business world it is presented this way)  that this is the way to move forward in life.  Which works - up to the point that you are actually called upon to us the basic knowledge only to discover that it is really not there.

It was a needed reminder (iaijutsu is good for all kinds of life lessons) that my focus needs to be on the basics:  knowing them, doing them well, being able to show them to others.  It may mean that in fact the "greater knowledge" is never achieved - but I need to realize that such a thing is not the ultimate value of the learning.  It is in doing something well, knowing it fully, and being able to execute it completely - even if it is basic - that the true basis for success is found.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Asking for Signs

Sometimes you have to ask, you know.

Not for the subtle or minor signs, the sort of thing that kind of dissipates into the night with a sigh.  No, sometimes you have to ask for a big sign - a large one, as big as the fleece that Gideon used before God.

Why?  Because you do not want to mess anything up.  You truly want to make the best sorts of decisions.  And sometimes those decisions have consequences.

So you ask.  You summon up your courage and ask "God, I need a sign.  I need a definitive one.  I need something that will truly guide me in the right decision to go."

And then you wait - believing, not just hoping, that such a sign will make itself apparent.

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." - James 1:5