Showing posts with label Goals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Goals. Show all posts

April 23, 2019

Hopefully, All's Well That Ends Well

I liked this Hebrew sign that says (translated):
When the end is good, all is good. 

Or as we commonly say:
All's well that end's well. 

Lot of truth to this. 

And there are so many languages that talk to this.

I remember my father used to say it in German as well.

When things end well, it's as if everything went well. And when things end badly, it's as if everything was bad. 

The human mind seems to focus on the last thing (and forgets virtually everything leading up to it). 

Perhaps, we justify the means with the end (i.e. all the time and effort leading up to it). 

Or maybe we recap our lives as either a success or failure by how things ended up. 

In 20/20 hindsight, we can see the consequences of our actions.

- Was all the hard work worth it?

- Did we even focus on the right priorities and goals in life?

- Were the choices and decisions we made well-founded? 

- What was the impact on ourselves, our loved ones, and more broadly?

We look for meaning and purpose in our lives, and hopefully in the end when we look back, we are blessed to see that it was all for the good. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2019

You Ended Up In Hell City

So a friend told me something funny.

It was about being given what appears to be a wonderful opportunity, but in reality it's not all roses. 

In short, it went something like this:
There was an exciting competition and a prize at the end. 
Everyone prepared and worked hard to win it. 
But when the competition was over, what was the prize?
The 2nd place was two weeks in Philadelphia. 
The 1st place was one week in Philadelphia. 

I had to think about that for a second, but that is really pretty funny and true. 

No not about Philadelphia, but about life--that what we often mistakenly want so badly and strive for with all our energies, and then only to find out that it really wasn't as good or amazing for us and our families as we imagined. 

Yes, very often you set your sights on certain goals to win the competition, but then you find out that the BIG prize ("first place") is really not something to get excited about, because it's in Philadelphia!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 7, 2019

No One Cares How You Feel

So parenting is not always an easy job. 

But it is one full of love and helping your kids. 

Sometimes, I remember listening to my kids say that they feel this or that and seeing that it was holding them back from accomplishing their goals.  

Often, I would tell them that the only people that really care about how they feel is your mother and father--but generally-speaking, it a tough world out there, and: 
"No one [else] cares about how you feel."

I tried to focus them--not on being cold and unfeeling--but rather on being strong inside and focusing on the tasks that need to get done. 

Sure, feelings are important, but if you are getting held back from doing what you need to do--then there are times when you need to put the feelings in abeyance and go forward. 

Overall, there is plenty of time to feel what you feel, but don't let anger, fear, or anxiety get in the way of you accomplishing your dreams. 

In a book that I am reading by Amos Oz, "A Tale of Love and Darkness," he writes: 
'I want' and 'I don't want' aren't reasons, they can only be defined as self-indulgence.

Yes, it's a little tough love, but also it is out of true love to help the kids to be willing and determined to try their best and not get held back by anything in the pursuit of the destiny they choose to follow. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 30, 2018

Life Is Like A Sailboat

Planning is a critical aspect of making progress toward your goals.

As they say;
If you fail to plan, plan to fail. 

However, planning is subject to life--and life happens!

One colleague of mine compared it to a sailboat, and our dialogue went something like this:

You set out on a course. But the wind and ocean current takes you here and there. Even as you try to steer the boat with the sails and rudder, sometimes you land on Gilligan's Island!


Hence, life is like a sailboat.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 14, 2018

Winding Path Of Life

Thought this was an interesting commentary on life. 

Perhaps, we seek a straight line--with no bumps or bruises--to go from where we are to where we want to be. 

But life has others plans for us. 

The road ahead is often winding and where we truly end up is often unknown. 

Certainly, staying frozen in place and doing nothing with our lives is not an option. 

So we move forward, one step at a time, and occasionally taking a leap forward. 

Also, sometimes, we have to take a few steps backward before we can advance again. 

Other times, we may even stumble and fall. 

Whatever happens, we continue to work our way towards the landing at the top to see what we shall see. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 11, 2018

Stretch Goals That Break The Band

So I learned some important lesson about stretch goals. 

You want to have stretch goals because they make your strive to do and be your best. 

When you have to stretch yourself above your normal then you can take yourself to whole new levels of performance and achievement. 

However, if the stretch goals are ridiculously unachievable than you simply set yourself up for frustration and failure. 

Goals need to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. 

But too often they are DUMB goals: Directed by others, Unachievable, Made to fail, and Based on false assumptions. 

For example, if someone tells you to jump off that bridge into the whitewater beneath because they assume that somehow you can spread you bare arms and fly--guess what is going to happen to you?

Goals can help you get to new heights of accomplishment in life or they can pull you down in false condemnation and despair. 

Like in fighting the good fight...be careful when you are sent to the front lines in trench warfare with heavily dug fortifications, machine guns and artillery placements aimed your way and yelled at with no rational strategy to "Advance!"

The only place that is going to take you is to an early grave. 

Instead, fight smart and take the hill when the hill is takable--you save a lot more lives that way and you actually take that hill! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 26, 2018

What's Free And What's Not

I like this saying and wanted to share it:
"The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately."

Yes, this is the home of the free. 

And we are all able to dream BIG dreams.

However, without the hard work and hustle, dream are not made, but rather they die on the vine. 

So dream big--imagine the very best.

Reach for the stars...

And then work your butt off to make it happen.

Choose carefully. 

No one can have it all.

You have to prioritize.

Also, you need to balance. 

In the end:
Dreams + Hard Work + Blessing From G-d

That's success by whatever standards you measure. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 30, 2017

Strategy, Strategery, Stratego

Like the all knowing eye...

Strategy is our way of trying to forge a coherent path ahead. 

Of course, as humans, we are imperfect and don't know what we don't know. 

But whether we call it strategy, strategery, or stratego, the goal is to have a method to our madness. 

We can't just rely on luck, gut, intuition, or subjective whim to get us wherever. 

Having no strategy is brainless following or aimless wandering. 

Strategy means your thinking ahead what you want to achieve and then at least trying your best to accomplish something. 

Ample course corrections allowed and encouraged, as needed. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 29, 2017

Crosshair Planning And National Security

So I wanted to share this amazing crosshair diagram...

Not because we currently have North Korea in the crosshairs before they hit us with a nuclear-tipped ICBM.

But rather for how this diagram can be used in strategic planning and enterprise architecture. 

The way this is used is the following:

First, you put your goals in the inner quadrants (or other such division of the inner circle).  For example, perhaps you have a goal to reduce your weight which is now 215 lbs. 

Next you create concentric rings around your goals with each ring representing a time horizon. For example, the first ring could be 6 months, the 2nd ring 1 year, and so on. 

Then for each timeframe in the rings, you put what your target is for that related goal. For example, maybe in 6 months you want to reduce your weight to 210, and then by end of year 1 to 205.

In this way, you can easily show your goals as well your targets over various time frames into the future. 

You can similarly use the other quadrants (or other divisions of the circle) for other goals emanating from the center to the future targets. 

Of course, you can also use this for North Korea--to target above the 38th parallel for dropping a good deals MOABs to clear the enemy and their nukes and missiles from threatening the U.S. and our allies.  The same solution goes for Axis of Evil, Iran, and their endless spread of global terrorism and human rights abuses. 

Targets are for restoring the peace and for strategic planning and these two intersect when it's comes to national security. ;-)

(Source Diagram: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 29, 2016

Getting A Leadership Washing


So I am reading this book called, "What Your Boss NEVER Told You."

In terms of leadership, a key principle is stated very well here: 


"'What' flows down

And

'How' flows up."

Meaning that as the leader, you set the goal, but you don't tell people how to achieve it.

Micromanagement "stomp[s] out 

creativity, ownership, and commitment."

To give your people the breathing room to innovate and solve problems and feel good about their work, here's the ideal manager:

"Hands-off whenever possible, 

and 

hands-on whenever needed."

And finally the 3 "H's" of leadership:

1. Honor -- doing the right thing (i.e. integrity)


2. Humility -- "give away the credit," but own the responsibility 100%!


3. Humor -- "take their work seriously, but themselves lightly."



Overall, good book to get a clean bill of leadership health. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 21, 2016

Prove Them Wrong

So I was recently teaching a certification class. 

And this was a very high-caliber class of professionals attending. 

One gentlemen was a wonderful African American who I will call John. 

As part of one of the class assignments, John,  a very successful man, told of how as a young man growing up in the DC projects, a neighbor told him something very hurtful and potentially devastating to him.

The neighbor angrily said, "You'll never be anything in your life!"

And John described how he pursued his education, his career goals, his family, as well as philanthropic pursuits to give back to the community--and he went quite far. 

He told with great emotion and tears in his eyes how ten years ago, he went back to his old neighborhood to thank this neighbor for motivating him (even though in a negative way) to go as far in life as he did. 

You could hear a pin drop in the class--I think a lot of people could relate to this story in their own lives. 

I know that I for one certainly could. 

For me, while I am a simple person and have not gone so far, I have certainly had an interesting life and lots of wonderful opportunities.

Yet, I too remember more than 20 years ago, when I had taken a job in a wild pursuit in my youthful ambitions that one crazy boss that I was briefly working for who was considerably older than me and with his own business abusively said to me one day, "You're not half of what you think you are!"

BAM! Like a huge sledge hammer hitting me right across my head--I was still relatively young and impressionable.

Also, I came from a pretty blue collar-type working family and although upwardly mobile, and I was certainly trying to become "more," I never really felt at all entitled. 

Anyway, the story this student told really brought my own experience hurling back to me from my past. 

In the class, John said--you have to go out and "Prove them wrong." 

And while I don't exactly feel that proving others who wish us bad to be wrong is the point, I do agree that we shouldn't let any of these negative nellies in our own lives drag us down. 

We all have our mission in life--and it's up to us to become the best people that we can--and to hell with everyone who looks down on us, discourages us, maybe are competitive with us or jealous in some way, or simply don't wish us the best. 

So John is right--go out there and do great things! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 1, 2016

Work For It

This was an astute fortune cookie this weekend:

"The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work."

It reminded me of what my dad used to tell me that:

"Nothing, in life, is easy."

Or as my mother-in-law says:

"The world owes you nothing!"

Basically, the messages are similar that we have to work hard for what we want in life.

You have to believe in your goals and your mission. 

And follow through with rock solid determination and perserverance.

It seems in life that almost as soon as one challenge is over the next is ready to begin.

Got to have faith, pray for G-d's guidance, and be strong. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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February 21, 2016

Random Luck My A*s

Here's an interesting enterprise architecture themed fortune cookie. 

"Good luck is the result of good planning."

Everybody wants good fortune, but a big differentiator is whether you are willing to think through life's scenarios, pull together a solid plan (A, B, and C to be on the safe side) and put in the effort and hard work to achieve your dreams and goals.

Fortunes rise and fall likes the tides, but a solid plan (with G-d's blessings) can take you further than any ocean spans.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 10, 2016

Enterprise Architecture - Make The Leap

Another good depiction of enterprise architecture.

What we are, the divide, and what we want to be.

We have to make the leap, but only with good planning and decision-making governance. 

Otherwise, it's a long fall down the project failure abyss. 

Faith is always important, but so it doing your credible part. ;-)

(Source Photo: Via Instagram)
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September 7, 2015

Taking Back Control

Ok, I've had mobility issues for over 2 years now that started with a broken foot and ended in 3 surgeries and 2 hip replacements.

Over this time, I have had enormous pain walking and doing other activities. 

And unfortunately, I have put on some extra weight, which I am unhappy about. 

Today though this changes, please G-d.  

I am taking back my life!

I want to lose the weight and be what I know I can be. 

Time to stop the excuses.

It's Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) next week, and this is a good time to reflect, be introspective, self-critical, and aim high. 

G-d, please help me to be strong, to resist temptation, and shut my mouth from eating the wrong foods. 

I am determined, but G-d I need your help to be successful. 

We've accomplished so much together--let's do this! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 14, 2014

Who Can Resist

It's the age old image of an angle sitting over one shoulder telling you to control yourself and do what's right and a little devil hanging over the other telling you to indulge and do whatever you want. 

The New York Times says that regardless of the push and pull of these two forces in our lives, we can learn to show restraint and stay goal-oriented.

By seeing the long-term rewards of good behavior, we can avoid pigging out in the moment. 

With Kids, it's called the Marshmallow Test--those who can resist eating a marshmallow for 15 minutes, get two marshmallows to enjoy later!

For adults, it may be that those who avoid the cake and ice cream today will live healthier and longer in the future. 

In Yiddish, there is the term sitzfleisch that refers to our ability to sit still and get our work done. 

The point is that if we can distract and distance ourselves from the indulgences of the moment, we can focus on the important things we really want to achieve with our lives. 

Of course, this is always easier said than done, because the two forces are both powerful and can be convincing.

For example, how many times can you hear, "Enjoy life a little, you aren't going to live forever" or "You've worked so hard, you deserve a little break", or "Come on, no one is perfect"...before you give in to a little excess? 

We are all tested in life, and we must try our best to pass as many as we can with flying colors--probably success is a healthy balance between living a little today in the here and now and working and saving abundantly for tomorrow's marshmallows.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 13, 2014

Who Do You Want To Be?

Walking through the halls of one of the local schools, there was this awesome display of cutout hands. 

Each hand, done by a student, was supposed to represent who they wanted to be as people. 

In the center of each was a core saying/belief of the student written on the palm.

And then on each of the five fingers was their personal aspirations:

Emotionally
Physically
Socially
Intellectually
Spiritually

I thought this was a really cool assignment to think and focus on where we're going with our lives and what our personal goals are. 

Like a mini-personal architecture, these hands are the hands of our young people who have their lives ahead of them and the energy and opportunity to shape their futures. 

No, none of us has control over the future, but we can do our part to shape who we are as human beings, as this student says: 

"I am who I want to be."

Of course, we have to choose wisely, work hard, and go for it! 

We never know if there are any true second chances.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 7, 2013

The Difference Between Planning and Reality

Wow, I really love this graphic.

The top are our plans, along with our hopes and dreams that we get to where we want to, in a basically smooth, straight line--no troubles, no fuss--whoola success!


The bottom is our reality, where we work our way towards our target goals (which we may, or more likely not, ever fully achieve) and that along the way, we encounter all sort of life's tests and challenges--it's an uphill climb, but with tangible achievements and milestones, as we progress. 


If it was as easy as the top--it probably wouldn't be worth doing. 


The challenges test our mettle--and what doesn't kill us, makes us stronger. 


Even so, sure wish I could get some wings and jets on that bicycle. ;-)


Thank you sis for sharing this with me.


(Source Photo: here from DogHouseDiaries)

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October 24, 2013

Performance and Transparency - 2gether 4ever

Really liked this performance measurement and transparency at Home Depot.

Here are their store performance measures prominently displayed.

Not a high-tech solution, but every measure has its place and metrics. 

- Looks at friendly customer service.

- Tracks speed of checkout.

- Measures accuracy of transactions.

This lines up well with the management adage that "you can't manage what you don't measure."

Some pointers:

- Identify, collaboratively, your key drivers of performance

- Determine whether/how you can measure them efficiently (i.e. qualitatively, quantitatively)

- Set realistic, stretch targets for the organization

- Communicate the goals and measures, 360 degrees

- Regularly capture the measures and make the metrics transparent

- Recognize and reward success and course correct when necessary

- Reevaluate measures and goals over time to ensure they are still relevant 

Wash, rinse, repeat for continuous improvement. ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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September 2, 2013

Warrior Augmentation

I love the direction DARPA is going in with robotic exoskeletons for our warfighters. 

Helping soldiers perform their jobs easier, more capably, and with less injury using human augmentation is good sense. 

Military men and women often carry weight in excess of 100 pounds for long distances and perform other tasks that challenge human physical endurance.

Creating a durable "soft, lightweight under[or over]suit that would help reduce injuries and fatigue and improve soldiers ability to efficiently perform their missions" is an smart and achievable goal, and one that would give us great advantage in the battlefield. 

The timeframe of 2012-2016 is an aggressive deadline to form the mix of core technologies, integrate them, and develop a wearable prototype. 

I think the goal of having this be "potentially wearable by 90% of the U.S. Army population" is notable as not something that is for just special forces or unique missions, but rather something that can medically protect and make for a superior fighting force for all of our men and women. 

This is really only the beginning of human augmentation with sensors, storage, processors, and robotics to make our warriors fight with the best that both man and machine has to offer. It's not a fight of man versus machine, but of man and machine. 

Seeing and hearing farther and with more clarity, connecting and communicating timely and under all conditions, processing loads of data into actionable information, fighting and performing mission with superior skills (strength, speed, dexterity, and endurance) and integrated weapon systems, guiding warriors to their targets and home safely--these are goals that man-machine augmentation can bring to reality. 

And of course, the sheer medical and rehabilitative benefits of these technologies in caring for the sick and disabled in society is enough to "pedal to metal" drive these efforts alone. 

Like on the prescient show from the 70's, The Six Million Dollar Man, "We can rebuild him. We have the technology...Better than he was before. Better...stronger...faster."

And I would add healthier and more deadly! ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to DARPA and Boston Dynamics)


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