Showing posts with label Improvise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Improvise. Show all posts

August 11, 2019

The Humanity of Routine

People are creatures of habit. 

They form routines and function with relative comfort and efficiency within that. 

And for the most part, we can recognize our own patterns in life. 

Get up, brush our teeth, dress, daven (pray), go to work and so on. 

After a while, you can do it mostly in your sleep. 

We sort of become like automatons. 

Flip the switch and we go.

When routine and structure become so rigid that we can no longer improvise or innovate then we have a big problem in higher order functioning. 

But also when we break people's structures and habits, we find that they can quickly lose their sh*t. 

People need to control their time and maintain their patterns of life. 

Therein lies a certain safety and comfort in that repetitive doing.

You know what you're doing--you've done it before, so you can do it again.

If you strip a person of their control over their time and the structure of their behavior, they are truly naked and in much more than a physical sense.  (They articulated this in The Punisher, Season One, on Netflix)

All of a sudden they don't know what to do or how to do it. 

Do they go crazy, breakdown, or tell you everything you want to know. 

Torture is not just physical, but also mental and emotional. 

It is not hard to take away something so simple and a person is no longer a full person anymore. 

People need solid coping as well as survival skills to deal with the unknown.

Finally, appreciate when everything is more or less under control, because that's truly a blessing.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 15, 2013

Survival Is More Than An iPhone

Please see a new article by Andy Blumenthal at Government Technology

We "need to learn ever new technology skills and simultaneously retain, old tried and true, core survival and self-sufficiency." 


This is a serious topic, and there will come a time when the lights go out and those who blend old and new skills will survive, while unfortunately, others who don't, will not. 


Hope you enjoy the article. 


Andy


(Source Photo: here with attribution to U.S. Army Africa)

Share/Save/Bookmark

January 3, 2013

Taking On The Predator

My colleague at work has an incredible mask of the Predator. 

Quite a frightening looking creature--that in Hollywood only Arnold Schwarzenegger could take on and defeat. 

When Predator, an extraterrestrial, comes to Earth with all sorts of high-tech weaponry to challenge humankind, Schwarzenegger, who leads an elite special forces team, manages to defeat the alien by using his wits to improvise weapons, traps, and tactics. 

In the real world, this mask is a great reminder that while technology is a tool that provides amazing capabilities, in the end, it is really our people's ability to adapt and innovate that makes the ultimate difference as to who succeeds and fails. 

The Predator mask is not only a great conversation piece, but Predator's looks and technology is not so scary when we realize that good, talented people can wield control over it. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Robert Williams)

Share/Save/Bookmark

July 15, 2012

Resilient To The Core

I circled back to an article that I saved away for the last 10 years (5 years before I started blogging and practically before it really even existed)!

It is from Harvard Business Review and it is called How Resilience Works (May 2002). 

It is an incredible article about what differentiates the person that falls apart and seemingly gives up under immense stress and those that use it as a stepping stone to future success and greatness. 

Resilience is "the skill and capacity to be robust under conditions of enormous stress and change."

Literally, resilience means "bouncing back," perhaps versus jumping throw a plate glass wall from the 50th story. 

Everyone has their tests in life--whether loss, illness, accident, abuse, incarceration, poverty, divorce, loneliness, and more. 

But resilience is how we meet head-on these challenges, and it "can be learned."

The article looks at individual and organizational "survivors" of horrible things like the Holocaust, being a prisoner of war (POW), and terrorist attacks such as 9/11, and basically attributes resilience to three main things:

1) Acceptance--rather than slip into denial, dispair, or wishful-thinking, resilience means we see the situation exactly for what it is and make the most of it--or as they say, "make lemonade out of lemons."

2) Meaning--utilizing a strong system of values, we find meaning and purpose even in the darkest of situations--even if it is simply to learn and grow from it!

3) Ingenuity--this is capacity to invent, improvise, imagine possibilities, make do with what you have, and generally solve-problems at hand. 

Those who accept, find meaning, and improvise can succeed, where others fail. 

Now come forward a decade in time, and another article at CNN (9 July 2012) called Is Optimism Really Good For You? comes to similar conclusions.

The article describes how optimism works for an individual or an organization only when it is based on "action, common sense, resourcefulness, and considered risk-taking."

"It's the opposite of defeatism"--we recognize that there are things not in our control and that don't always turn out well, but we use that as an opportunity to come back and find a "different approach" and solve the problem. 

The article calls this "action-oriented optimists" and I like this concept--it is not blind hope nor is it giving-up, but rather it is a solid recognition that we can do and must do our part in this world. 

Fortune Magazine summed this up well in an article a few months back as follows--There are three kinds of people: "those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those wonder how the heck it happened."

When things happen in your life--to you--which of these types of people will you be? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Share/Save/Bookmark