Things Look Different Up Close

So this was interesting. 


I was coming up the highway. 


In the distance, there looked like there was a large tractor-trailer heading towards me.


I had to take a double take, because this truck was on my side of the divider…Oh shit!


It was only as I got closer that I could see that the truck was really being towed in reverse by a tow truck. 


Yes, “seeing is believing!”


This is a lesson in life:


Things may look one way from a distance, and very different up close. 


Sometimes, my wife tells me:


“Andy, don’t look too close!” lol


But the truth is that you may not really see what you heading towards until it’s right in front of your eyes.


So it’s important to look out over the horizon and study what is coming your way. 


But don’t take your eye off the ball (or Mack Truck as it may be). 


Things can change your perspective the closer you get to it. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Boiling A Frog

So sometimes you don’t know that something is happening until it is too late. 


A colleague yesterday told me this great simile:


It’s like when you put a frog in a pot of water and turn up the heat, the frog doesn’t know what’s happening until it’s too late, and he ends up being boiled alive!


With better knowledge of the context, of course, you can have the foresight to act, to fight, to get out, whatever. 


Similarly with the frog, if you throw him into an already boiling pot of water, he immediately jumps out, and viola he’s saved. 


It’s really important to have good situational and political awareness. 


Not everyone out there is so innocent–even when they have a good act and pretend, “Who me?”


Many of them know how to work the system, so that the system works for them. 


G-d forbid, when you’re in the way, they’ll often turn up the heat. 


And if you don’t realize what going on, you’ll be the frog that’s a not so tasty dinner. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal

Got Mic

Mic.jpeg

My daughter went to a cool work seminar yesterday on emotional intelligence and she told me five important takeaways for creating EI health:


1. Self-awareness


2. Self-regulation


3. Self-motivation


4. Effective relationships


5. Empathy


Certainly, exerting self-control and working effectively with others is sort of obvious.


But it is not necessarily easy for everyone to do. 


Reflecting on this, some people seem to need no microphone or megaphone. 


They can’t get off the elevating soapbox and behave instead is as if they are the whole show onto themselves. 


Enjoying to talk alone or above everyone else, maneuvering with drama and theatrics, and being cemented squarely in that center stage.


Perhaps highly intelligent about the subject matter, but often quite low on emotional intelligence. 


Seeing neither the objective nor the team, unable to recognize and respect others or to listen to alternate points of view, it may go on for quite some time before they come up for air. 


Overly extroverted, oblivious, uncaring, or perhaps needy or narcissistic.


Seeming to say, “I was created and stand in the center of the universe and all revolves around me!”


Chasing honor and dismissive as to their way or the highway–threats lurk, right or wrong. 


This is definitely a job for self-improvement and to personal advancement. 


Can EI be learned? 


Perhaps if the person can stop for a sec and just listen and be humbly part of the human race. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Alert, Alert, And More Alerts

Alert, Alert, And More Alerts

No this is not an alert, but some strategic thinking about alerts.

As a kid, we get our first alerts usually from the fire alarm going off in school and practicing the buddy system and safely evacuating.

As adults, we are used to get so many types of alerts:

– Homeland Security threat alerts
– Breaking news alerts
– Emergency/Disaster alerts
– Severe weather alerts
– Smog alerts
– Transportation delay alerts
– Accident alerts
– Fraud alerts
– Economic and financial alerts
– Amber missing child alerts
– Internet security alerts
– Power loss alerts
– Home or business intruder alerts
– Fire alerts
– Carbon Monoxide alerts
– Medical/health alerts
– Chemical spill alerts
– Product safety or recall alerts
– Unsafe drinking water alerts
– Active shooter alerts
– Work closure alerts
– Parking garage alerts
– Dangerous marine life alerts
– Dangerous current or undertow alerts
– Air raid siren alerts
– Solar eclipse alerts
– Meteorite or falling space debris alerts
– Special sale or promotional event alerts

With the arrival of highly successful, mass social media applications like Twitter, we have alerts aggregated for us and listed chronologically as things are happening real-time.

The brilliance of the current Twitter-type alerting is that we can sign up to follow whatever alerts we are interested in and then have a streaming feed of them.

The alerts are short–up to 140 characters–so you can quickly see the essence of what is happening or ignore what is irrelevant to you.

When more space is needed to explain the details behind an alert, typically a (shortened) URL is included, which if you click on it takes you to a more in depth explanation of the event or item.

So alerts are a terrific balance between short, attention grabbing headlines and links to more detail, as needed.

What is also great about the current alerting mechanism is that you can provide concise alert information, including:

– Message source (for ensuring reliability)
– Guidance (for providing immediate instruction on response).
– Hazard (for specifying the type of incident)
– Location (for identifying geographic or mapping locality)
– Date/time (for implications as to its currency)
– Importance (for determining severity such as catastrophic, critical, etc.)

While we remain ever, hyper-vigilant, we need to be careful not to become anxiety-ridden, or at some point, simply learn to tune it all out, so we can actually live life and get stuff done.

It’s good to know what’s going on out there, but can too much information ever become a bad thing? 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Some Mighty Big Shoes To Fill

Some Mighty Big Shoes To Fill

If you’re ever feeling like a big shot–remember there are always others out there who are bigger than you.

_________________________

We walk in the footsteps of the giants who came before us.

We walk among colleagues who are superior to us.

We walk before future generations who will certainly humble us.

We walk in the sight of G-d, our creator and master, who bestows all divine benevolence to us.

_________________

Now those are some mighty big shoes! 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Survival Is More Than An iPhone

Survival

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)

Baby Frog, See You Now

Baby Frog, See You Now

So I took this picture of this baby frog while hiking.

This was the first one we saw–on the foliage it completely blended in, but on the rocks we could see it clearly.

It was so little and cute–I had to zoom in to get this shot.

After this, it actually jumped under a log and I got an action photo of its hind legs in mid-jump–going what seemed like super-frog speed.

Once, I was attuned to the frogs color and motion, I was able to detect many of them in the forest today–all pretty much like this little baby.

It was interesting to me learning from this, how before we are aware of something–it’s as if it doesn’t even exist (even with subtle ribbits in the air); and after you are sort of clued in to the surroundings, you almost can’t help but see them.

To me, it’s like life in general, when you don’t see your own issues or life challenges, you can’t even begin to work on them because your virtually oblivious to them, but once you see yourself for what you are–warts and all–you can begin to work through your problems, as if you have almost transcendental awareness.

A little camouflaged frog, like subtle personal issues may be almost imperceptible in the forest of life, but against a contrasting background, you can get amazing clarity–to self-help and self-heal.

Cute little frog, I can see you now and your not jumping away from me anymore. 😉

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)