No, I Will Not Fix Your Problem For You

Somehow, somewhere people went off track.

They seem to think that when there’s a problem – particularly if it’s a problem of their own making – that someone else is obligated to fix it for them. Not only that, but they’re supposed to do so willingly, and with a smile on their face.

“You’ve got to do this,” they’ll tell you. “There’s (reasons) that this has to get done and done quickly, or my goose is cooked!”

No. I, and no one else either, have “got to” do anything at all to solve this emergency of your own making. I’m not related to you, I’m not your servant, and I’m not your Mr. Fix-It. It was your lack of planning, or inability to research that led to your predicament. You have no right to demand a solution from me.

Now, it’s quite another thing if you approach me and own up to the fact that the problem is of your own making, caused by your actions. Sure, it’s a hat-in-hand approach, but you’ll find that your request is taken a lot better by other people – myself included.

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Copyright 2016/2017 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact the author for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewisauthor@outlook.com . 

He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.

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Everything New Is Old Again

You’ve probably seen the image above in your LinkedIn, Facebook, or email inbox.

It’s a feel-good graphic designed to show us how far we’ve come (or how far we need to go) in order to achieve Utopia in our professional lives. Every single one of the topics covered under the New Thinking heading is an ideal that we have reached or are reaching for in order to achieve balance and happiness in our work.

The Old Thinking side supposedly represents the past – the way things wereand isn’t it great that we’re leaving all of this behind?

Too bad reality is something entirely different.

Those of us of a “certain age” have heard every one of the topics covered here multiple times. We’ve heard it, in some cases, for several decades. During those decades, virtually nothing has been done beyond lip service to achieve most of the goals listed here as “New Thinking”. In fact, if we’re honest with ourselves and our observations of our workplaces we have to admit that the “Old Thinking” side of the equation more closely reflects how our workplace actually operates.

It’s easy to see why that is. Old Thinking continues to work as it always has; New Thinking, while it may be adopted in some aspects, never quite seems to gain traction. Why is that?

The answer here, as in so many other places, boils down to money. It costs money for businesses to implement the kinds of New Thinking reforms they have been giving lip service to for years…and businesses, bosses, and shareholders simply hate to give up money if they aren’t required to do so.

So I think it’s safe to say that we are going to be seeing this graphic again in another few years. When we do, the new group of workers will also remark “Isn’t it wonderful how much things have changed from the Bad Old Ways of thinking?”

The more things change…

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Copyright 2016/2017 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact info@aqualifeadventures.com for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.

Excellence Is Not A Metric

Recently, I was involved in an online discussion with some writing peers concerning how compositions can be constructed for clarity.

As you can imagine the opinions expressed took us all over the map. A variety of means was brought forward to try and determine what might be an optimal way of writing and editing a work. During that discussion one of the participants said something that I think was rather profound: Excellence Is Not a Metric.

Excellence is not a metric. Five simple words, yet packing an abundance of meaning in today’s metrics-dominated world. If you look around at pretty much everything that impacts us now as people and employees it’s all dominated by how well we can measure something – the metrics. Looking at my own life in business it amazes me how much of everything that I did and everything that I demanded of my subordinates was dominated by the metrics they produced.

We worshiped the numbers. Every day, there were new ones to be dissected, sifted, and massaged into forms that others further down the line would worship as well. The one thing that we did not measure (even though the higher-ups claim that they did) was excellence. The very word rarely came up – only the holy metrics and what they purported to show.

This is the reason why I think excellence as a pursuit has fallen so far beside the road; it’s not part of any measurable metric. My writing peer was proven perfectly correct. In our worship of all things numeric, we have forgotten that some things cannot be reduced to simple numbers and equations.

And maybe… Just maybe, it’s why we see so little excellence now.

 

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Copyright 2016/2017 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact info@aqualifeadventures.com for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.

Carrie Fisher Was My Age When She Died

Image source: NBC News

It was announced about an hour ago that actress Carrie Fisher of Star Wars fame had died after suffering a massive heart attack on Christmas day.

You can say, write, blog a lot of things – both good and less so – about this event but the one thing that resounds with me is the fact that in every story so far, they mention Fisher’s age at death.

It also happens to be my own.

It’s a big signpost that shows that the road before me is much shorter than the road already traveled…and ends in the same place. It tells all of us that we should look at the journey we are taking along our individual roads, and work to savor every moment on that road that can end all too soon.

Now, my road and Carrie Fisher’s are not even remotely the same. She saw and did things I never could – but it’s fair to say that I saw and did things in my journey she never dreamed of as well. Martial arts competitions, becoming a jeweler, then later a dive instructor. Caregiver for my mother in the last year of her life. Traveller and now stroke survivor and freelance writer.

Much has already been written about Fisher’s life and will continue to be. Remember that in your mourning for the talent she brought to the world, take some time to be amazed at the talent that your own existence has brought as well.

Try to make your life as remarkable.

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Copyright 2016/2017 John Lewis

All rights reserved. Anyone wishing to republish this content, in whole or in part, contact info@aqualifeadventures.com for permission.

John Lewis is a freelance writer and editor for hire. Reach him at jlewis@aqualifeadventures.com . He also writes for the site Crowdfunding Hell.