Speaking of Sledgehammers

Holy crap, you talk about sledgehammers to the forehead. As soon as I finished writing the last blog post, a blog post showed up in my inbox from the totallyADD.com blog. Rick Green talks about whether ADD is a handicap, a disability, or something else.

This blog post speaks directly to me. Today, apparently, is a day of sledgehammers to the forehead.

Focus, Focus, Focus

Every now and then you get hit in the forehead with a sledgehammer that reminds you that you’ve gotten off track.  Nobody is more aware of this problem than someone like me who deals with a brain that is wired like a plate of spaghetti.

2011 was a year of lessons.  The only person I have to blame is myself. Yes, other people’s actions and/or personalities played a significant role in the situations that were at hand.  But the truth of the matter, is that at the end of the day, I am responsible for how I react to the situation.  My reaction is a choice.

The only way to be decisive about something is to be focused. You have to know where you’re going. To get where you’re going you need a plan. To execute the plan you need to be focused.

2012 is supposed to be a shit year for with respect to the economy. The only way to get through it, is to focus and get tough.

Thanks, Randy. You’re a good sledgehammer.


“What is my contribution going to be?”

This is a question I ask myself a lot. I was talking to a financial adviser yesterday and it forced me to focus on this question in a bit more detail. I suppose talking about my finances should make me think more about what I am doing with the results of my contribution. For me money is a discussion about where it comes from, not where it should go – and is probably why I need to talk to a financial adviser.

Is my contribution to design product for other people or is it more entrepreneurial? I’m like most people in the sense that I have thousands of viable product ideas a day. But in the world of product development, execution is King. As an industrial designer I could easily design 20 products a year to be ready for production. Which brings us back to the original paragraph – money.

Money is such a powerful force. If you don’t have it, you want it. If you have it, you want more. If my read on the mood in the United States anywhere near correct, there is something bad percolating (think way beyond public demonstrations) and the star of show is money. An imbalance of wealth that brings a huge disparity between the haves and the have nots.

As with all things, this isn’t an easy topic. It is tremendously emotionally charged. I was talking with my Mom while she was here in Vancouver over the Christmas Break and this topic came up quite a bit. Living in Canada now for 17 years, there is still a disparity between the haves an have nots. But there’s a much different level of what constitutes a basic standard of living. Medical care being the hot button topic of that.

What struck me most about where my thoughts have landed on this subject of money is what the stuff does to people. It is such a powerful substance in our universe. It has the power to enable, and heal, and make one feel good about oneself. But money also has – or I should say the lack of it has – the ability to strip one of their well being, confidence, and pride. It has the ability to corrupt.

Corruption. It is a pretty ugly word. Even visually it isn’t particularly pretty to look at. To me, the big topic when it comes to discussing these big topics is corruption. Money is a corrupting force today. It turns friends into enemies, and makes seemingly good people turn into criminals. When I boiled it down with my Mom, the idea of the 1% movement isn’t about the disparity of money, rather it is about corruption. It is about how there doesn’t seem to be a throttle on how much money one needs after they have made “enough”. So, for me the topic of money is less about how much you have, and more about how you get it?

So, I am sitting here, trying to ponder how to make money and talking to someone about planning what I am going to do with all that money once I make it so that I can make more. I think the real question I should be focusing on is the first one in this post. Because that is what will make me happy. It isn’t the number in my bank account, it is the contribution to society – the contribution to myself – that I will want chiseled into my headstone. So, I will be asking myself this question a lot more:

“What is my contribution going to be?”