I did a thing last night…I launched my “7 things I learned this Week” program. Of course, no one has seen it because the video is stuck in my husband’s phone. Not like, it’ll never come out, just that it hasn’t yet. You see, I’ve learned that it is better to be done than be perfect, so even though I have bigger plans for that video and program, I needed to start. So start I did.
Our life is such that every day we learn something, and because I learn something daily, I should share that, but sharing is hard unless you have a platform. I have a blog, that no one sees; I have a FB page, with plenty of personal friends; I have an Instagram account with a few followers. Next will be YouTube and FB Live and more info on my blog, but to begin, I had to start. So I did. I’m not ready yet, but that isn’t the point is it? If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll never begin anything!
So what are my 7 things I learned this week?
- Podiums: Podiums were first introduced in Canada in 1930, the then IOC President was in attendance and wrote a directive that podiums should be used for medal presentations in the 1932 Olympics. The very first medal presentation got it wrong…the second and third place podiums were reversed from what the directive said. Here’s how it should be: 1st in the Center; 2nd on the Right of the 1st place (as the victors are looking out) and 3rd on the left hand side. Now you know.
- GIGO: When I was an accounting student, we studied lots of inventory accounting methods, they had names like LIFO and FIFO – Last In First Out, First In First Out – none of which were wrong. Our professor introduced us to GIGO, Garbage In Garbage Out and reminded us that it didn’t really matter what method we used as long as we recognized that if our data sets were wrong, were garbage, to begin with, whatever we got out of our data was also garbage. The same is true for everything else in life. Our diets…garbage in; our entertainment…garbage in; so if you want to protect your mindset, protect what you fill your mind with. If it is violent and hateful and scary and anxious, so will be your mind. Protect yourself with knowledge and with good stuff. Read self-help books, watch happy entertainment. You don’t need to be motivated as much as you need to eliminate the bad. I’m often accused of being a Pollyanna…this is the main reason why, I’ve eliminated garbage from my entertainment. I curate my social media feeds, I am careful about what television I watch, no police dramas for me. I don’t watch or listen to the news. Sure I see the big stuff, but the scary, hate-mongering going on, not for me. Remember, Garbage In, Garbage Out.
- How does a GPS work? The GPS system started as Navstar, a military operation in the United States. The first satellite launched in 1978 to provide more accurate data as to where something is. The system has since changed names and has been de-classified to allow everyone to use the system. There are 24 satellites online orbiting at a distance of over 12,000 miles away. There are 30 satellites available to provide data, backup units should one go offline. If you have at least three satellites that can see your receiver, it can provide you with an accurate measurement of where you are in 2D; if 4 satellites can see your receiver, it will provide you with 3D accuracy, in other words, your altitude can be identified as well. Satellites do not receive information, only GPS receivers do. Satellites send out information in packets, beginning with the Time, set by their onboard atomic clocks. It is the time from each satellite that gets triangulated to give your position. Other information is Almanac info, which can be cached to allow for a quicker Time-to-First-Fix position on startup. For example, our Lowrance that travels in the Jeep that travels in the Semi sometimes takes a minute because we didn’t just travel down the road before we turned it on, we may have travelled across the country. The Almanac data helps it find its way. The last packet of information is called Ephemeris Data, the precise location of the satellite and its’ health. There are other systems besides the US based GPS system including Galileo in Europe, GLONASS in Russia and BeiDou in China.
- Show Your Work. My latest reading recommendation is Show Your Work by Austin Kleon, I first read it in 2016, but have since been able to apply it better to my world. The book is designed for creatives to show their work to their patrons, a glimpse behind the curtain as to the process not just the product. In this day of social engagement, that’s important, for all of us. We take a lot of things for granted living in the TajMahauler and on the road that we assume everyone knows about us, after all, we’ve been doing this for nine years. But we’ve recently discovered that no one really knows what it’s like, so we’re going to share more about the background, the things that happen when no one else is looking. It’s our peek in to the process of how we make things work in this life on the road. In the meantime, pick up the book, Show Your Work is a followup to Steal Like an Artist. Read them both, he’s got the best description of how to handle Social Media that I’ve seen, which is even more impressive since it published in 2014, the more things change, the more things remain the same.
- Laundromats. The bane of every person without a home washer and dryer. When you live on the road, you have a couple of choices, pick up a Splendide washer/dryer combo and take up what little room (and water) you have, or use a laundromat. We’ve opted for the latter. There are some that are awesome, although that’s the exception to the rule. What I like about the process is that I never have that nagging load waiting for me every day. It’s all done at once, off-site, if I need something, it’ll wait, and I’m ok with that. Here’s a tip to make laundry go faster: While at home you have a one-to-one relationship with washer to dryer, at the laundromat, you can use multiples. So I do two loads of laundry and use three or four dryers. It speeds up my time to get out of there. Go ahead and try it, it doesn’t cost any more.
- Burn the Boats. Another book I am reading is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. The book was published in 1937, and except for the antiquated writing, it could have easily been published in 2017. It’s the first Law of Attraction book. One of the passages in Chapter 1 is about the General who ordered his army to Burn the Boats after they came ashore, the theory being they needed to win because there was no retreat. What a great way to tackle anything new. Just Burn the boats behind you, no retreat. If you start a new career, are you counting on it maybe not working so you can always go back? In 2011 when I left my accounting career, I knew we were embarking on something big, and while I may have said I can always go back and get a job, I never believed that. I burned the boats! Not the bridges, you always want to get back to the people (that’s just good relationship building). But the boats were gone. What if we went in to all our committed relationships that way? Think about a marriage, if you are always thinking you have a way out, you’ll always be looking for the exit. Instead, burn the boats and commit fully to your relationship.
- Focus on the Day. Last one for this week. Instead of worrying about next week, or next month, or next year and where you will be with your project, focus on today. What are you doing today to move it forward? My friend, Steve Burrows, put it this way, “Just don’t do nothing.” So every day, be working your plan, your program, just don’t do nothing. Do something every single day to move it forward, it will grow and blossom on its own if you are always working on it. Want to build a blog, do something today to make it happen. Want to write a book, put some words on paper today. Want to start a business, research something today that you’ll need. And then tomorrow, do something else, every day, put that focus in. Don’t let time and the future scare you, you’ll be ready before you ever thought you would if you just do something today, and tomorrow and the next day, and the day after that. Just don’t do nothing.
So that’s it, that’s my seven things I learned this week. Look for me next week with the next seven things I’ve learned. If there is something specific you want more info on, let me know, it might just already be in my repertoire.