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Touch the Fire[tm]

That's hot!

That's hot!

I bet you, the cook didn’t quite plan it to be that way! It looks really hot and dangerous! There’s a learning here about one’s personal, professional and even corporate life in this picture. I’ve been quite fond of saying to my team and those who come to me for advice. I recently blogged about this point referencing the In-Out-Burger case study.

And at the risk of sounding cliched, there’s no shortcuts in life, no free lunches, etc. You do need to eventually put in the hard time. Reap what you sow. This is where I suppose the difference between Generation Y and Generation X comes to play. In my limited experience, Gen Y’ers got the fast forward button clicking fast but (professional) life doesn’t quite work that way. Nothing against sharing one’s ideas, contributing different insights, looking at things differently (it’s not just Gen Y’ers who do out-of-the-box thinking), but there’s more in common with getting through in life regardless of one’s generation. Some things do stay the same no matter how much it seems to have changed.

This means that “time and place” is important. Smarts is not enough. Sweat (and tears) in liberal doses is also required. Grey-haired guys are not as out of touch with the new fangled things as it appears on the surface. Experience means hopefully that you don’t have to repeat the painful lessons your predecessors did (but grey-haired guys knows that history does repeat itself). Changing and bettering the world and making a difference are great intentions and should be applauded, but intentions never accomplished much of anything.

To this end, I’d like to quote one of my favorite historical figure, Thomas A. Edison:

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.

To learn more about what he accomplished, check out the interesting Thomas A. Edison Papers Project at Rutgers, State University of New Jersey as well as the Thomas A. Edison Museum Page.

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