Thursday, June 30, 2011

Simple Truths from Clearing Brush


Right after ISTE, I drove straight to western PA, (Champion, to be exact), to help my Dad get ready for our yearly 4th of July family reunion. My Dad bought 70 acres of land for $20,000 before he went to fight in Vietnam, over 40 years ago. He, my Grandpa, and uncle built the pond and the whole area has been his baby ever since. Every year he adds another layer to the area, something fun for the kids, something fixed that needed fixing, some amenity that will make people more comfortable...

Each year I try to get here a day or two early to at least lend a hand in the last 5% of prep work. This morning I spent a couple hours clearing brush from the edges of the pond so people will be able to fish easier and so the area would just look cleaner. As I did, some simple truths occurred to me:

  • "Work smarter, not harder" is not something you should say, it's something you should show
  • If you try to rake everything in the pile along at once, you'll lose a lot. You have to go back a 2nd or 3rd time to make sure everything gets pulled along
  • Seeing tangible results of your work is really motivating
  • Your eyes will deceive you. Have someone else look at your work
  • Work should result in something useful or beautiful. Or, ideally- both
  • Meaningful work is never "done"
I hope all that read this have a chance to move, improve, and reflect.

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