I happened across an editorial by Dan Dumbacher, AIAA Executive Director, in the Aerospace America magazine published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The title was “Scar Tissue” and the large font tag line was “…we must not allow the scar tissue of past failures to hold us back from meeting the complex challenges of the future.” It captured my attention to say the least. I suggest reading the short article to be found at: https://aerospaceamerica.aiaa.org/departments/scar-tissue/ There is one particular paragraph framed in the context of maintaining relevance in the industry that I’m going to repeat here as it’s translation into personal terms captures the essence of what the Biz of You is all about.
We are obligated to question what we do, how we do it, and, most importantly, why each step matters. The conscious questioning, professional debate, and thoughtful implementation will transport us to better and more efficient ways to meet our needs. Status quo thinking often leads to stagnation. We must learn from our failures, recognize the lessons, and, crucially, communicate all to our colleagues. Only then can we say we are truly preparing the next generation. And, we must not allow the scar tissue of past failures to hold us back from meeting the complex challenges of the future. We must test our ideas, not only talk about them. We must understand what is possible, along with limitations and constraints. Finally, we must work to critically evaluate and eliminate non-value-added activities that so frequently find their way into our processes.
Now think of this not in terms of the aerospace industry but in terms of our own lives.
To maintain relevance in our ever changing world, we are obligated to question what we do, how we do, and whether each step along our path matters. Conscious questioning and engaging with others about what we are passionate about enables thoughtful implementation and more efficient ways to meet our own expectations. Simply following what others do, the status quo, only alienates us from the rapid change going on all around us. We must learn from our failures, recognize how we can improve and share our intent with others during every interaction. Only then can we say we are truly preparing for our future and the future of the generations to follow. We must not allow our scar tissue of past failures to hold us back from the adaptation needed in the current situation or meet the challenges in our future. We must test our ideas, by dropping our pebble into our local meme pool and see what reflects back as relevant and of benefit not only to ourselves but other as well. We must understand what opportunities are available to us along with any constraints keeping us from capitalizing on them. Finally, we must think critically about what we do in terms of what is value or non-value-add for our particular way of pursuing happiness and freedom.
Unlike Henry David Thoreau who went to the woods to live deliberately and suck out all the marrow of life, we have to enter the river of time, live deliberately within our changing world, and suck out all the marrow from the bones available to us in our stream of consciousness. In doing so, we can share the nutrients with those we interact with thereby enabling a better future for all of us all. Whether you are floating lazily or amidst rapids, the river of time is where life abounds. May we all enjoy our journey along the river.
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