Apply this tip from a pilot …

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A recent vacation highlight for my wife and me was a tour of the USS Midway aircraft carrier in SanDiego. The ship was huge and learning the number of crew it took to perform and execute all the specific responsibilities and the challenges of doing so, was amazing.
At one point, we sat to hear a veteran pilot explain the procedure of landing aircraft on the carrier out at sea. He mentioned that he had probably done this over a thousand times.
Although there were times, like at night, or in bad weather when landing a plane would be a white-knuckle experience (very stressful); he explained that most of the time the conditions at sea were fairly good and landing the plane was relatively easy and rather routine.
He further taught us that a pilot’s confidence in his abilities could lead to a lack of focus and carelessness. On an aircraft carrier with so much happening on deck, this could be fatal.
So, to remedy this situation, the pilots were graded on every landing they made. Once they were graded, their scores would be posted on a wall for all to see. On top of that, each pilot would be ranked based on his overall performance for a given period of time.
He chuckled, “and you didn’t want to have your name listed at the bottom”!
To further the competition, sometimes the pilots would bet each other as to who would get the better scores. They would form teams and compete. When they went ashore, the worst ranked team would have to buy everyone’s main course for dinner (it would be expensive.) The next lowest-ranked team would have to buy the drinks for everyone. Finally, the second place team would buy dessert. The winners–they would just enjoy it all –free of charge!

The lesson is that we need to safeguard ourselves from getting
careless, just like the pilots. Really, thought-less, in the way we live our lives.
Do we have specific goals for the different areas of responsibility in our lives
(relationship with God, our health, our family, our finances, our work, our volunteering
efforts, our own rest time)?
Do we have systems in place, or friends to hold us accountable to our goals?
Do we have good intentions for the way we live our lives, or are we intentional about
what we do and why we do things?

Let us all take a tip from a pilot and accept measurement tools as a resource to help us perform at our best .

If your team wants to be great, then…

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I thought that this quote from Zach Domicone, a player on the undefeated 2012 Ohio State Football team describes what it takes to be the best:

“we were monitored in everything we did, whether it was academics, or the weight room, or the film room” Domicone said. “In the past”, Domicone said, “it was possible to skate by, by doing the minimum. If you wanted to be great, that would certainly be encouraged and rewarded. But those along for the ride weren’t necessarily pushed overboard.

Now (since coach Urban Meyer came in 2012), you’re challenged every day to be better than you were the day before. Every day, you have to improve in the weight room, you have to improve in the classroom, you have to be smarter in the film room?

Taken from “Buckeye Rebirth” by Bill Rabinowitz

With the loss of God, man has lost… -Vaclav Havel

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Take your time and think about these very profound words from Vaclav Havel:

“I believe that with the loss of God, man has lost a kind of absolute and universal system of coordinates, to which he could always relate anything, chiefly himself. His world and his personality gradually began to break up into separate, incoherent fragments corresponding to different, relative coordinates. And when this happened, man began to lose his inner identity, that is, his identity with himself. Along with it, of course, he lost a lot of other things, too, including a sense of his own continuity, a hierarchy of experiences and values, and so on. It’s as if we were playing for a number of different teams at once, each with different uniforms, and as though, and this is the main thing- we didn’t know which one we ultimately belonged do, which of those teams was really ours.”

A Poem about our Time

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Focusing on being in my lane (a reflection of the times in which we live)

Driving on a highway: fast and crowded, too crowded to move into a different lane.

I see down the road a directional sign, but I don’t really have time to read it because I need to keep my eyes on the road.

In the stress of staying in my lane, keeping up with traffic, I’m dazed by an unsettling and frustrating feeling that I think I’ve missed my exit…. but back my attention goes to staying in my lane.

In my peripheral vision, I see an attractive face in one car. I see two people arguing in another. I see an old man in an army uniform sleeping in another. The thoughts of these different people and even concerns for them (though I don’t understand why) come to my mind. However, I dismiss any further thinking of them because I need to focus on driving in my lane.

Though by now, I don’t even know where I’m going.

and an outsider says our Blind Spots are what?

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Many of you have already found out and others will find out in the course of their lives that truth eludes us as soon as our concentration begins to flag, all the while leaving the illusion that we are continuing to pursue it. This is the source of much discord. Also, truth seldom is sweet; it is almost invariably bitter. A measure of bitter truth is included in my speech today, but I offer it as a friend, not as an adversary.
Mere freedom per se does not in the least solve all the problems of human life and even adds a number of new ones. And yet in early democracies, as in American democracy at the time of its birth, all individual human rights were granted on the ground that man is God’s creature. That is, freedom was given to the individual conditionally, in the assumption of his constant religious responsibility. Such was the heritage of the preceding one thousand years. Two hundred or even fifty years ago, it would have seemed quite impossible, in America that an individual be granted boundless freedom with no purpose, simply for the satisfaction of his whims… All the celebrated technological achievements of progress, including the conquest of outer space , do not redeem the twentieth century’s moral poverty.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn—taken from his commencement speech at Harvard (1978)

Pay attention to the artists

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To understand this cusp of a new century-marked as it is both by the sociological reality of the information age and the philosophical movement we call postmodernism-we have to pay attention to the novelist, filmmaker and the musician who are culturally upstream,as it is in their stories, movies, and songs where we will feel the yearnings of what human life is and ought to be. Whether staged or celluloid, in print or on computer disks, they are fingers to the wind. Why? Artists get there first.

taken from “Visions of Vocation” by Steven Garber
(pg. 59)