Tag Archives: happiness levels

@ Work, How Do You Create Space?

In 1993 NASA suffered extra pressure and great stress when the Hubble Space Telescope broke down.  They faced a daunting task of figuring out how to go up in space and fix the distorted mirror inside the telescope.  For months the brightest minds in NASA couldn’t identify a solution.

Then one day NASA engineer, Jim Crocker, was taking a shower in a hotel and noticed how the shower head was mounted on adjustable rods with folding arms.  Eureka!  The answer did not appear while working late hours in the lab.  It occurred when Jim was in the shower on vacation, when he created space (no pun intended) from the perplexity of his problem.

Mindset spaceCreating space allows our minds to process thoughts more freely and creatively.  Heck, Newton discovered gravity when sitting under an apple tree.  It requires purposeful separation from the typical problem solving environment in order to let your thoughts move more freely.  It happens when thinking on a problem while out for a stroll, riding a bike, or sitting out in nature (under an apple tree).

Why does creating space work?  Your brain is like any muscle in your body.  Imagine lifting weights multiple times per week but only on biceps.  Doing so will surely strain and fatigue those muscles.  Thus, when you are consumed by constantly tackling the same challenge at work, you actually lose mental energy needed to identify solutions.  This is when it’s time to create space!

June is the halfway mark.  You are six months into 2016.  Are you where you should be? Are you where you want to be?  Take time, create space, and allow deep thought to happen.  The goal is not to be perfect – it is just to be better than before.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Lesson Learned: Pivotal Life Moment

What are you waiting for?

I will never forget the date – Tuesday April 26th.  It was 6:30am and we are at Pinnacle surgery center.  Our six-year-old daughter lays on a gurney with wires all over her little body.  The doctor enters our room and says, “we’re ready.”

We placed a kiss on her little forehead before they rolled her out of the room and down the hall.  Back out to the lobby.  There we sat, among other anxious parents, awaiting our names to be called, signifying the procedure was over.

I’ve never, ever experienced such a tense feeling; seconds passed more like hours.  Things were in slow motion but for the million thoughts racing through my head.  You could hear a pin drop in the waiting room.  It’s as if my mind had hit a pause button, freezing the moment in time.

Hourglass-time

Then an epiphany hit me like a freight train.  A quote from John Maxwell consumed my thought process – “Time is an equal opportunity employer; everybody gets 24 hours a day, no more, no less – but not everybody gets the same return on their 24 hours.”  How true this is.

Fortunately for us, our daughter’s surgery was minor and her results came back clear. The experience however, put us in deep reflection – for our own little family and the other families at the surgery center. We ought to be, must be, more mindful of how we prioritize (not manage) the precious gift of time.

Reflecting on this experience I realized how minor setbacks seemingly are big deals.  Then a “real” setback hits and reality sinks in.  Never wait for a low point to remind you of the great life you routinely live.  Always be grateful.  Savor the regular days – don’t wait for the irregular ones to reveal how lucky you have it.

Make today and everyday your masterpiece!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

The greatest compliment I can receive is a referral from readers.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi