When Sir Winston Churchill was asked, “Sir, to what do you attribute your success in life?” and he said without hesitating: “Economy of effort. Never stand up when you can sit down, and never sit down when you can lie down.“
I hadn’t heard of this quote before until I rewatched The Pacific. In it’s seventh episode the Marines chant an expanded form of this quote in unison.
Never run when you can walk.
Never walk when you can stand.
Never stand when you can sit.
Never sit when you can lay down.
Never lay down when you can sleep.
There is a time and place for this quote. Combat Marines in the Western Pacific during World War II or serving as the Prime Minister of England during World War II; both are exceptional examples. Unfortunately, what I see large parts of society doing is exercising this Economy of Effort in all things; their entire life.
I find this exceptionally disappointing and it often can be extremely frustrating.
I was watching Skyfall recently. It is one of the recent James Bond films. In the movie Turner’s “The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last Berth to be broken up” is seen and commented on by the younger Q and the older Bond. The dialog went like this:
Q: It always makes me feel a little melancholy. Grand old war ship, being ignominiously hauled away to scrap… The inevitability of time, don’t you think? What do you see?
James Bond: A bloody big ship.
It’s an interesting dialog, one which examines the two characters’ perspectives. I’m reminded of the more recent example which this same dialog could have been applied to earlier this year; the decommissioned CONSTELLATION. I find that example an interesting demonstration of the continuum of time.
But in my mind there are two vessels and two questions which are more important to think about and address:
Which vessel are you?
When will you be the other one?
I look forward to hearing your answers!
Well the first quarter of 2015 has come and gone; time to assess my progress on my 2015 annual goals. Time to face the music…
- Educate and Develop my children. ON TRACK! We have done several Lego projects; AT-AT Walker, the X-Wing, and we’re working on the Imperial Shuttle. I’m very impressed with how my older one has a great aptitude to build! The little guy will get it. He just needs to learn to sit in one place for longer then 5 seconds.
- Enjoy 75 Books. ON TRACK! I was able to completely enjoy 17 great books in the first quarter of 2015; here’s my current reads. I followed Bill Gates’ advice and read a few of his suggestion. The Snowball, Warren Buffett’s biography, was a tome of excellence! That tome slowed my pace a bit, but it was well worth it. Click the image of the books to see my library of books I’ve enjoyed over the years.
- Run 2 Ultra marathons and 2 marathons. NEEDS WORK. I have one Ultra marathon scheduled in April, a 50K. Additionally, I’ve got a marathon scheduled for late Fall, the Marine Corps Marathon (it will be my 4th year in a row). I’ve struggled to lay out the exact race plan for the remaining two races. I’m toying with a 50 miler, but it will be quite a leap. I’m waiting to see how the 50K goes before I layout funds for the race I’ve got my eye on in June. I entered the lottery for the New York City Marathon, but alas didn’t get selected.
- Make a new Sous Vide Recipe Monthly. ON TRACK! I’ve made quite a few Sous Vide recipes in the first quarter; several sets of Ribeye’s; soft boiled eggs; pork chops; and corned beef. Everything has been excellent. It’s a lot of fun to explore the possibilities of Sous Vide.
- Family Trip. NEEDS WORK. No plan yet.
- Lead Effectively. NEEDS WORK. We’ve got a major inspection coming in May. This has taken a lot of effort and focus off of other things which need attention.
- Teach Effectively. NEEDS WORK. I took action on this by teaching two courses this quarter, one at University of Maryland University College, and one at Tidewater Community College. The one at Tidewater Community College is still going. Starting both of these at the same time was a BIG stretch of my focus and effort. Things weren’t perfect, but I learned a lot about myself, my students, and how formal education is functioning in the United States.
- Be published two times. NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet.
- Invest 100 hours in learning new languages (Life goal – 10,000 hours). NEEDS WORK. 2.57 hours accomplished. This has fallen off a bit due to the inspection at work.
- Invest 100 hours in coding (Life goal – 10,000 hours). NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet.
- Invest 100 hours in Robotics (Life goal – 10,000 hours). NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet.
- Increase my income by 10%. ON TRACK! Referencing what I’ve earned teaching off last year’s earnings, I’ve increased my earnings by 5% from teaching in just one quarter.
- Reduce debt. ON TRACK! Continue to pay down debts and get closer to eliminating the vehicle loan as the first priority.
- Live within Monthly Budget. NEEDS WORK. We have a budget, but it needs additional refinement. I’ve focused on reducing the extra costs of eating out as I work as a geographical bachelor.
- Tailor/Verify/Diversify Investments. NEEDS WORK. No progress, yet on tailoring, verifying, or diversifying. Definitely continue to max out investments but haven’t met with dedicated advisor.
These are how my 2015 Annual Goals are progressing. How are your goals coming?
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World Order was an exceptional book. Now on to something with a bit more grit. Reading http://t.co/0eNncatr7f
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Never stand up when you can sit down - A Cyber Fellow http://t.co/FzWzKrnLpR
Two vessels and two questions - A Cyber Fellow http://t.co/bwQcPHEtA2