Nonsense At Work

#105: March 2016 MindShift

Nonsense just is,
but sense must be uncovered, grasped and held tight.The NonsenseAtWork Monthly MindShift


March 2016

Fight Your New Goodness Fountain

Don’t fight fictitious foes when you can go with the blow

sanchoOnce upon a time there was a guy who charged at windmills. He thought they were giants. Don Quixote is famous, because in fighting windmills he is us. We have all at one time or another attempted to fight fictitious foes.

Yet, I think his side kick, Sancho Panza, should be equally famous for his wisdom, as shown in this retort to his wife. “Look ye, Teresa, I have always heard my elders say that he who does not know how to take advantage of luck when it comes to him, has no right to complain if it gives him the go-by; and now that it is knocking at our door, it will not do to shut it out; let us go with the favouring breeze that blows upon us.” [Saavedra, Miguel de Cervantes; translation by John Ormsby (2011-03-30) Don Quixote (p. 324) Kindle Edition.]

So tell me, when you feel a favorable breeze, do you go with the blow or do you complain of windmills in the dust?


Piecing together the puzzle of your life

puzzle-missingA single piece of a jigsaw puzzle makes little sense. When linked correctly with other pieces, the sense appears. Does it matter to the picture if you attach more importance to any one piece? No, but it does matter to the puzzle because one right piece can make the job easier – it anchors the picture and serves as a frame of reference.

In the puzzle of your life, you are that one piece.  Without you to anchor it, your picture will have no reference point and thus no meaning.

Even so, don’t become too self-important.  As with puzzle pieces, you must fade into the bigger picture to complete it. You must be ‘part of’ the Puzzle of Life to complete your life’s puzzle. If you cop out, then you become the missing piece, the glaringly visible gap.

You might stand out by being absent, but you cannot succeed by being apart from.


When your new job is your new job

leave old jobWhen is a new job a new job? When you stand out without being apart from?

No. When you have left your old job behind. Unless you stop doing your old job in your new job, your new job will morph into your old job. And you will fail.

This is an easy trap to fall into because you are promoted mainly because of your past success. No wonder you want to do those same things again. Don’t. Your new position requires a different approach.

Here’s a simple test. If you can get away with doing the same things in your new role, then you weren’t really promoted.

And if you joined a new company? You will be hated and slated if you promote your previous employer’s processes and culture as better than sliced bread. You might even be asked to go back there.

Remember, promotion is an exciting trip. So decide carefully what is worth taking and what best left behind.


Thank goodness Friday puts you closer to Monday

ball-and-chainI chatted casually with a stranger recently as we walked to her place of work. She was friendly and cheerful, and seemed happy to be going to work. So I made some silly comment about her mood, to which she replied, “It’s Friday!”

This came as a surprise. She seemed so pleased to be at work. And so I suggested that it is not always a good idea to admit to a stranger that you are excited about a day because it is a one step removed from your weekend away from work. She was quiet for a moment and I thought I had offended her. Then she said, “But I like Friday because it puts me closer to Monday.”

Wow! What a cleaver comeback! Or was she being serious? I think she was. Her attitude made that clear.

So, tell me, when was the last time you wanted to be closer to Monday?


Write your fountain of self-esteem

quillpenI write with a fountain pen. It’s easy to stick to the point with a pen, but not with a keyboard. A keyboard has no point. It is difficult to find the core of your idea in the rectangle of a keyboard.

A pen focuses your eyes on the point you are making as you form individual letters in a tight grouping. But a keyboard is like a shotgun. It can shoot off complete alphabets at a time, relying on the Law of Random Statistics that sooner or later a Shakespeare Sonnet will be captured or a point will be made (like this sentence).

And I don’t like ballpoint pens. They roll so easily that my words turn into scribbles.

But now I’m embarrassed to be seen with my fountain pen. I read recently that pupils at an Edinburgh school use fountain pens because these pens boost self-esteem. The world needs to know I need boosting?



Are you puzzled by windmills?



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