Everybody Needs a Thneed!

I recently watched The Lorax and was happy with the message: take responsibility for your actions and understand the ramifications of your actions. I believe we’re in the process of building smarter businesses that will benefit the planet rather than harm it. It will take time, but things can get better.

Fresh Optimism

Sometimes it’s difficult to remain optimistic when reading or watching the news. There are so many problems, wars, starving children, deaths, financial troubles on an individual to global scale, and the list goes on.

On a positive note, life surrounds us, new children are born every day, many people, although a small percentage at this time, have easy access to food and water, and multitudes of people are working to make this world a better place. For the many negative aspects of life on this planet, there are responding positive occurrences. For every problem, there is a person or organization working on a solution.

I’ve talked with people who are apathetic and depressed about life. “We’re just going to die anyway. We might as well not even do anything,” They say. I tell them that it’s better to have lived than to have never existed at all. We’re here, so let’s make the best of our lives and the lives of those around us.

Optimism gives us hope for a better future, which motivates us to take action. These actions are what provide this world with positive solutions. You’re much more likely to think of a fresh idea or positive solution if you’re optimistic and hopeful. Yet some negative people get so frustrated with the way things are going that they can’t help but take the necessary actions to make the positive changes they want to see. Even in such situations, these individuals had to possess some kind of hope that their actions would work. Many times, the chances of you being stuck and immobile have a correlation with a negative attitude and no hope.

Truth be told, being positive and optimistic 24/7 doesn’t really work. Life can be very difficult. A moment of frustration and negativity may even be how we recognize a problem in the first place. But developing a habit of hope and optimism for yourself and the world will increase the problems we collectively solve.

Explanations in the Form of Instructions

Today, I stumbled across a Frank Zappa quote that discourages people from listening to those who give bad advice, so I was thinking about the benefits of following instructions and applying great advice.

My fiancée and I tutor students from the elementary to high school level every week. Tonight, we were tutoring two very smart students, one in third grade and one in seventh grade. As I was helping the third grader with a fourth grade spectrum writing book, I noticed a passage that summarizes why I liked the Frank Zappa quote I had read earlier in the day. The following is an excerpt from his workbook:

Explanations, in the form of instructions, are all around. Some of them are simple, such as a door with ‘push’ written on it. You follow the instructions, open the door, and go through. Some of them are not simple. Bicycles, bookshelves, wheelbarrows, and vacuums all come in surprisingly small boxes that are labeled ‘some assembly required.’ Your teacher might explain how the early settlers of your state applied for statehood. Your parent might explain a math problem.

The point I think Zappa was trying to make is to be discerning when it comes to taking a person’s advice or reading instructions. Additional research of a topic is usually beneficial when you learn something from a teacher or book you’re reading. Blindly believing people can be dangerous.

“If you end up with a boring, miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your sh&*, then you deserve it.” – Frank Zappa

The Zappa quote above sounded negative to me when I first read it. At first, it sounded like he was discouraging people from taking any advice from anyone. But he is simply discouraging people from following advice that doesn’t work for them. If you develop your own practical solutions while also following great advice and instructions, you may still be bored from time to time, but you will probably be more successful and have a happier life.

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Spectrum. Writing: Grade 4. Red Upd Edition. Columbus, Ohio: Frank Schaffer Publications, 2007. 98-99. Print.

3D Printing

You may have noticed the emerging technology of 3D printing. Imagine being able to go on Ebay or Amazon and 3D print any of the products you want almost instantly in your home. Sounds like a technology to which FedEx, UPS, or any other logistics company should pay close attention.

Though it’s still going to take some time to see these changes, it could easily become much more affordable and practical within the next 10-20 years.

To learn more about the basics of 3D printing, read the Wikipedia article here.

 

Success Isn’t Always Fun

Studying for a test may not be fun, but getting an A+ is both fun and rewarding for most of us. Experiencing success is nice, but the time and work that go into it beforehand can be difficult.

Many aspects of success can be boring. Then again, I’m not familiar with success in the business world on a large scale yet. But the small, rewarding successes I experience on a weekly basis are a direct result of prioritizing my actions and projects. Many of these actions are boring at first–going to bed early, waking up early, checking and sending emails all day, making cold calls, doing a great job at every job even if I’m tired or not feeling well, sacrificing time with family and friends, etc.

Yet the small and major successes you will experience will reinforce you to continue to take actions similar to those listed above. Even if they aren’t always fun in the moment, the rewarding results will make them so much fun and make you happy you stuck with the smartest actions for your important work priorities.

If you’re having trouble with your priorities, be sure to check out this lifehacker article about prioritizing—–>How to Prioritize When Everything Is Important.

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(Photo credit: drewkasler)