The first time I started to go back to work after moving to Colorado, I ended up with thyroid cancer. Then I went unconscious seven times, had two fake heart attacks, and eventually learned I have a rare blood disease that caused those problems and more. Then I had diverticulitis twice, possibly epiploic appendagitis several times more, and ended up having to have part of my colon removed. Come September I’m not going to look for work, I’m just going to be like Kramer and show up at someone’s office.
Several years ago I stepped away from a consulting gig. I had an opportunity to continue the gig, but I didn’t enjoy it, and didn’t like the direction the project was headed in. This quote from this article about the Denver Post expresses how I feel very well:
“I have total disagreement with how they're managing the place, but I'm not going to stand up and be overly critical of them. They've got the keys to the car and they can drive it any way they want to. But they're not driving it in a way that I want to be a passenger of the car.”
(That reminds me of the old Alaska sled dog saying: “If you’re not the lead dog, the view never changes.”)
After I sold Mission Data in 2007, I also sold most of my belongings and drove to Alaska, a state I fell in love with during several vacations many years ago. As a result of that moving process, I sold over 400 books, keeping only the 100 or so “best” books that would fit in my car.
Forced to think about keeping only ~100 books, I learned that my favorite business books are:
“You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.”
Your attitude is such an important topic, I want to end this book by getting you to look at yourself the way other people see you.
“A man of knowledge lives by acting,
not by thinking about acting.”
“You will not be punished for your anger.
You will be punished by your anger.”
As you can tell from this book, when I was young, I was a pessimistic person, but as I grew older, I worked hard to change my attitude into a positive, can-do person. If you think you can’t change your attitude, I’m living proof that you can.
“It takes a wise man to learn from his mistakes,
and an even wiser man to learn from others.”
When I returned from Alaska in 2008, I lived with a friend for a little while, and she made me watch a TV show named Project Runway. She didn’t really have to try too hard; I watched one episode with her, and I was hooked.
“Practice your kicks 10,000 times.”
“The discipline of Zen consists in upsetting this groundwork once and for all, and reconstructing the old frame on an entirely new basis.”
I was talking to a friend the other day about what I learned in college, and I came to the conclusion that I learned two major things.
“He who knows others is wise.
He who knows himself is enlightened.”
A long time ago — 1991, I think — a friend of mine named Joe was a contractor for the aerospace company I worked at. Just like a consultant, Joe was paid by the hour.