Three simple steps for getting things done...

photo-doing it.jpg

I will admit the title I chose made me cringe a little because I’m always a little suspicious about anything that touts an easy road. How does the saying go again… oh yes, “Anything worth doing is never easy” (or something to this effect). And here I find myself suggesting you can get things done in three easy steps — obviously a classic case of “do as I say, not as I do”. I will admit at this point even I’m a bit curious to hear myself out… before proceeding with some harsh condemnation.

In reality, after some consideration, the steps for getting things done are simple, although progressing through the steps will be complex, and sometimes very complex. So maybe it seems I’ve been a little to premature with suggesting any harsh condemnation. In fact, let’s just shelve the whole idea because I think I’m really onto something.

Propose what you want to do

Debate what you want to do and make a decision how to proceed

Execute on what you want to get done, and do it.

Isn’t this so universally classic… something so simple, yet so difficult — somewhat analogous to starting something and believing it all can be said in in 500 words (or less). I’m not sure if this is overly ambitious or just arrogant. I suppose I should have entitled this, “Three simple steps for getting things done… PART I”


A new way of looking at things...

Other than this quote I’ve never read Henry Miller — although he is definitely an author that is on the list of must-reads.


“One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things”

What excites me about this quote is not so much the fact that the quote is by Henry Miller but rather he’s touched one of my most favourite topics — the value that comes with looking at things differently, or as Mr. Miller calls it, a new way of looking at things. I probably should correct myself; it’s not just my most favourite topic, it has become a personal and professional mantra.

Up and above the personal joy that comes when someone brings up the topic, there is insight that the place you want to be is the result of looking at things in a new way — and more exciting still, this isn’t just a literal destination (like sitting on top of a warm volcano in Iceland) but also the endless number of figurative locations you may want for find yourself (like the solution of a problem, a happier sense of self, or a career opportunity).

It really is such a simple formula — adopting a new way of looking at things will take you where you want to be, and in doing so has taken you to where you should be. Thinking and looking at things in a new way will take you to a place that will ultimately take you anywhere; it is the destination that opens the door to everything.

At this point I feel obliged to share the story about the Bird and the Snake (which, believe it or not, will be relevant). I can’t really remember where I heard this story and it will take a little imagination —

One sunny day a snake was slithering along on his way to the annual snake convention; he was one of the key note speakers which is a big honour in the world of a snake. The travel was easy and he was making good time until he came to a very deep, and very wide, crevasse.

The snake’s mood became very dark because he just couldn’t figure out how he’d get across the divide and was most certainly going to miss the convention. High above a bird was circling watching the snake ponder the situation and smiled as the snake became more and more agitated. As if the snake could sense being watched he looked up and spotted the bird.

Hey bird?!

What do you want snake?! (as you know birds don’t like snakes so the response dripped with distain)

Can you come down here and carry me across this crevasse. I have to get somewhere.

Why would I do that? You will just bite me and I will die.

No I won’t. I really need get to the snake convention and I would take it as a personal favour. In fact, I will tell all the other snakes what you did for me and they will never bother you again.

How do I know you won’t bite me when we are crossing the crevasse?

Why would I do that? We would both fall to our deaths.

This made some sense to the bird and it would be nice not to have to worry about snakes — they were always trying to eat him. The bird flew down and with a little hesitation introduced himself. And good to his word the snake didn’t bite the bird. The bird picked up the snake and started to cross the crevasse. About half way across the bird looked at the snake and the snake looked at the bird, and then he bit the bird. In shock, and with poison coursing through its veins, the bird and snake plummeted to the ground.

But … why? You … will most certainly die.

I know. But I’m a snake and this is what snakes do.

When you are working on a new way of looking at things it is extremely important to know yourself, your habits, your preconceptions, and your methods for looking at something — and then fight them. It is hard to look at things a new way and it’s important to challenge your current thinking. You need to ensure you aren’t just doing what you’ve always done (or looking at something in the same old way). It is also important to surround yourself with people who will offer different ways of looking at things — when you ask how they see a situation you want differing perspectives that will help you expand your scope of understanding. This will take you where you want to go.

The snake probably should have listened to the bird because he was missed at the annual convention.


Maybe I should...


Lee and I have known each other forever, and although an exaggeration, we did start our careers together a very long time ago. I was in sales and he was my trusty Product Manager — we were a small group, misunderstood, laughed loudly, and most importantly, were very, very profitable. All in all, it was a great way to start a journey.

As with most starts, you ultimately find yourself moving forward and taking paths you never expected — mine had me wandering around North America and Lee found himself enjoying Europe. Our paths would cross once in a while and we would pick up where we had left off, and we always laughed. Social Media has made it easy stay connected and a quick note is always a click away.

One such note found its way to me the other day. It was a message that simply said,

“Graham!  saw your latest post. Sooner or later you are going to end up on a business video on the airplane entertainment system.  Best wishes...”

It made me smile and couldn’t help but imagine the celebrity that comes with closed circuit TV — it also had me saying, “Maybe I should”. Although there are a few hurdles that I’ll have to overcome, particularly the fundamental loathing that comes with having myself filmed or listening to my voice, none are show stoppers (something that will need to be addressed though). And when I weigh it against all the new skills I’ll develop, this really should be categorized as a no brainer.

To Lee’s point, it’s not that I don’t have a reasonable amount of content…

So here I am preparing for a little adventure that has nothing but upside because at the very least I will end up learning something new. There is some work to do for sure — I need to think of my formula, the production qualities I’ll use, what voice to use, the content needed (and a number of other things I don’t know enough to think of). What I can say is that there’s already a working title for my fledgling video series:

“Fasten your seatbelt”

It does feel right, and I’m certain it’ll position me well to enter the challenging and competitive world of airline entertainment. At the very least, I will ensure I do right by Lee.


PS: If Derek, Marc, Doug, Natalie or Francois happen to be reading this, I hope all is well.