Ridiculous beginnings...


All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning. Great works are often born on a street corner or a restaurant’s revolving door.Albert Camus

If you are like me and don’t know who Albert Camus is I will save you the Wikipedia search: Albert Camus (Nov 7, 1913 - Jan 4, 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He also won the Nobel Prize in Literature at the age of 44 in 1957, and then died three years later.

This is one of the reasons I love just “wandering around” once in a while — one minute you don’t know, and the next you do. Not only had I never heard of Albert Camus, I’d also never heard of absurdism. Let me save you another search…

absurdism [əb-ˈsər-ˌdi-zəm] noun: a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe.

I suppose at the heart of this I simply like discovery and learning something new — it makes me more interesting at cocktail parties (although admittedly it’s utter conjecture). Aside from the joy that comes with discovering new things I did find the quote insightful, particularly if you are searching for something new.

This experience had me thinking of all those forced “brainstorming sessions” of the past and whether we ever really got anything new out of them — there was lots of discussion, lots of sticky notes, countless flip charts stuck to walls, and in the end, we always ended up with a list of activities that looked very similar to what we were already doing. I wonder if it would’ve been more productive to give everyone the objective, put $100 dollars in their pocket, and have them to wander the city for the day. Everyone would meet later in a park to discuss people’s experiences and what they came up with. No flip charts, no sticky notes, no group stretching exercises to “get the blood flowing”; just lots of conversation and discussion after a day of “discovery” (with someone taking notes). Or to Albert Camus’s point, something even more ridiculous.

Albert reminded me of a universal truism — if you keep doing things the same old way you will get the same old results. And this is fine, until of course, you start getting results you don’t want.

I wonder if this aligns with his thoughts on absurdism?


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.

Moments — shortcuts don't work

As the seminar was coming to an end she emphatically stated —

“Shortcuts don’t work!”


It’s not that I hadn’t heard this before, or that I don’t understand what it means, but for some reason it seemed to resonate with me deeply — maybe it was her enthusiasm, or maybe her conviction, or maybe because it was an informative seminar. The context wasn’t about finding a file on your computer faster (although important), but rather about how a whole plant food diet can offer a healthier and longer life. I think the catalyst to her saying what she did was when someone asked about taking supplements opposed to eating healthy.

With her emphatic pronouncement, she was trying to stress that something important (and worth doing) requires unavoidable work, and although you can always be more efficient and effective, you still need to put in the time. In this case it was a healthy diet, but it could easily be about developing expertise, building a business, or becoming an influencer.

It was push back on a world with growing expectations for convenience and requirements for instantaneous gratification. She offered up the important realization that nothing comes without a price — there’s rarely is a magic bullet.

Overall it was a very good seminar for my health and an excellent reminder regarding some of the other things I do.