One Shovel Load at a Time

Successful companies don’t appear overnight.

Dreams are not reality simply by getting out of bed in the morning.

Losing weight does not happen overnight. 

One thing we need to remind ourselves of constantly is that big, hairy audacious goals (bHAG) are the fruition of many small actions (MSA).   If we focus our attention on the baby steps that lead to the bHAG, dreams are a reality. 

When I took the attached photo, I thought, “my gosh, that guy is going to be there for a long time!”  I was going to post it on Twitter with some crazy, humorous caption.  But then I realized what it represented.


Sure the guy has a bHAG of loading the sand into the truck with just a tiny shovel.  But each shovel full tossed into that truck is an action (MSA) toward the bHAG.  Life is about taking one shovel load at a time and tossing it into the truck.  Enjoy each toss, because that goal gets closer and the pile smaller with each one; enjoy it while it lasts. 

What are your bHAGs? Are you aware of each MSA that you need to achieve them?  

Approaches to Life: Quantity

As one experiences life, there are many buckets or personas that life sceintists can place people into.  The buckets include efficient precision (those who plan carefully), sponteneity (people who live in the moment only), and quantity (those who are more concerned with sheer volume than quality).

There are people that require many years of observation to place them into the correct persona.  On the other hand, some people only take seconds and leave behind many clues.  Take the photos below:


Clearly this individual used A LOT of duct tape and after watching the recent Mythbusters Duct Tape Hour, I couldn’t let this one go unnoticed.  If you notice in the second picture, the lack of precision in regards to the placement of the mirror, precision and planning probably was not used in this project.   While the end is functional, the quantity approach definitely fits here.


How to Live Given the Certainty of Death | Yale Philosophy Lecture

Came across this lecture by Prof. Kagan who addresses living life with certain death through value, immortality, and balance. Really interesting lecture that has sparked some inspiration. The value of life on a chart! If goals have value, then each goal increases your score… if you lie, your score is docked. You might even get bonus points for immortality in the form of a book. Hmmm… this could be interesting. Perhaps even touches on my concept of life effiiciency.

Analysis: Blazing Through the Grocery Checkout

For years, the science of getting through a grocery store checkout line has fascinated me.  Surely, there is something more to it than merely getting lucky.

As I approach the bank of checkout stands, I am not only looking at the number of customers in line, but how much stuff they have their cart.   But the count of customers and amount of items do not tell the whole story, with a third variable as the speed of the checkout clerk.  I have been in lines where the, so called, “express lane” has taken 3 times longer to get through despite fewer customers and fewer items because the clerk was struggling with scanning items and counting cash.

When customer and checker become one, in the case of automated checkout stands, things get really interesting. Put the customer in charge of finding bar codes, typing in produce codes and packing their own bags and the speed of a line can vary greatly from minute to minute.  Such variation can lead to a poor customer experience. Just fascinating stuff.

For a more scientific look choosing the fastest grocery store line Simply Stated’s post, The Efficiency of Grocery Store Checkout Lanes.