TITLE: Surprises, Problems, and Small Aircraft AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: May 12, 2009 4:22 PM DESC: ----- BODY: Earlier today I listened to a TED talk by Tony Robbins. One snippet stood out. Here is a paraphrase, in part to clean up the language (because that's how I roll):
If I ask you whether you like variety, you'll say yes. Baloney. You like surprises you want. The others, you call problems.
Some people are better than others at accepting the surprises that they don't want. Perhaps that is why Robbins's anecdote reminded me of a story I read last summer in a book by John G. Miller called QBQ! The Question Behind the Question. The story, perhaps fictional, tells of a father and young daughter out for a fun plane ride one day, with dad behind the controls. When the plane's engine dies unexpectedly, dad turns to his daughter and says, calmly, I'm going to need to fly the plane differently. I don't make generally New Year's resolutions, but when I am next tempted, I'll probably think again of this story. I want to be that guy, and I'm not. ---- (Quick book review: QBQ! is pretty standard for this genre of business self-help lit. It says a lot of things we all should already know, and probably do. But there are days when some of us need a reminder or a little pep talk. This book is full of short pep talks. It's a quick read and good enough at its task, as long as you remember that unless you change your behavior books like these are nothing but empty calories. A bit like software design methodologies.) -----