Pain

We spend so much time trying to avoid pain. But so much good comes after the pain. Our bodies get stronger through pain. We work hard at our jobs and feel the pain of being wore out and tired, but the reward can be great. I grew up on the Great Plains in northeastern Montana. […]

Rules

Chuck Yeager is the most famous test pilot of all time. To say he was fearless is almost an understatement. He was a fighter pilot in World War 2. He was once asked about what he thought of the first German Jet Airplane he ever saw. “The first time I saw a jet plane? I […]

Lifelong Learning

Becoming a lifelong learner is a decision to put pressure on yourself. When you finish school, there are no more tests, there are no more homework assignments. No teacher is asking if you did your work. It is all on you now. That should be less pressure, right? I think if we are doing it […]

Perfection

Perfection seems like a ridiculous pursuit. It cannot be caught. But it makes for a wonderful target. Some people would see the pursuit of perfection as futile. I don’t I see it as futile but rather as the only thing we should ever strive for. We should try harder and harder to get as close […]

Confused

In life it is easy to focus on the wrong thing. With school, we often focus on what we get for a grade not what we actually learned. With family, we might focus on what they do and not what they love. In work, we might think that being busy is important instead of what […]

People, Products, Profit

I think the secret of life can be boiled down to priorities. When we do things in the proper order, they tend to work out. Of course, this is an engineer’s perspective so my artist friends may have a different opinion! But I think I could get them to agree that in business if we […]

Grace

Pursuing success is actually pretty easy. Putting success in the proper place in your life and relationships is far more difficult. We often have a goal in mind or our eye on the prize and forget about the people around us. But when we begin with kindness and love true success can be found. It […]

Impossible

I love this quote from JP Morgan. He was a fascinating man and was crucial in staving off the Financial Panic of 1907. I doubt Morgan’s quote about someone attempting the impossible was about F. Augustus Heinze’s attempt to corner the copper market. The Montana tie here is that Heinze made his fortune in copper […]

Mistakes

We all hope to not make mistakes. But often the only way to success is through a pathway of mistakes. There are dozens of analogies here:  a great baseball player only reaches base 30% of the time, Thomas Edison failed time and time again before developing a viable light bulb, or a child falls hundreds […]

Vices

My Jewish friend, Marty, will often tell me “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story”. There is a story of Abraham Lincoln overhearing that his Civil War General, U.S. Grant drank too much. Supposedly Lincoln responded by saying “find out what brand of whiskey Grant drinks and send a barrel […]