Projects, Thoughts, Wheresmylunch

Quick fix vs long term

In the 80s, I spent some time in the middle east travelling – it was the done thing at that time. Staple diet was generally street food consisting of cheap pizza or more often, felafel with salad and humous in a pitta bread. It did the job, gave me sustenance and provided me with the energy to get through the day. The mass produced fry up created memories as the taste was unique to me and memories of that place frequently flood back as I visit street food outlets that seem to becoming more popular in the UK.

If I want to spend more time enjoying nuances of different taste, this generally means taking more time and more likely costing slightly more than a felafel. Each dish has been crafted by a chef, and the experience enhanced by what is in the garden at that time. Time is spent being looked after by a good waiter or waitress creating experiences worthy of memory.

I chose what to put on my lunch table dependant of many factors. Is it to be special, is it a quick sustenance fix, is the location special, is there anything else that I dont know about, what memories do I want to take with me, is it a healthy balance, is it appropriate for what I need right now, do I want to experience something different etc? All of which are fine dependant on what I need at that time.

Sometimes I need to think about a quick snack, at other times I have time to experiment and really discover something special.

This reasoning can be applied to the work and voluntary life that I lead.

My role is to create a lasting experience for the people that I work with on different shaped interventions, by creating a unique blend of learning based on what is relevant for them at that time. The challenge of course, is that sometimes people want a golden bullet to solve all their problems and are not willing to give the time, effort and investment to deliver it. Similar to the expert chef, those that are good in my area, train for years, are not frightened to experiment with new ideas that could stretch and deliver even better output and thrive on delivering that great experience – but this comes with caveats.

My experience in the middle east does not lend me to remember the precise name or location of the street vendors that sold me food – the experience was adequate.

My world – I work with people that I agree to that want to self select to be the best.

My choice – and a great lunch table to be serving and eating at.


Projects, Thoughts

This months challenge – fix the car – DONE!

I have been having a few issues with a car over the past month. The car is a complex menagerie of electronical circuits and mechanical bits that move or should do. My basic understanding is fuel in gets you propulsion.

I remember a few years ago, somebody pointed me in the direction of the Haines manual – queue a large online book store and the relevant manual landed in my letterbox.

PEOPLE JUMPINGMy neighbours must have been sniggering at the curtains as I spent hours with the bonnet up, staring blankly at the engine trying to understand what bits were what. You can imagine the conversation, fuel comes in there – ah, thats the engine, battery connects to the starter …..

What was happening was that on high revs when driving, the car cut the revs down to what the experts call limp home mode. To me this indicated something in the fuel system. It couldn’t be the fuel lines as I was fine below 3000rpm, but when I needed more fuel, it wasnt getting through.

I was now down to fuel filter or fuel pump.

Having visited a local autofactors, I purchased the right fuel filter (the cheapest option) and fitted it, but the car would not start. I was so out of my comfort zone.

A call to the local garage suggested filling the filter with diesel, this would then pull through the engine. They were spot on and the car started.

The reason for sharing this story is that the feeling of elation and success that doing this gave me. I had fixed my car. It was not about the cash I was going to save by not taking into the dealer, but it was the satisfaction that I had fixed it. It was the increase in knowledge that I had got from putting myself out of my comfort zone with a little help from a friendly garage.

Thinking about business, I wonder how this story can inspire others to give something a go. I wonder what it will take you to build together your advisors, your advocates and attempt something.

The risks to me was that my car was going to have to be towed to a garage, but I was not going to let this happened. I read around the subject, sought advice from experts and did it.

I leave you with one question –

What is there that is facing you right now,

that with a bit of dedicated thinking time, and

a conversation with friendly and trusted advisor,

you could attempt, achieve and overcome

with an outcome of building a better you?