What’s Between You and Your Goal?

Do you know how to keep your eye on your goal – even when you can’t see it?

Florence Chadwick was an ace swimmer. She set a world record in 1950 when she swam across the English Channel from France in 10 hours and 20 minutes. The following year, she swam from England to France and made history as the first woman to swim the channel from both shores.

But in 1952, Florence learned a powerful lesson when she decided to swim the 26 miles between Catalina Island and Palos Verdes, California. The water was frigid that day and sharks trailed her. But these factors didn’t diminish Florence’s resolve; something else did.

After 15 hours of swimming in rough waters, there was no sign of the coastline – there was no sign of anything because fog had shrouded the area. With her goal out of sight, Florence lost the desire to continue and climbed aboard an escort boat, not realizing that she was less than half a mile from shore.

When asked why she decided to stop, she explained, “It was the fog. If I could have seen land, I could have finished. But when you can’t see your goal, you lose all sense of progress and you begin to give up.”

This setback was a set-up for a comeback, however. A few months later, Florence made another attempt to swim the same waters. The same thick fog set in, but this time she kept an image of the shoreline in her mind. And with her goal clearly “in sight,” Florence swam into a new world’s record.

Something to remember when shark-infested, rough waters are between you and your goal – or at least, it seems that way!

Work-Life Balance or Integration?

Recently, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos spoke to a group of Amazon interns. Rather than offering sage advice about seeking balance between work and life, he encouraged them to look at work and life as an integrated whole, or a circle.

Balance, he said, assumes there’s a trade-off between work and life, a kind of either-or relationship. But in reality, work and life are integrated. Bezos said he strives to be happy at work, because that makes him happier at home, and visa versa.

It may just be a matter of semantics, but the point seems to be this: Work-life balance means separating the two, while a work-life circle means mixing the two.

It’s an admirable idea, but what about people who are happy to have a job, but don’t necessarily love their job? They might want balance without integration, keeping their work and home life separate.

Perhaps Bezos is saying to his interns that he hopes they’ll love their work so much that they’ll want to integrate it with their lives. That is a wonderful goal for anyone!

What about you and your work? Do you have the kind of work that invites integration with your home life? Or do you have the kind of work you like to keep completely away from your home life?

Please feel comfortable sharing your thoughts with me.

Contact me at: Gino Pezzani.

Archaeopteryx May Have Flapped

A study suggests that the dinosaur archaeopteryx—considered the ancestor of modern birdswas able to fly for short periods by flapping its wings instead of just gliding.

An article on the Science News website reports that paleontologists used X-ray microtomography to analyze the wing bones in three archaeopteryx fossils.

They found that archaeopteryx had a wing bone structure similar to pheasants and quails, which can flap their wings to fly in short bursts.

However, it’s still not known if the archaeopteryx could take flight from the ground. That would require researchers to reconstruct its full range of motion, which is difficult because muscles don’t end up as fossils.

Stand Out In A Large Organization

Your ability to stand out in a large company is what will make or break your career. Here’s how to make a name for yourself when you’re one fish in a crowded pond:

• Learn about your organization. Find out as much as you can about your employer— its history, key executives, position in the marketplace, financial status, and more. Look outside your own department to show you’re interested in the entire organization, not just your corner of it.

• Find out how your performance is measured. When you know what managers are looking for, you’ll be able to provide the kind of performance that marks you as someone to keep an eye on.

• Promote yourself. Don’t brag at the top of your voice, but let people know what you’ve accomplished. Talk about your projects in meetings, or be willing to mentor other employees on skills that you’ve mastered. Keep your managers updated on what you’re working on and what
you’ve achieved. Step up to volunteer when you see a chance to stand out.

The Truth about Knuckle Cracking

Believe it or not, for decades scientists debated the cause of the popping sound when we crack our knuckles. A few years ago, using computer models, a research team from France cracked the answer…and it’s not your bones getting caught against each other.

Apparently, the sound is caused by a “collapsing cavitation bubble in the synovial fluid inside a metacarpophalangeal joint during an articular release.” More simply, it’s the sound of microscopic gas bubbles collapsing—but not fully

popping—inside the finger joint. Scientists first proposed this theory nearly 50 years ago, but the French researchers used a combination of lab experiments and a computer simulation to bolster the case.

And by the way, the idea that cracking knuckles causes arthritis or enlarged knuckles is not supported by evidence. However, habitual knuckle poppers did show eventual signs of other problems, including soft tissue damage to the joint capsule and a decrease in grip strength.