Safe super drugs

Psst.  Want some drugs that’ll make you feel really good?  Primo quality.  Totally safe.  I have a great combo that has just what you need; here are their street names:

  • Happiness
  • Knowledge
  • Success

Here’s how you get ’em.

Happiness

Be positive and recognize the joys of life.  Connect with people and community, and help others to be happy.  See “Diamonds and rubies” and “Happy” (the movie).

Knowledge

Be curious, take advantage of formal and informal education opportunities, and practice what you learn.  See “How to learn” and “What can I read to help me succeed?

Success

Enjoy what you do, pay attention to the fundamentals, and help others to succeed.  See “Sons having fun in the sun” and “Help them succeed”.

These are designed to be taken together.  If you keep them in balance, they’ll have no adverse side effects.  The combination can also help you improve your medical test results.  However, using only one and overdosing on it can lead to an addiction problem.

Of course, you should always check with your doctor to see if you’re healthy enough to take these.  If you experience sudden feelings of euphoria, tell your doctor.  If they last more than a year, tell your friends.

There are your drugs.  You can take them with or without food.  Where do I send the invoice?

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

The 98% flat tax

The year is 2084 and the flat tax on personal income is 98%.

This all started because the deluge of downloaded media, text messages, tweets, blogs, and video games left little time for something as boring as work.  As a result, the people who didn’t have time to work, didn’t want to work, or were pretending to work soon became the majority.  Naturally, they voted huge benefits for themselves so they wouldn’t have to work at all.  As income taxes went up to pay for all the non-workers, it drove even more people out of the workforce, until a good balance was reached at the 98% tax rate.

Of course, this economic stability is possible because automation and salaries increased enormously in response to the severe labor shortages.  Here are some typical annual salaries: hairdresser $5 million; plumber $7 million; and registered nurse $10 million.  The extremely high paid Designated Celebrities are very important sources of tax revenues.  Although these celebrities have no real talents (just notoriety), they receive billions of dollars a year from their Sworn Endorsements, Pay-per-view Tweets, and very expensive Virtual Intercourse Sessions.

Major advances in virtual technology have greatly improved many aspects of life.  Since virtual athletes are stronger, faster, and better looking, they have completely replaced human athletes.  This has allowed rule changes that now make sports far more exciting.  For example, in Super Football the ball isn’t considered down until the ball carrier has his leg torn off.  And the 3-point shot was added in Super Hockey, based on scoring with the head of a decapitated opponent.

Everyone is quite content with current conditions.  Oh, there are a few small gangs of rebels who advocate a strong work ethic, face-to-face communications, and other such nonsense.  Fortunately, they are isolated in wilderness areas and have no effect on civilized society.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

Yap stones

On the beautiful islands of Yap, about 900 miles east of the Philippines, are huge ancient carved stones that were used as a form of currency.  These doughnut-shaped limestone carvings, known as Rai, weigh as much as 4 tons.  They originally varied in value according to their size, quality, history, and the effort in obtaining them.

The Rai were highly valued because there was no limestone on Yap.  The stones were quarried, shaped, and transported by sea from Palau, about 275 miles away.  Adding to the difficulty, the Yapese made the Rai without metal tools, and brought these massive objects home on rafts, towed by wind-driven canoes (without navigation devices).

In 1874, an enterprising sailor named David O’Keefe started producing and shipping many Rai stones using modern tools and ships.  However, even though his stones were very large, they had far less value than stones that had been obtained by traditional methods and had prestigious histories.

Don’t we have examples of “Yap stones” in our own society?  Accurate digital timepieces are everywhere, but high-end, intricate mechanical watches are still highly prized.  A fast, unpunctuated email is certainly a message but, when it counts, a well-crafted note is greatly appreciated.  We can just click a button to “like” something but, when it’s important, it’s far more meaningful to talk with someone about it and discuss our reasons.

Modern technologies provide us with unprecedented advantages.  But there is still great value in including a personal touch, skill, and effort in our dealings with each other.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

Ooh, a piece of candy!

There’s a Family Guy episode where Peter Griffin and James Woods are going to meet in the alley to “settle it like men”.  Woods, in a rage, goes into the alley to get Peter (and his talking dog Brian) but he’s distracted by a piece of candy on the ground.  He exclaims “Ooh, a piece of candy!” and picks it up.  He sees another—”Ooh, a piece of candy!” and picks it up.  He keeps repeating this until the trail of candy leads him into Peter and Brian’s trap, where he is caught, crated, and carried off into obscurity.  Another sad story of a guy diverted from his mission by emotions, distractions, and temptations.

You know lots of examples where not sticking to a good plan creates big problems.  The quarterback blows the game because he freaks out at the sight of the charging hulks, and gives up on the play.  The baseball player takes his eye off the ball and goes down swinging.  The golfer doesn’t follow through and lands up in the woods.

An organization under pressure collapses because the people abandon strong practices and just run around with their hair on fire.  For individuals, a self-indulgent lifestyle can lead to health problems, relationship issues, and financial difficulties.

If results were better with impetuous behavior and self-indulgence, then that should be the game plan—but obviously that doesn’t work.  So, in summary… wait a minute… what’s that over there?  Ooh, a piece of candy!

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

May you dance at a grandchild’s wedding

Last week, my wife and I had the great pleasure of going to our granddaughter’s destination wedding at a villa in the beautiful hills of Tuscany.  I am sharing my toast to the bride and groom with you, because these are my good wishes to you as well.

Amanda and Daniel, I want to thank you for helping me fulfill a very important life’s goal.  No, not going to Italy, although that is extraordinary and I want to thank you and your parents for that too.

My important life’s goal was to dance at a grandchild’s wedding.  And I mean more than my grandchild or my best friend’s grandchild, etc., but in general the third generation of people that we love.  I’m going to wish our joy to you also, but first I’m going to tell you why dancing at a grandchild’s wedding is so important.

First, if you can dance at a grandchild’s wedding it will mean that the world of the future is still a place where love and joy and traditions are still celebrated.

It means that the young people that you love have found love and joy in their lives.

It means that you have lived long enough to see their happiness and share it with them.

And not only have you lived long enough to see it, but you are also healthy enough and spirited enough to dance!

And it means that you have someone you love to dance with you.

So, Grandma and I wish you health and happiness, and a long life filled with love.  And may you—and all of you—dance at a grandchild’s wedding!

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

Sons having fun in the sun

Four brothers decided that they could do very well in the cattle ranching business, and they asked their father to fund them.

Before he would finance the venture, he wanted his sons to show him that they were well prepared to start it efficiently and sustain it successfully.  Part of his test included his “Three-legged Stool Model”.  Were the legs of the stool (product, administration, and marketing) equally strong, and was the seat of the stool (leadership) strong enough to hold the legs together firmly?

The brothers showed him that they were ready.  John had hands-on experience working with cattle and successfully supervising cattle ranches for others.  Bob had great capabilities in the administrative, financial, and legal aspects of this business.  Mike was a marketing and public relations whiz, with strong connections in the wholesale beef business.  And Isaac was a natural leader, had great relationships with his brothers, always focused on overall goals, and had an excellent reputation in the industry.

They had a practical business plan, and had clearly defined how they would operate efficiently and profitably.  They were environmentally aware, and their plans included using solar energy to generate their electricity.

The father decided to give them the money, and they bought a wonderful site.  The brothers gave their father the honor of naming the ranch.  And he called it “Focal Point”, because that’s where the sun’s rays meet—and where the sons raise meat.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

D’Onofrio’s Pizza

Years ago, the smiling guy behind the counter at D’Onofrio’s Pizza was dusted with flour as he energetically hopped between making pizzas and selling them.  You’d think my Uncle Joe had been in that shop all of his life, cranking out some of the best pizzas in the San Fernando Valley.

But the name D’Onofrio was from a much earlier owner.  And Joe had actually been a paratrooper during World War II.  He was one of those brave and crazy Americans who jumped into the battlefield during the Normandy invasion.  Lots of stories there, including a Purple Heart medal.

Things aren’t always as they seem.  Be careful about your assumptions.

Look around.  Where else might we be forming initial impressions that are incorrect?  The old woman in the wheelchair was once a beautiful and popular dancer.  The shy, awkward kid went on to become a distinguished surgeon.  The object in the side view mirror was closer than it appeared.  The overly optimistic assumptions at the start of a business venture put it on a path to failure.

When Joe closed the pizza place for the night you would usually see him walking the few short blocks to his house carrying a pizza box.  But there was no hot pizza for his family.  The box held the cash from that day, and the hand under the box held a loaded German Luger pistol.  Things aren’t always as they seem.  Be careful about your assumptions.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

Ya’ just gotta be lucky

Do you want to improve your luck?  Researchers on this subject have a variety of views about the characteristics of lucky people.  Let’s look at several traits that seem to be on most lists.

Be prepared.  Yeah, the old Boy Scouts motto.  Be prepared through education, training, and gaining understanding.  And be prepared to be bold without being foolish.

Be gregarious.  Cultivate and enjoy networks of friends and acquaintances that help expose you to information, ideas, and opportunities.  As part of that, be approachable and enjoyable to be with.

Use your intuition.  Did you ever “just have a feeling” about something?  Maybe it was actually a valid judgment, based on how you processed various inputs to your senses, emotions, and animal instincts.  We’re not talking about wild hunches; it’s using your subconscious analysis and insights that result from a wide range of information and experience.

Know when to cut your losses.  Recognize the difference between progress through energetic persistence, and the frantic pursuit of a lost cause.  Keep an eye on why you were doing it in the first place.

Maximize chance opportunities.  Expose yourself to opportunities and follow up on those that do occur.  I was an usher at a wedding of a coworker; another member of the wedding party suggested that I call her cousin, who lived near me.  I called.  That blind date became my wife in 1963, and we still really enjoy being with each other.  Who knew?  Sometimes ya’ just gotta be lucky.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

Opportunity agility

The point guard spots a seam in the defense and in a split second hits an open teammate for an easy shot.  The halfback sees a brief gap in the line and is through it before the opposition can react.  Their teams are always alert for opportunities, they find ways to help create them, react quickly, and have the skills needed to make the most of them.  That’s opportunity agility.

Opportunity agility also applies to companies, organizations, and agencies.  How’s yours?  Is your group constantly on the lookout for events, changes, and trends that can be used to your advantage?  Do you quickly spot your problems and weaknesses and fix them fast?  Can you react rapidly to openings while they still have value?

Stepping back and looking at the larger picture, are your goals clear and understood?  Do you attract and retain strong talent?  Is everyone’s efforts sustained and aligned on getting results?  Are they enthusiastic?  Do you help create situations that lead to opportunities?  Do you get the information needed to help with all this?  What about effective planning, training, and coaching?  Are you ensuring long-term financial success?  And do you find ways to develop and maintain your necessary strengths?  You do?  Great!

You’ve seen poor examples of opportunity agility.  Slow reactions, while time, money, and resources are wasted.  People running around with their hair on fire.  Acceptance of excuses.  Delays because of busy work.  Bureaucratic mazes.  Poor communications.  And plain ol’ laziness.  But that’s always the other guys, right?

Well, that’s enough reading for now.  It’s time to huddle up, grab the ball, and go get ’em!

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2013. All rights reserved.

More than persistence

Real life problems are more complicated than KenKen puzzles, but there are some similarities in their routes to solutions.

In KenKen you have to fill a grid (for example, with numbers from 1 to 6 in a 6×6 grid) and no number can appear more than once in any column or any row.  All the boxes in the grid are also grouped into various cells or cages, and the numbers that you put into those cages have to combine to equal a designated arithmetic answer.  For example, “24x” in a 3-box cage means that the 3 numbers, when multiplied, have to equal 24 (you could do that with 1, 4, 6, or 2, 3, 4, but the numbers would also have to fit the rest of the puzzle).  To solve the puzzle, the number in every box has to satisfy the requirements of every column, row, and cage.

Hmm.  Complicated.  So when you first look at, say, a 6×6 KenKen puzzle, your initial reaction might be “there’s no obvious solution to this and I don’t even know where to begin” (like some real life problems?).  But you enjoy a challenge, so, keeping in mind what you’re trying to accomplish overall, you immediately examine the problem and see what you can learn about it.  As you study it, you find some reasonable places to begin (such as a piece that can only have one solution).  So you start with one of those, and see what else emerges.  Then you persist, learn, adjust, and soon you put in a piece and discover that there are no more blanks—you did it!

And you smile and savor your success.  Now take that and go solve one of your other problems.

George M. Pomonik
Pomonik Consulting, Inc.
“Chaos Removal Services”SM
www.pomonik.com

Copyright © George M. Pomonik, 2012. All rights reserved.