I was planning to finish off with the single most important thing I have learned in 55 years, but life has a way of running away with me. Between meeting with an after-school program that will be using our game next month, a meet-up in San Jose, getting our update 2.10 ready to go, writing a book chapter and three conference papers and scaling up for our new grant – well, blogging just hasn’t been at the top of the list.

nounicorns

(For an explanation of the no unicorns, click here)

…. which brings me to number 54 of the things I have learned

Compartmentalize.

One the questions I get asked most often is,

“How do you get so much done?”

The year I got divorced, I won the world judo championships. The year my second husband passed away I wrote an article in an academic journal, a book chapter and a couple of large, successful grant proposals. I also taught college full time.

It took me a long time to learn that when I was at work, I should just concentrate on work. It also paid off for me in multiple ways. I have a private number only my family has and only for emergencies. As I told my children when they were young,

Unless there is blood dripping on the floor, don’t call me.

No matter how stressful things were at home, I could just concentrate on work when I was at work. While trying to figure out the error in my program, I wasn’t worrying about how this child was doing at school, my husband’s health problems or the argument last night. No matter how much work I had to do, it was relaxing in its own way.

I see mothers in particular who are completely stressed out at work because they are trying to juggle the soccer schedule, order their child’s schoolbooks on line and referee arguments all in between meetings or with a client on hold.

Don’t. When you’re at work, work and when you’re away from work, don’t.

I work in an office downstairs and I feel no guilt shutting my office door and telling my family that I’m busy. The world does NOT revolve around my children and it is not a bad lesson for them to learn that early. I *hate* those Disney movies where the mom misses the winning soccer goal her daughter scores because she is on her cell phone negotiating with a client. I once turned to The Spoiled One during one of those and said,

“She can afford that damn soccer camp BECAUSE of those clients on the phone, you know.”

On the other hand, a lesson it took me longer to learn was that when you are not at work, forget it. I don’t take very many days off but when I do, I read books, go hiking, swim in the ocean and don’t feel bad at all about the grants I’m not writing or phone calls that I’m not taking. I teach judo once or twice a week and when I’m there, I don’t take calls, I don’t check my text messages. It can wait. Every time I come back after taking time off, I’m noticeably more productive. The trick though, is when I have time off to really have it be time off and not just a laptop with a view, which is nice also, but not the same as a vacation.

#55 Children are more worth than they are trouble

At age 55, I have learned that life is seldom black and white. One of the few things I can say for an absolute fact is that in my life, children have always been more worth than they are trouble. If you knew how much trouble some of my children have been, you’d know that is saying a LOT.

I’ve never been one of those stay at home and make play-dough moms, and I have never for half a second regretted it. I’m a lot more of the “Find your shoes, quick, because I have to catch a plane after I drop you off at school” moms.

I never bought for one second that bullshit about how having children forces you to make compromises in your career. I’m typing this in the San Francisco airport on my way home from meetings with staff, an after-school program and Kickstarter backers, and also a few days with Darling Daughter Number One and the grandchildren.

My children are smart, funny, independent, good people. I talk to at least one of them every day and many days I talk to all four of them. If it wasn’t for them, I would not have been to Tunisia, attended plays in Broadway and LA, taught judo in south Los Angeles, gone to the Museum of Modern Art in New York, spent lots of days on the beach, been to Disneyland more times than any human beings needs to go and laughed harder and longer than would ever happen in a board room.

The main lesson I have learned – life is good. Work is good. Children are worth it. You CAN have what you want out of life if you keep trying .

There isn’t an age limit for having a good life. 

 

Not sure what the average number of people to have bailed out of jail is, nor the average number of countries from which people have called you for said bail money, but I’m pretty certain that I have exceeded both of those averages. As I explained to my niece, Samantha, the other day, when people are sitting in jail, they are mentally running down names on a list of everyone they know, like this:

  1. Who do I know that likes me well enough that I can call them at 3 o’clock in the morning?
  2. Which of those people is likely to be able to lay their hands on $500?
  3. Which of them has their shit together enough to figure out how to get it to me? (There used to be a notary public open 24 hours at the international terminal at LAX – there is a reason that I know this. Sadly, I hear that service is no longer offered, victim of funding cutbacks.)

By the time you get to number 3, it’s a pretty short list.

In my last post, I mentioned that I had 14 friends, which is an amazing wealth of friendships. Most of those people would bail me out of jail. Some would laugh about it, some would give me a long lecture on my disappointing behavior and some couldn’t raise the bail money unless they stole it.

That doesn’t mean they are all equal.

My friend, Erich, served in the Marines where he said he witnessed a lot of acts of physical courage. Later, he went on to become college president, school board president and many more honors and accolades. He noted that moral courage in the board room is far less common than physical courage – by the same people.

Twice , I’ve been in meetings where I’ve had people yell and swear at me and be generally disrespectful. Both times it was men who were much larger than me, in an attempt to intimidate me (obviously, they didn’t know me that well.) On one occasion, no one said a word, including a couple of my friends. One later commented,

“I just didn’t know what to say.”

The other said,

I knew you could take care of yourself.

I’ll be honest, it did hurt my feelings and disappoint me. The other occasion, one of my friends banged on the table and said,

“You can’t talk to her like that.”

Here is an interesting fact about that meeting. When he said, that, his two sons, who were also present, jumped up immediately to, literally, have his back. Another friend could not be present, but he sent his two sons with the directions to back me up. They also jumped up. A friend of my daughter’s also stood up and shouted,

“Hey! That’s Ronda’s mom! You can’t talk to her like that!”

In my experience, blood is thicker than water. You hear a lot of people say to their friends, “You’re like family to me.” It’s usually not true.

This is the second part of the hard lesson that I learned. Those people from the first meeting are still my friends. They have helped me out professionally, we’ve had a lot of interesting conversations over a couple of beers and they are not bad people.

#53 There are friends who are like family. Then, there are friends who are like friends, and that’s all right. Just try not to confuse the two.

Contrary to appearances, I’m a fairly private person. You might not think so from some of what I write on this blog, but I challenge anyone to read through here and find personal details like the number of my siblings who have passed away or something hurtful someone might have done to me.

Since I’m almost to 55 – both in terms of my list of things that I have learned, and in age, with my birthday next week, I thought I would break with my usual behavior and give two hard lessons that I have learned.

#52 Don’t mistake colleagues for friends

If you work with someone, you can understandably confuse a colleague with a friend. After all, you spend a lot of time together, you have common interests, you might know each other for many years. You travel to the same events. What more do you want?

In my view, a friend actually cares about you as a person.

Over the years, I have worked at a number of organizations and been on several boards of non-profits. There are people I considered good friends, who I worked well with, accomplished a lot. We often went out to dinner or for drinks together, talked on the phone. When I left that job or organization – I never heard from them again. The first couple of times it happened, I was deeply hurt. Now, I don’t expect anything else. I enjoy the intellectual companionship; I’m gratified by any achievements we have together, and when it is all over, I never expect to see them again and I am not disappointed.

As I sit here, I can think of five people in my thirty-year career that I think of as friends, but I am immensely grateful for each and every one of them. One, I met 28 years ago and I saw her most recently today. One, I met five years ago and, coincidentally, I talked to him today also.

I competed in judo for 14 years and was involved as a coach and board member of various organizations for another 28 years after that. I coached hundreds of students, competed on national and international teams with dozens of teammates, was on boards that served thousands of athletes and coaches. After 42 years in the sport, there are nine people I would call my friends. Coincidentally (or perhaps not), I talked to four of them this week. All of those nine people would bail me out of jail, but only five of them would help me bury the body so that I didn’t get caught in the first place. (That is lesson number two, but you’ll have to wait for my next post for that.)

I am not complaining. I feel amazingly lucky. To have 14 friends in addition to my wonderful family is a blessing. As I said in #7, You ARE your associates – I truly hope the young man who told me we get exactly the friends we deserve is correct, because I have a wealth of wonderful friends.

My point, though, is that 14 is a very small fraction of the number of people I have met in my professional and athletic career. If I had learned earlier the lesson not to confuse colleagues with friends, I would have saved myself some heartache.

Ronda with her confirmation sponsor, my friend Jake

My friend, Jake, as Ronda’s confirmation sponsor

 

Despite what you might think from reading this blog, there is an awful lot about my feelings that I keep to myself, which leads me to

#51 of 55 things I have learned in (almost) 55 years – No one really cares about your feelings all that much.

Maybe your parents do. Perhaps your boyfriend/ girlfriend does. That’s about it. Please don’t write long blog posts full of angst – which the wonderful urban dictionary defines as

 a transcendent emotion in that it combines the unbearable anguish of life with the hopes of overcoming this seemingly impossible situation

Oh, seriously, shut up. Your biggest problem is that you told your toddler to be quiet while you checked your text messages. Now you are going on a 1,500 page self-flagellation of your emotional distress at being a bad mother.

When my children were young and fighting while I was trying to write the next grant that would pay money to put food on the table, I would tell them,

If you don’t be quiet, I’m going to sell you for scientific experiments. I work at a university. I know just the right people to talk to.

I also told them that I would skin them alive and tack their hides beside the door as a warning to their sisters if they didn’t shut the hell up.

Maria at desk studying

More than one person has told me that my children could have believed me and been psychologically scarred for life. That makes me laugh. I think what my children learned was not to waste their time ruminating about what some person might casually say to them.

As for the never-ending stream of posts from people who are seeking “someone who truly understands me” – as I said in #47, It’s Mr. Right, not Mr. Perfect, maybe you are so focused on how YOU feel and what YOU want and what YOU need that you are missing a very good person with whom you could be very happy. Why does someone have to “completely get you” ? I don’t know what the hell that means, anyway. I’m not sure Mrs. Shakespeare “completely got” William, or that Barbara McClintock had a “soul mate” and I don’t think Mother Teresa spent a lot of time worrying if the lepers truly understood her motivation. Freud was wrong. Your internal life is not that interesting. Move on.

 

My long and occasionally-storied career began as an industrial engineer, where I had drilled into my brain one of my most useful life lessons.

Here is the secret to mastering your life, reducing your stress by a good 50% —

Learn the difference between standard hours and actual hours

The business dictionary laughably defines a standard hour as the hours that the average worker would take to complete a job under normal conditions.

I would not say that is exactly correct. A standard hour is based on time and motion studies. If it takes 2 minutes for you to walk from Point A to Point B to pick up the raw material for a widget, 7 minutes for you to mount the material on the Widget-Maker 1000 machine and have it processed to come out the other end, and 3 minutes for you to take the completed widget off, put it in a stack and be ready  to re-start the process than in a standard hour you could make 5 widgets (60 minutes in an hour divided by 12 minutes).

If I were an idiot, I would then say that a reasonable number of widgets to be made by you would be 12*40*52 = 24,960. Twelve widgets an hour, 40 hours a week, 52 weeks out of the year.

tree made from shopping carts

Here is the problem – you need to go to the bathroom, go to lunch, take union-mandated breaks. The union is correct to mandate those breaks, by the way, to reduce fatigue and possible related accidents. Some days, you get sick and don’t come in. Some days are holidays.

On top of all of that, there are material problems – the raw material of widgets is not delivered in time and you are sitting there with no widget-making stuff.

Then there are machine problems – the Widget-Maker 1000 breaks down and it takes you three days to get spare parts and another day to fix it.

In short – the NORMAL condition is that you don’t take anywhere near an hour to make five widgets.

As a rule of thumb, I would double the standard hours to get actual hours – how long it would, on the average, actually take. This isn’t based on time and motion studies but on actual experience. You count up the number of widgets made, divide by hours and that gives you the actual hours it really took.

Now apply this to life. If you are traveling –  which I do A LOT – don’t plan on an arriving an hour early because the airline suggests that. Assume that the security line will be slow, there will be a convention of all of the dentists in the world going to Hawaii and they will all be in front of you. Give yourself an extra thirty minutes or more. Make sure your connections when you need to go through customs are at least two hours apart. I don’t care WHAT Delta Airlines tells you. Trust me.

If you’re in LA and have an important meeting that is 15 minutes away, leave 30 minutes early assuming there will be traffic because – hey, you live in LA, there’s always traffic.

This doesn’t just apply to transportation. I start on anything – a grant, a conference presentation, final report or coding part of a computer game – long before it is due. To those of you who say that you work best to a deadline – well, I doubt it.

I had three children under age five while getting a PhD and working. At the last minute, someone would come down with chicken pox or the nanny would have a family emergency and need a week off. Because I had started far in advance, when the deadline came up, I was done, or nearly so, and things that could have been a catastrophe were merely inconvenient.

Anyone who ever planned a factory based on the assumption that work could be accomplished in standard hours  – material would always arrive on time, machines would never break, people would never get sick – is an idiot.

Yet, people plan their lives that way, assuming there will be no traffic accidents, snowstorms, sick children.

I can hear the objections already –

Sure, YOU can say that. You have a nanny. You have the luxury of setting your own schedule, so you can afford to plan that way.

Well, let me tell you this — all of those things that keep your standard hours from being actual — they are going to happen whether you plan for them or not. Making any plans that don’t take that fact into account is just deluding yourself.

 

Books and ipad on table

Last month, I was super-stoked to be listed in Forbes as one of the 40 women to watch over 40. As I’ve written on here several times, I call bullshit on the belief that start-ups must all be run by Mark Zuckerberg clones. The idea that everyone over 30 has outdated skills is based on the ludicrous assumption that all people quit learning when they finish formal education. Sadly, that is true for too many people but there are plenty of people who are just the opposite.

Make deliberate attempts to keep on learning: #48 of  the things I have learned in (almost) 55 years

When I first finished my PhD at age 31, I looked around saw people who were every bit as capable as me who had fallen into a trap –  they climbed the ladder in administration, taught the same classes to 200 undergraduates four times a year or wrote the same type of programs over and over – and at 50 they were ten years behind the field because they were “too busy” to keep up. I swore that was not going to be me in twenty years. (Some of those same people were very helpful and encouraging to me, I might add, cautioning me against taking on too many committee responsibilities, for example.)

Over the years I have made it a point to

  1. teach at least one graduate course per year, because you have to really learn something well to explain it,
  2. speak at least three times a year at a conference, (same reason as #1)
  3. attend a DIFFERENT conference I have never attended at least every two years – that way I am not hearing the same people repeat the same ideas, nor giving the same talk myself
  4. take a “reverse sabbatical” every ten years and work at a university.

Two years ago, I attended to Gov2.0 conference in LA  – see my point #3  – and met some interesting people, who I promptly followed on twitter because that’s what one does these days. One of those people, Martha McLean who works for the Canadian government, tweeted about “Reading Week”, something Canadian universities did where students had no classes but were just supposed to read.

While I’ve never been able to get a whole week away, I now set aside two or three days, twice a year, and just read books that I think will be helpful to what I’m working on. I don’t write any code during that time, don’t schedule any meetings and I usually try to leave town to avoid the temptation to do anything else. The next couple of days, I’m reading a book on Canvas, re-reading parts of Javascript: The Definitive Guide, which I brought on my iPad and reading Statistics for the Utterly Confused. Our third game is on statistics, and I am also teaching a masters level statistics class this fall. I thought the third book might have useful ideas for both of those.

As for the other two books, yes,  I can read on the plane, I can read in my office at home, but I have found a major benefit to being able to read for hours at a time uninterrupted. Things just seem to connect and sink in more, I have more time to reflect on what I’m learning.

Being a “life-long learning”, continuous self-improvement, staying current – whatever buzz phrase you want to apply – takes a serious, conscientious effort.  You don’t have time NOT to do it. You’ll gradually end up being less and less efficient because you haven’t learned the new tools and techniques that can help you do your job.

You’ll re-invent the wheel because you didn’t find the time to read a wheel catalog.

And

#49 of the things I have learned in (almost) 55 years —  Reading week is a damn good idea.

Because it’s not tomorrow until I go to bed and get up again,  as far as I’m concerned this is still technically the weekend so I am going to dispense Mama AnnMaria’s advice on personal relationships. …

I blame the internet.

My grandmother told me (more than once) that if your husband doesn’t beat you, gives you children and pays the bills that’s all you can demand. Anything else is gravy.

While I would not go to that extreme, I think far too many people, both married and single, both men and women are going too far in the opposite direction. They are confused by the fact that there are 173,982 men (or women) that pop up in response to their search for gender+age + location that they can find the perfect one.

I have been married to The Invisible Developer for 16 years. Before that, I was married to a really great guy, who had an accident and died after we had been married for 11 years. (It’s a long sad story.)

My point is that I have managed to do that until death do us part thing twice now, despite fitting very closely the description of Murphy Brown,

“She can’t cook, she won’t clean and I suspect her last boyfriend is buried under the back steps.”

My young, beautiful niece who owns TWO businesses posted on Facebook that after she went on a date with a guy, he sent her a text message saying he was no longer interested in her because he’d sent her a text and 20 HOURS later she still hadn’t responded!

I see this kind of stupidity all of the time from both genders.

“I really care about my body and I can’t see myself with someone who drinks Pepsi.”

Really? Seriously? Are you fucking kidding me?

Let me explain this to you …. Half of those people on the internet are lying about their age and if that picture is them at all it is from ten years ago.  I’m short. Usually the first thing people say when they meet me for the first time is, “I thought you’d be bigger.”

Yet, I know plenty of women my size who insist that anyone they date has to be at least six feet tall. How do you have a height requirement for dating? Men aren’t any better, they often have a weight requirement.

Does this not sound stupid to you? You are looking for someone with whom you will spend the rest of your life, in sickness and in health, to raise children together, pool all of your income and worldly goods, pursue mutual goals that you decide on through communication – and the most important thing is he can reach shit on the top shelf without using a stepladder? What is WRONG with you people?

I’ve written about this before under a post Tech Tip: Marry the Right Person, where I pointed out what should be obvious

“a helpful, knowledgeable supportive colleague who can discuss technical issues with you is worth his weight in gold. And, if you have the added benefit that you are having sex with him, well – duh –  you have the added benefit that you are having sex”.

Emilia and grandpa

A rare sighting of The Invisible Developer

Eventually, my dears, whoever it is that you are dating is going to be wrinkled and grey (and so are you). Are you going to still like each other then? Will they still have your back? Will they spend two hours installing the latest version of Windows while you drive to Hollywood and back to feed The Perfect Jennifer’s cats because she is in New Orleans? Will they buy your granddaughter a lollipop and a candy necklace and go on the Ferris wheel at the pier even though they hate Ferris wheels because said granddaughter thinks it’s amazing?

My point is, once you find someone with a lot of good points, instead of focusing on their flaws (which everyone has, including you), appreciate their good points, marry them and have a good life.

Here is the sad truth … if there is a superb dancer- ski instructor- super-model- cardiologist – multi-millionaire who never forgets birthdays,  with vacation homes in Aruba and Aspen out there – well, he or she can probably do better than you.

One of the darling daughters asked me,

“So, you’re saying that I should just settle?”

If you keep looking for someone who is perfect, you’re going to miss seeing the perfectly good person standing right in front of you. Or, now that I think about it, as I read the dictionary definitions:

1. To put into order; arrange or fix definitely as desired.
2. To put firmly into a desired position or place; establish.

3.b. To establish residence in; colonize:

c. To establish in a residence, business, or profession.
4. To restore calmness or comfort to

 

You know …  to be in a desired position, established in residence and profession, calmness and comfort – settling doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all.  That is #47 of 55 things I have learned in almost 55 years – and now, it being close to 3 a.m.,  I have to go chase The Spoiled One to bed.

There have been days, especially when I started my first two businesses, when I was seriously stressed. What if I could not make the payroll? What about cash flow when the business was growing and expenses were due now but customers didn’t pay until the end of the month?

What if … for most small business owners, the real end to that sentence is … “if I fail?

We all know that a substantial percentage of small businesses fail.

What if I fail?

Like many people, I’ve been fascinated in the turning to look at a wreck on the freeway sort of way by the blog “My startup has 30 days to live.”

It’s very sad and sometimes as I read it I think of the best lesson my late father-in-law left us. When he passed away, the only thing The Invisible Developer asked of his mother is if he could have the sign that was in the garage.repair shop sign

Forty years or so ago, my father-in-law started a business,  a TV and radio repair shop. Eventually, televisions and radios became cheaper and more people decided to just toss the thing and buy a new one. That was the end of De Mars TV & Radio repair.

What happened  to my father-in-law, the “failed” small businessman? He went on to work for a large company, the same company that sponsored a National Merit Scholarship that sent The Invisible Developer to UCLA to pick up degrees in math and physics, free of charge. He went on to buy a house in the suburbs, raise four children, stay married to his wife over fifty years until death did them part.

You know those families you see on 1950s sit coms? THEY ACTUALLY EXIST! I really think Leave it to Beaver was filmed in my in-laws’ living room.

What did his family  think about his failed endeavor? The first time she saw the sign, The Spoiled One exclaimed,

“Wow! Grandpa started his own business when he was young? That’s cool. I never knew that.”

As for The Invisible Developer and me, things are going pretty well with the business. (However, if you would like to buy a pre-release license that gets you three games for $35 please rush on over to 7 Generation Games and do so.)

Still, we keep the sign around as visible reminder that …

If I fail, it’s very likely that I’ll go on, do something else and have a perfectly fine life.

So, my advice to you, young entrepreneurs is to work hard but don’t worry so much. The most likely scenario is that you’ll be fine one way or another.

And that’s number 46 of 55 things I have learned in (almost) 55 years.

 

Want to know the secret to getting better at almost anything?

Measure it.

Rambling story that only appears to be irrelevant ….

For many years,  I was on one committee or another that awarded funds to aspiring Olympic athletes. Often, my recommendations were at odds with the majority of the committee members, and if you looked back, you’d see I was almost invariably right. Here’s why – I’m a little person and sometimes when a practice was going on, I would slip in a side door and sit in a corner or up on a stack of mats, and just watch. You can learn a lot about a person by how they train when they think no one is watching them. Some of those athletes put on a good show when they knew they were being watched but were going at half-speed the rest of the time.  Here is the lesson learned – we train harder, try harder, do more when we are being watched.

Want a less obvious lesson? That is true even when the person watching you is yourself.

This applies to virtually everything. Want to get more work done, exercise more often or spend more time with your family? Measure it. Write it down. Set goals. Track it.

For example, I am generally considered to be something of a workaholic by all of the people who nag me constantly that I work too much, from my mom to the neighbor who I had never formally met until today, and who immediately recognized me as “that lady who I always see in the window at 2 am working on her computer”.

I have known that I am not as efficient as I could be. I spend way too much  time on twitter, just reading random political comments, and reading way too many blog posts on the Internet like this one on why we don’t need to teach math. “You will never need to know when two trains going at different speeds will meet. We have train schedules.”

 

granddaughter sitting on me

THIS IS WHY I HAVE TO BE MORE EFFICIENT

 The picture above is what I saw when I opened my eyes at 9:25 this morning. Not only was I awake before 10 a.m. but I was awakened by a small person sitting on my stomach. Given that Small Person Number One and her sister Smaller Person Number Two are visiting this week and insistent not only on waking me up before the crack of noon, but also jumping in the bouncer at the block party, going for a walk, being fed (several times), having Number Two’s diaper changed, reading books and on and on and on, it became apparent that I would need  to be more efficient at work.

The four adults in the house took two-hour shifts of keeping the children from drowning the guinea pigs in the toilet and teaching them how to count by fives (the children, not the guinea pigs. Guinea pigs aren’t that smart. I’m surprised I have to explain this  to you).

Given that I had only a few hours to work uninterrupted, I set very specific goals of what I needed to get done in those hours. Before it is my turn to watch them, I’m going to send Gene the script for the next video clip on fractions on a number line, while they are asleep, I’m going to finish the review of this article and get it back to the editor. I had an extremely productive day and I expect to have an equally productive week. The difference in efficiency is simply due to observing what exactly I got done in each two-hour block. It’s not goal-setting. Some of those tasks had been written on the white board in my office for a week. It’s measuring how much I accomplished toward that goal in a set period of time.

If something is really important to you, try measuring how many minutes you really spend DOING it each day.  If you’re like most people, that simple act of measurement will make you more efficient and result in you doing more of whatever it is.

It all comes down to one word:

Perseverance.

Yesterday was the first time I got to read my dossier for the 40 women to watch over 40. In it was a quote from someone who had nominated me:

“I think that perseverance is key to her success.”

The tagline from my interview that just aired with Real Talk/ Real Women said,

“The big difference in making things happen is: you just keep doing it.”

Clearly, the impression I leave is consistent. It’s also accurate. As I worked on the programming for our second game this week, I thought, I know there are better programmers than me, people who have a lot of really elegant solutions I would not have thought of. My success comes from just not giving up and lots of old-fashioned hard work.

meetup_poster_backTwo things I learned from sports still apply to my life today running a business. The first is that variety is good. When I was tired of practicing drills in judo, I could go out and run track. I was on my college track team and the U.S. judo team at the same time. When I was exhausted from working out,  I studied, and when I was bored studying, I went and worked out.

Last week, I made pretty good progress on game 2, worked on it A LOT. Then we drove to Las Vegas and had a meet-up with our Kickstarter backers and representatives from different school districts. (Thank you so much to everyone who came.)

meetupToday, I went back to working on the coding, got frustrated with some code that should work but doesn’t and after a few hours did one of the problem videos as an example for three of my collaborators who are doing voiceover and animation so they have a tangible model. When that was done, I wrote this blog.

The second sports lesson is a line from track coach:

Champions always do more.

When I was competing, I would try to get to practice 15 minutes early and knock out 50 or 100 repetitions of an arm bar or some other drill. I’d try to stay 15 minutes late and do the same thing. In my conditioning workout, I always tried to run an extra mile after I was tired, do an extra set at weightlifting, in some way get in at least another 10 minutes. Even if I only did this six days out of seven, and 50 weeks out of 52 and only for the last ten of the 14 years that I competed, those minutes came up to an extra 2,000 hours of training. And thus are world championships earned.

Every night when I am thinking about knocking off, I try to finish one more thing. Tonight it is a conference paper I am working on for the Turtle Mountain Disability conference in October. It will be their first time holding it and I’m really excited about the topic, “I’m from the Internet and I’m here to help (people with disabilities)”

After that, I’ll work for a bit on my paper on factor analysis for the Western Users of SAS Software meeting in November.

So, those are numbers 43 and 44 of 55 things that I have learned in (almost) 55 years – the secret of success is doing more, and when you are tired, just do more of something else.

 

 

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