Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today's fortune: June 29, 2011

Today's fortune: Do not let great ambitions overshadow small success.

What's strange about this fortune is that small successes are absolutely necessary for great ambitions. We didn't just land on the moon. Before that, some guy had to design the boots Neil Armstrong wore. And then some guy had to figure out how to make those boots lighter so they could keep the weight down on the Apollo 11 capsule. And then some guy had to And then some guy had to train the astronauts how to put on the boots in zero-gravity conditions. And then.. and then... and then... and only then could Neil wear those boots to take that first step on the moon's surface. He even said so himself: "That's one small step for man..." It was a small success that was preceded by thousands of others, all of which contributed to a gigantic accomplishment.

Or maybe it was all made up and we didn't land on the moon. I don't know.

Doesn't matter. The point is, small successes and great ambition go hand in hand.

But maybe what this fortune means is that we shouldn't overlook the small steps necessary in order to reach our larger goals. Don't miss the trees for the forest, or something like that. If the NASA Apollo crews had spent all their time planning what kind of mansions to build on the moon, they would have never been able to send astronauts there.

After I read the fortune this morning, I drove to work determined to be productive. I've fallen behind the last few weeks (all the widget makers have; it's really busy right now). And I was really productive today. Each little bit I did helped me get caught up, and each little bit I caught up I counted as a small success.

Then a couple things happened which could have agitated my ambition reflex. First, my supervisor asked if I would be interested in doing something really cool and really challenging in a couple months. I don't want to talk about it too much, but I'll say it's definitely something that makes people take notice of you. Then I had a meeting with my boss's boss's boss's boss. He was in town today and wanted to meet with a very small number of widget makers face to face. I may have been picked at random to participate in the meeting (I honestly don't know), but it was nice to be able to bend his ear for a little while.

But after those things happened, I tried my best to forget about them. I went back to my desk and did my work.

And now, I'm a lot closer to being caught up. Small successes make the world go 'round.

My Daily Fortune in the news

Here's another small success: to commemorate reaching the halfway point of this project, the Kansas City Star ran a nice plug for the blog on the front page of the paper's features section today. It looks really cool: