Tag Archives: expertise

How to Get Rid of a Washing Machine

I consider self-sufficiency to be an underlying tenet of decrappification.  For some this means an ability to exist totally without depending upon anyone or anything.  That’s a bit ascetic for me.  Rather, I view self-sufficiency as being able to maintain my home by myself as much as possible.  I’m not above asking for (or hiring) help but I would rather not rely upon having to do so.

For example, I am perfectly able to do my own plumbing, carpentry, roofing, house painting, and so on instead of hiring somebody else.  In fact the only thing I have hired out was installing the LP gas line in my house a few years ago, because after all, “boom”; and residential wiring.

I have never been sanguine about doing my own wiring although I know intellectually that it’s pretty straight forward.  As it turns out I’m on vacation next week, so I am going to get myself a good instruction book and install a new 4 way dryer plug.

If I can learn to wire I will be just that much more self-sufficient.  Plus I will be able to use the over and under washer/dryer I’ve had for several years but never used, and get rid of an old laundry machine that is likely older than me.  I will also reduce my possessions-by only one item granted, but it’s a physically big one!

I'm not sure if Abe actually said this, but it sounds good!

I’m not sure if Abe actually said this, but it sounds good!

Fact and Opinion

A fact is a statement that can be proven by direct experience or objective verification.  This evidence may be in the form of the testimony of witnesses, agreed-upon observations, the written records of such testimony and observations, or the result of research or investigation. A statement of fact can be checked for accuracy.

An opinion is a statement of belief or judgment that cannot be objectively proven true or false.  Opinions usually express the feelings, preferences or biases that a person has about a subject.

A fact is not the opposite of an opinion.  They are simply types of statements.  If a fact is untrue or false, it does not turn into an opinion.  By the same logic, if an opinion is believed by everyone, it does not turn into a fact.

Perhaps most important, facts are not better than opinions, or vice versa.  There is no hierarchy.  They are simply types of statements, so even though an opinion cannot be proved, opinions are every bit as important as facts.  Just make sure you base your opinions upon facts!

Stuck in a Rut?

I recently finished my fourth round of Beachbody’s P90X. Now, I am looking forward to doing something different. It isn’t that I don’t like P90X-far from it. You don’t do something so challenging four times unless you really like it. And I do like the challenge, the potential for always doing one more pull up, one more push up, or moving up one weight from what I did the last time. The thing is, even with its inherent muscle confusion basis, doing the same workout program all the time can get a bit boring.

In the past I have done Body Gospel, Rev Abs, Shakeology 30 & 50, P90X Plus, and P90X2, all from Beachbody. Clearly, there is something about this company’s programs which I like. I think at the heart of it, all of these program share one underlying trait: support. The trainers lift you up, they don’t talk you down. If you can’t do something perfectly, they encourage you to do what you are able to. Or, as trainer Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”

I’m ready for a new trainer: Shaun T. and his Insanity-The Asylum program. Last night I did the first workout, “Speed and Agility”.  I thought because I’ve been working out for six days a week for a couple years, I’d be able to breeze right through this. Well, it didn’t exactly end up that way. Do you remember the Biblical saying “Pride goeth before a fall”?

The warmup alone was an eye opener for what is to come! It wasn’t that I’m not in good shape. Rather, it was a tough workout because I was doing agility and other moves with which I was not familiar. There’s going to be a steep learning curve. You know what? I look forward to it!

There is perhaps a life lesson here too. I assumed that past experience with one thing would enable me to do another somewhat related thing with no effort. This was untrue. While experience can inform and guide us, it is not a substitute for effort and learning.

Welcome to the Asylum!

Welcome to the Asylum!

My Anti-Mediocrity Rant

It seems like mediocrity has become the norm.  I hate that!

The idea that good enough is good enough does not satisfy me.  When we buy into the concept that excellence is not necessary we only encourage a downward trend.  Fine dining is replaced by gulp and go.  Engaging literature is replaced by formulaic mass market paperbacks.  Storytelling in movies is replaced by over the top special effects.

And almost nobody seems to mind this!

I don’t accept mediocrity from myself and I won’t accept it from others.  When I’m out spending my hard earned money, I demand better than mediocre.  I want to eat a meal that impresses me, not just fills my stomach.  I want good customer service from enthusiastic employees.  I demand superior services, and products that are designed to last more than six months!

It ain’t easy finding excellence in the real world, but I focus my attention on the excellence I find, and that’s where my money goes.  If enough people did that, perhaps mediocrity would not be accepted as the status quo.

A green highway sign with "Excellence" in white letters.

Excellence-next exit!

It’s Not Our Fault, But It’s Our Problem

I’ve been away a lot this week, thus the gap in my blogging.  On one of my recent days away, I took a one day class put on by the Disney Institute.  The class was titled “The Disney Approach to Customer Service”.  I had a thoroughly wonderful day learning from the presenters, Sean and Kevin.

I learned a lot that day.  One discussion which resonated with me was the concept of “it’s not our fault, but it is our problem”.  Some examples they gave were: a child drops his popcorn, so a cast member gives him a new box and cleans up the spill; someone can’t recall where they parked their white rental car among the 12,000 or so in the parking lots, but Disney has a clever matrix set up to address this common issue.  Did Disney’s employees cause either of these problems?  No.  Did they none the less solve the problems?  Yes!

When friends and acquaintances come up to me looking for fitness tips or weight loss advice, in a sense they are presenting their problems to me for resolution.  Is it my fault that they have followed lifestyles which proved detrimental to their health?  Clearly, no.  Is it my problem?  Just as clearly, I submit, yes.

Here’s why: they have recognized that I have tools and knowledge to solve their problems and have laid them at my doorstep.  That is a significant sign of trust, and not something I take lightly.  I am absolutely going to treat their problem as my own to solve, regardless of where the fault lies.  The important thing now is they are seeking resolution!

One woman showing another woman how to lift a dumbell properly.

When someone asks for your expertise, it's a sign of trust and confidence.