Principles for Life

Principles for Life by Walter McIntyre

I have personal operating principles that help me have a happy and fulfilled life.  I guess you would say that this helps me lead a principle centered life.  These principles, when followed, even when it is not convenient, help me move through my life with happiness and peace of mind.  I am not advocating what is morally right or wrong, only that you need to understand “your” right and wrong to have a stable map for your life to follow.

These are my principles:

Being Fearless

Being Fearless by Walter McIntyre

The lens we view the world through can lead us to incorrect and destructive decisions. Perspective is everything when we face difficult problems. It is the difference between being fearful or being fearless. This is true in our personal lives and in our professional lives.

If you are going to tackle the most difficult problems and opportunities at work, or face down Iife’s most trying events, you must move quickly from asking why the problem exists to what you are going to do about it. Not that the “why” is not important, just that it is only the beginning, not the end of successful resolution. Asking why is only a lens to see that the problem exists. Asking what we are going to do about it is a different lens that leads to action.

Myopic Thoughts

Myopic life Can't see the forest for the trees

Myopic life Can’t see the forest for the trees

Myopic Thoughts by Walter McIntyre

Myopic vision: Near sited. Eye fails to resolve distant objects.

Prescription: Corrective glasses or surgery to focus images on the retina instead of in front of it.

Myopic life: Can’t see the forest for the trees. Impatience and failure to see the big picture.

Prescription: Look for balance in your perspective. Long term success is built on short term success. You can’t master a musical instrument in a day, nor can you accomplish great things over night. The best things in life come after hard work and long waits.

Walter McIntyre’s Incomplete Success Thoughts

Walter McIntyre Incomplete Success Thoughts

Can you remember when you graduated from high school or college? The feeling that you could change the world and that you could be and do anything you choose? Can you also remember the day you realized that maybe you were not going to change the world and that you were limited to what you could be?

I can. I can also remember feeling disappointed in myself when my dreams for success did not immediately come true. Fortunately, I had a wise adviser in my life that helped me put things into perspective.

Some Thoughts

Some Thoughts by Walter McIntyre

Some thoughts from my day.

The universe is big and I’m not the center of it.

Who knows more about this than I do about me?

Find out who’s on my team and link arms with them.  Form a personal advisory group.

Does life happen to you or do you happen to life?

Surround yourself with the best in class.  You can’t soar with the eagles if you are hanging with the turkeys.

What question do you not want someone to ask you?  Answer it and own it.

The Magic of Numbers

The Magic of Numbers by Walter McIntyre

Contrary to how you may have learned math, the story of numbers is one of magic. Numbers fill our lives in ways we never think of. From IP addresses to the television channel you watch, numbers allow us to differentiate between categories and events.

To see the real magic behind our numbers, try this experiment. Solve this equation (4+15)/(29*16). Now solve this equation without converting it to our modern numbering system, (IV+XIV)/(XXIX*XVI). The Roman numerals were for documentation and it was not possible to perform operations with them. The Romans used Arabic numbers, similar to what we use today for commerce, where operations were needed. Aren’t you glad you were taught math in our modern numbering system rather that Roman numerals? Imagine how much harder long division would have been.

Pursue Your Dreams

My mentor told me that I should pursue my dreams.  Find the people who are the best in class in the talents I need, and learn from them by adding value to their dreams. By making a positive exchange in value with people, everyone is a winner.  Sounds like something Zig Zigler would have said.

He also told me to avoid those who would gold brick off of my talents and success. People who would create a negative exchange of value with me. There is no upside to this scenario.  Helping people is great.  Being a doormat is not.

Great Teams

Getting the most out of yourself and others.

Perspective is nearly everything when it comes to accelerating your performance, or someone else’s.  Human motivation is more art than science.  No matter what I believe or expect about the natural laws, for example, my opinion has no impact. Gravity does what gravity does, no matter what I think.

Human motivation is different. What you believe about yourself, or others, has an impact on your behavior or someone else’s behavior. The self-fulfilling prophecy does not apply to natural laws, but does apply to us lowly humans.  This is both good and bad.

The Origin Of Things

Engineering begins with the axiom that there is nothing we can’t figure out.  I used to call this roof top engineering because it requires a shift in the way we view challenges.  Viewing a challenge from different perspective gives us a 3D perspective of it.
Here is an example of this shift in thinking:
When we see the numbers below, we intuitively understand what they mean, but why these shapes? I believe that it is important to know the origins of things.
Our number shapes come from the Hindu-Arabic number characters.  Remember that these characters were used as a universal way to count for commerce.  One need not intuitively know the name of the character, just how it represented a quantity.
Can you figure it out? (Hint: Count the angles on each character)