Tag Archives: Results

Altering Behavior Can Lead to Tremendous Results

I was waiting at the station the other day, waiting for a train, and I happened to be sitting next to a guy that was working on some very complicated math problems, or problem. I wasn’t sure if it was a bunch of different problems or if it was on big problem that was somehow interconnected to all the rest. Because he had them written on several different pieces of paper. He would write a bunch of equations, pause, and stare off into the distance, and then write some more. There were many people walking around, and it is summertime, so there are a lot of distractions that can steal your attention from a math problem, if you catch my drift.

Sometimes you can only focus on a problem for a certain amount of time before you need to give your brain a break. It’s kind of like lifting weights. You can only do so many sets before you need to set the weight down and give your muscles a chance to repair themselves. That’s how you get bigger muscles. When you lift weights, you are actually breaking down the muscle fiber, and then if you give yourself enough rest in between the exercise with proper nutrition, your muscles will rebuild themselves better, stronger, faster, just like Steve Austin.

Sometimes working on a mental problem is the same way. You need to give your brain a rest. I don’t know if there are brain fibers that break down and grow bigger, although it certainly can seem that way if you’ve ever done a lot of math homework. Einstein said that you could never solve a problem at the same level where it was created. So maybe staring off into the distance every so often gives your brain to look at things in different perspective.

Finally after the guy seemed to stare off into the distance longer than normal, I asked him what he was doing. I didn’t think I was disturbing his thought process. His body language seemed to indicate that he was taking a longer than usual rest. He told me he was working on some thermodynamics applications for his business. He is a chemical engineer at a local beer distillery, and he was working on some equations that are related to the process before fermentation. He was that they result that they were getting was adequate, but if they could streamline it a little bit, without giving up any quality, they would be able to increase their profit margin.

He said it’s all a matter of results and behavior. He said the problem is when you focus on only one side of the equation. The results, in this case, were the end product. The different brands of beer that his company produces. There are specific ways to measure results in his particular case. He explained that it’s important to stay away from measuring results subjectively, because obviously different people will have different opinions. It’s important to have an objective way to measure the results you get, so you can reproduce them or even improve on them. Specific gravity, alkalinity, color refraction index are different ways to measure the exact results. The other side of the equation is behavior. In this case the behavior is how the chemicals interact with each other in the fermenting tank. Time, temperature, sugar levels, ingredients of the initial mix are all things they can vary. The trick is to vary the behavior and see what the easiest and quickest ways are to get the results that you want. If you can find a relatively easy behavior that will give you the results you want, you’ve got a winner. Then you can go about varying your behavior and see if you can even improve on your results, which is even better.

I wish I would have gotten his name, or business card though. Going on a tour of a local brewery would be a pretty cool experience. I never thought that brewing beer was such an involved, scientific process. Go figure.

Leverage Mistakes to Increase Success

This morning I was out on my morning walk, and being how I am still trying to discover new ways so that I can become familiar, I made a wrong turn. I usually walk around an area of perhaps 1 or 2 square kilometers. It is kind of a rectangle,and on the inside are rice fields. Because as I write this it is neither rice planting nor rice harvesting season, the fields are pretty bare.

So far I have the spot where I make the first turn worked out. And the part where I make the last turn I have pretty much under control. The middle part is what’s been giving me trouble. After I make the first turn, I walk along a fairly busy road, at least busy for the rural part that I live in. The problem is most of the buildings along this road obscure the view of the rice fields, so I haven’t nailed down exactly where to turn. This building? That building? Yesterday I overshot and had to backtrack, so this morning I had decided that it was important to get it exactly perfect.

I turned where I thought would be the right spot, but it as it turned out, it wasn’t even close. I ended up walking right through the center of the collection of unused rice fields around which I had been hoping to walk. At first I was upset at myself, I mean, I’ve been here a week already, and I should have at least my morning walk worked out by now, right?

Well a funny thing happened. The storm I wrote about yesterday was breaking up, but there were still several clouds in the air. Big black clouds, with just a splash of blue peaking through. Actually, not so much blue, as the sun was just beginning to rise. And the sun happened to be rising just in the direction I was walking toward.

So there I was, walking through a rectangular collection of rice fields, about two or three hundred meters wide a couple of kilometers long, toward a sun struggling to rise against the leftover clouds from last nights storm. Magnificent.

And for some strange reason, it made me think of a quote from Brian Tracy about a famous corporate executive, whose name I can’t recall. He was reportedly asked, “How do I double my success rate?” To which he immediately responded  “Double your failure rate.”

How many times do we try to get something completely perfect, and get upset at ourselves when we fall short of the mark. Do you ever allow yourself the pleasure of standing back, and instead of seeing a mistake, seeing a result? And what happens when you ask yourself, “how can you use this result to improve whatever it is that you want to improve?”

Because when you think about it, we are the result of millions of years of mistakes. I’m not sure if most people can understand this concept, but because you’ve read so far I’m sure your smart enough to begin to realize how powerful it is. All through the evolution of man, every advantage, every significant edge we have developed has been the result of a mistake.  An error in reproduction of our genes. And these mistakes that nature deemed successful are what makes us who we are today.

I wonder, in how many ways can you start to understand that as you step back and look at the results you create, instead of what you used to call ‘mistakes,’ will you be able to notice so much more than you have previously?

How many ways can you learn to appreciate ALL results that you create in life, now?