the single greatest disability: fear.

www.andymann2008.com

i was at a meeting the other night when i fell into a conversation. we got to talking about politics and the fact that i was running against ron paul came up. she couldn’t get over the fact that i would “put myself out there” and take a chance on “failing in front of everyone.”

later i was talking to another person in the room and overheard that same woman saying that she worked for the district attorney or something. i couldn’t help but chuckle a bit. she is a prosecutor and i am the brave one?

it got me reflecting on the fact that fear is such a great robber of potential…and it isn’t until you experience those things in life that you truly SHOULD fear that you realize how much time is wasted on being afraid of things that don’t really matter.

conquering fear is difficult, but the best way to do it is to imagine the consequences of failure and weigh them against the value of success. if i come up short in the election will my kids get cancer? will i be forced to unplug someone from a life support system? will i sustain a head or spinal cord injury? will i die filled with the poison of regret?

no. if i fail i am still an innovator. i am still a friend. i am still a dad.

www.andymann2008.com

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marketing, virtualization, apollo-era astronauts, cops

the fun thing about my life is that i get to interact and work with a lot of different topics and individuals on a given day. it gives me a unique perspective and it beats watching a rerun of grey’s anatomy.

a team at work (yeah, i had to go back to work for a few days) was formed to explore how our information management group is perceived and how we can better communicate what we are doing, why we are doing it, and the value of it to the rest of the company. if you work for a big company, most people dislike their IT organization. This usually comes down to a lack of communication, but there are other factors, like sometimes we are jerks. Anyway, it is a fun project and it gets me away from the purely technical stuff I am working on, like using a single server to simulate an entire enterprise infrastructure (virtualization).

there was a fundrasier at space center houston in the evening. i wasn’t going to go, but my kids thought it would be cool to meet an astronaut, so we headed out. i can pick out the shuttle astronauts, but this was for a documentary featuring apollo era astronauts. apollo was a bit before my time. it was tough for me to pick out who the kids should meet. i finally started talking to anyone over sixty-five and ran across cats who did training and simulations for the mercury and apollo stuff. interesting people. we talked about retirement and how the program has changed over the years. my friend alan walks up and shows me a picture of him holding luke skywalker’s light saber, which i think will fly on sts 120. they were taking it out of the case and he asked if he could get a picture with it…yeah, eileen collins and john young were there…but alan took a picture with luke’s light saber. freakin’ sweet.

the last stop was citizen’s police academy. they run classes for league city citizens just to give them a feel for what the police do. the coolest thing about the academy is listening to the cops tell stories about the crazy stuff they do and see. tonight one of the swat guys showed us videos, which devolved into stories about the crazy stuff they do and see. then a sergeant came in and talked about traffic laws…which devolved into stories about the crazy stuff they do and see.

the perspective you gain from learning about things outside of your comfort zone is simply priceless. it is so much harder for me to dislike the cops when they pull me over. i have never really thought much about how the space program has changed over the years, but talking to the apollo guys gave me a feel that they were truly a different breed of cat than today’s team. talking to users about how much they dislike their computer systems forces me to see things from my customer’s perspective.

faith

Interesting time and npr piece about mother theresa and the nature of faith.
mother theresa’s crisis of faith

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=13903581

it is interesting because I recall a time in the critical care unit when the isolation from Him was absolutely soul-crushing. strangely, His silence — my perception of His silence — led me to more fully submit. one would think this would have the opposite effect. i can’t explain it.