Thanksgiving 2009

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in skmurphy

It’s early in the morning on Thanksgiving Day and I wanted to reprise my short list of what I am thankful for; it’s been the same for the last few years:

  • Health
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Opportunity

To be self-employed in a downturn is a wonderful opportunity: I don’t have to worry about getting laid off. And as long as I have health, family, and friends the formula for avoiding bad luck is simple:

“I never knew an early-rising, hard-working, prudent man, careful of his earnings, and strictly honest who complained of bad luck.” Henry Ward Beecher

We live in uncertain times. We find ourselves in the midst of recession and increasingly rapid technology transitions. I continued to be guided by two rules of thumb for navigating turbulent situations:

  1. “It may looks like a crisis but it’s only the end of an illusion.” Gerald Weinberg in Secrets of Consulting
  2. “Innovation requires us to systematically identify changes that have already occurred but whose full effects have not yet been felt, and then to look at them as opportunities. It also requires existing companies to abandon rather than defend yesterday.” Peter Drucker in Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Thanksgiving Day Posts

“I often think about that fire, and about the many ghosts that visited the neighborhood that summer night. I’m sure I felt the ghosts of engineers who created a technical miracle called the phone network, that later spawned the 911 system, so I could report the fire within 15 seconds of seeing it. And I know I saw the ghosts of engineers who designed the fire equipment that allowed two small teams of firefighters to conquer a burning hill. And there were the ghosts of all the firefighters who have lived before, having bequeathed their skills and traditions to each new generation. Most notably, that night I was also visited by the ghosts of September 11th, my old friends. Almost every day they visit to remind me to be more alert, to investigate strange smells, strange sounds, as I did that night, until finding one window view that revealed the flames.

Philosophers have many views of the human soul. In the end, it’s undefined, unfathomable. The only thing I know for sure is that no one really leaves.

Appreciate your ghosts, especially the ones you can still hug. Have a great holiday.”

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