North Stars

 “The journey of a thousands miles begins with one step.” — Lao Tzu

Although beautiful, this quote is thoroughly incomplete.

True, our journeys do begin with a single step, but then we must begin with another and then another. Day after day after day.

But most importantly, the journey must have a destination. Without one we will not know which direction to walk, or whether we ever arrive.

Clearly this is a problem with personal goals. Losing weight, making more money. Without defining a terminus, we are forever wondering.

But when talking about groups of people, whether in sport, government, a single project or an entire organization, the issues multiply exponentially.

Enter North Stars. Concise, written-down, published destinations:

Win the 40+ Soccer League.
Provide affordable, quality health care to all Americans.

Perform frictionless digital transactions.
Take 50% share from Google.

 

These provide powerful guidance:

  • They focus the energies of all of the actors in the the same direction.
  • They provide clarity when issues arise.
  • They illuminate answers when making tough decisions.
  • They enable the managers to chunk up their respective responsibilities.
  • Those chunks then provide the day-to-day clarity-of-task for each individual journeyman.
    • Is this task moving us forward, in the correct direction?

It certainly takes effort and consensus, but as competing forces reveal themselves these beacons will continually prove their worth.

To get someplace we must first define where it is we are going. So go North and conquer!

Magic Doesn’t Exist

David Blaine cannot do magic.
Chris Angel can not.
Harry Houdini could not.

Sofia the First cannot execute any magic.
Buzz Lightyear cannot.
Elsa cannot.

Barak Obama has zero magical powers.
Hillary Clinton has none.
President Trump has none.

Elon Musk offers no magic.
Warren Buffet employs none.
Bill Gates is without-magic.

Jesus never wielded magic.
Moses did not.
Allah did not.

LeBron James knows no magic.
Tom Brady knows none.
Tiger Woods knew none.

Airplanes contain no magic.
iPhones have none.
The Hadron Collider affords none.

George Washington exploited no magic.
Thomas Jefferson provided none.
Benjamin Franklin worked none.

Physics provides none.
Economics none.
Medicine none.

Leprechauns grant no magic.
Tooth fairies transport none.
Santa delivers none.

Ghosts reveal no magic.
Demons possess none.
Vampires dispatch none.

Insemination contains no magic.
Gestation displays none.
Child birth is not magic.

Harry Potter is magic-less.
Hermione Granger produces none.
Voldemort implements none.

Someone from Game of Thrones cannot do magic.
Another person from Game of Thrones cannot do any.
A mythical creature from Game of Thrones provides none.

Sunsets contain no magic.
Black holes are not magic.
Nature yields none.

The most magical part of this human experience is the knowledge, whether revealed to us yet or not, that everything has an explanation.

America, The Meme

American is a just a set of ideas.

230 years ago a group of intelligent, white guys assembled in Philadelphia and debated the definition of “America”.

This led to our initial Constitution; Our core tenants.

But the U.S. Constitution was, and is only a piece of paper. A rectangle of parchment.

And the words written, while most certainly well thought-through are nothing but a jumble of letters and punctuation.

We sometimes act as if three equal branches of government, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are obvious. Truths so unalienable we might just take them for granted.

Throughout history there are very few examples of countries who’s “memes” would ever speak such things. Say nothing of actually protecting them.

Both prescient and malleable, the Constitution has no power of its own.

It is a contract we follow to be earn the title “American”.

If we allow that contract to be broken without paying a political penalty we now have a different meme.

We have a diminished “America”.