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Loose Ends Are The Weakest Links - Grasshopper

The old axiom is: "You are only as strong as your weakest link." If you are having trouble finding that link, look no further than something you've neglected to tie up.

I've been told on more than one occasion that I'm "negative." I used to quibble about that characterization until I discovered that it was, for the most part, accurate. The discovery was finding out what I was negative about loose ends.

 

Before I made that discovery, I made this one. I am not the person you want in on a brainstorming session. Brainstorming is a free exchange of ideas without judgement. It's basically "Improv." You probably wouldn't get to the funny punch line or the workable idea if I were in the room poking holes in your musings.

 

I found that my skill set was more useful in taking the "finished idea" and finding and helping to fix the flaws.

 

Long before I had a career in people helping, I noticed that I was proficient in finding flaws. I'm sure it's a trait I was conditioned into. My dad was a builder and he would often comment on what wasn't working as we would pass a construction site. "They don't see that, John?" he would incredulously ask. My mother was a waitress since she was 14 and had this uncanny skill of spotting "spots" on peoples' personalities. One day I went to work with her and remember her saying, "See that guy over there, he's bad news." She said that after seeing him for the first time and never interacting with him. He was arrested for arson months later.

 

So, I am cursed/blessed with finding flaws. I see them everywhere and in everyone, but not usually in myself. I'm not as quick on the uptake when it comes to me. I don't think I'm alone amongst fellow flaw finders in lacking that insight.

 

But enough about my flaws; let's talk about my discovery Loose ends being the weakest link.

 

Spotting the flaw is easy for me; finding the loose end that leads to the flaw takes a bit more work. Again, I will quote my old neighbor, Ed who was a pilot and air traffic controller. He said that 99% of aircraft accidents were due to pilot error. "No need to check the reserve tank, I filled that up last week." But when you are 1500 feet in the air and switch to the reserve tank and it's empty, that's when you learn the deadly lesson of not having a checklist.

 

It's amazing to me the things that go awry when we don't check. Years ago the Grasshopper said, "People spend more time planning their vacation than they do planning their life." Yes, most plans change due to unforeseen circumstances, but more would go according to "Hoyle" if we tied up loose ends.

 

"Oh, I'm a free spirit, I take life as it comes." That's a noble declaration until you find yourself buried neck deep in your own bullshit. Find out what you willfully leave unchecked and you will find your loose end.

 

Tying up loose ends makes life less flawed. Leaving them out there insures that they will trip you up.

 

Let me tie up my observation with this: You don't need to focus on your flaws; that will just indicate how imperfect you are. Instead, look to tie up the loose ends that will prevent flaws from happening. They are easy to spot, especially if you make a checklist.

 

All the best,

John



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