That line, ‘keep passing the open windows’, is a quote that wrenches at me from John Irving’s novel, The Hotel New Hampshire. I’ve also used it cheaply as a gag about preferring Macs to PCs. But having now made that same gag and having now also quoted you a quote that I love in context, let me get on with it. Here’s a video that argues in favour of our just staring out of the window.
I tell you, I’m concerned because I see elderly people obsessing about the hundred metres square that they can see from a window and I don’t want to do that. But this quite serene video points out that in looking out of the window, you’re looking at so much more than you can see.
For Wednesday 14 January 2015 I am working on only one project. Nothing else allowed, not even emails, not even phone calls. We’ll see how I get on but even now, writing to you late the night before, I’m feeling a bit liberated. I was looking at a project plan just now, the very barest skeleton project management jobs and realised I was sighing as I went to add in some detail. As I went to colour it all in. And that realisation, plus the clear fact that I can’t finish it tonight, led me to this relief. I will not look at it tomorrow. I cannot.
It’s true that today I am in a flat-spin panic about everything I’m behind on but the main project from yesterday is far, far and three times far further along. Still not as far as I need it to be but so much further that it’s about the only thing I’m not panicking about right now.
Well, maybe not a eulogy. But otherwise, if you’re standing up there giving a presentation, Ragan.com – “news and ideas for communicators” – has advice for you. Here’s their example and if the rest of the article gets a bit happy-clappy, the example sings:
I occasionally speak to a group of part-time volunteers who are working to reduce the number of injuries suffered in house fires. I used this opening for one of my talks:
“I’m only going to speak to you for one hour this morning. During our hour together, someone, somewhere in America, is going to be badly injured in a house fire. By the time you begin lunch this afternoon, someone, somewhere in America, will die in a house fire. By dinner, another person will die. By the time you go to sleep, another person will die. As you sleep tonight, two more people will die.
I’m here today because I want to prevent that from happening. And I’m going to need your help.”