A Look Forward: No Predictions, Only Productivity

Don't fall into the trap of thinking you know anything about the future. Sure, There's lots of neat confucus-iy quotes about knowing the future from learning about the past, or whatever. I've succumbed to the temptation myself to guess what will happen in the next 5 years. Here's the real deal. You can only control the "now".  Even then just a little tiny corner of your world. The future is ever changing,  take a lesson from Yoda.

Here at Cloudpoint, we are developing Principals to work by and not procedures or policies. We have no employee handbook or workplace guidelines. Even if we did it would be filled with bullet-point list of adages. For Example:

  • Be Professional.
  • Work Hard & Be Nice To People.
  • Are you Productive or Just Being busy?
  • Make it Better. 
  • Why are you here?
  • When the door is shut, don't bother me.
  • Never Stop asking Questions.

When you feel like you can (or try to) predict the future, your pride gets in the way of actually making it happen. Somewhere inside you become a spectator watching life rather than a participant in it: "I knew this was going to happen!" Not helpful. A bit of personal humility can go a long way when you are assisting people with a new technology. Rather, when you set attainable goals you set a standard for yourself, a personal guideline. American author Mark Batterson once said (paraphrased): 'Goals are Just Dreams with Timelines' Well Said, Everybody needs dreams. 

This is what 2015 looks like for us. These are our genericized Goals: 

  1. Increase Benefits to Team Members
  2. Expand our Territory
  3. Hire
  4. 7+ Speaking Engagements
  5. Learn New Software
  6. Read 13+ Books
  7. Freely Distribute Several Useful tools
  8. Centralize Cloud Offerings 

There are others that I'm not willing to share, but this is most of the list from our first 2015 staff meeting. Some of them are personal, some are corporate all are real and attainable. 

Don't let the lure of trying to predict the future fill you with apathy and pride.
What are your goals? 

5 Christmas Gift ideas for the Geogeek in your life.

I admit, this is quite the "Wish List" from your rich Uncle Montague. But they're neat to dream about and hope for someday. 

In no particular order. 

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1. Land Carpet.
Who doesn't want to stretch out on a map? Because paper is not really inviting, how about a map made out of genuine New Zealand wool? (did you know there are 7x more sheep in New Zealand than people?) Awesome. However at $2100 for a 6'x8' area rug, it's not for the typical GIS Technician's budget. Something a little more reasonable is the I Am Here Custom play-mat


2. Map Wheel
I know where I am, most of the time. The Map Wheel is a distinct custom made reminder of where that other place is in reference to wherever I call home, or whatever location you choose to be in the center. Kind of like the Direction Pole in the TV show MASH. A custom Map Wheel is about $100 US with about $10 shipping, but it's made in Australia.... soooo, it might have to be a Valentines Day present. 


3. World Map iPhone Case
Easy. $30. Wood. Looks nice. Made in Indiana by a guy named John, how American is that? Boom. Get it. Only for 4/4s & 5/5s. No iPhone 6 or 6+ yet. 

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4. Fitbit Surge
I like GPS & I am a watch wearer, but I'm not holding out for a Apple Watch. They look cool, but I don't have that kind of cash. Plus there are literally dozens of other smart/fitness/GPS/bluetooth watches on the market. I like a rectangle design and the Surge price tag of $250.

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5. Hand Made Globe
uh. I've tweeted about these before, and actually gotten a response from the folks at Bellerby & Co. These are amazing - beautiful - works of art made with care, precision and an obvious personal touch. My wife would grab her Scrapbooks running out the door in case of a home fire, I would grab this globe. Especially since the desktop version is about $1700 US. Save your pennies kids! Someday. Someday.


There you go. 5  rather unrealistic and completely unnecessary first-world presents to get for your resident geographer to celebrate Christmas.  
Got any other Ideas? Put them in the comments.