When I’m working, I wear a plain silver band on the little finger of my dominant hand. There’s no inscription; it’s completely unadorned save the scratches it’s picked up over the years.
It’s not a fashion statement, but if you think I wear it well, thank you. According to the Art of Manliness, a ring on the little finger symbolizes intellect, a great ability to express yourself, or a strong intuition. I can’t dispute any of that.
It’s an Engineer’s Ring, given to those in the United States who have completed a qualified engineering degree or are a licensed professional engineer.
Photo courtesy of © Wikipedia / Taximes (CC BY-SA 3.0) (cropped from original)
The great thing in this world is not so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.
The Bridge Builder
An old man going a lone highway,
Came, at the evening cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and deep and wide.
Through which was flowing a sullen tide
The old man crossed in the twilight dim,
The sullen stream had no fear for him;
But he turned when safe on the other side
And built a bridge to span the tide.
“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here;
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way;
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build this bridge at evening tide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head;
“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me to-day
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
This chasm that has been as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim;
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him!”
Will Allen Dromgoole
Isaac Newton famously credited those who had gone before him with laying the foundation for his success. “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
You were left a legacy by your parents, and their parents, and society as a whole. You’re now building upon that legacy to leave something better to your children.
There are books that tell us how the world works, maps that shows us how the pieces fit together, and roads that will take us most places we want to go.
Those tools will get you pretty far in life, and if you do nothing but pass them on to your kids, they’ll have a pretty good life, too. But if you want to really make a difference in the world, there is one question you need to answer long before it ever comes up:
What will I do when I run out of road?
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Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
One of the basic rules of chess etiquette is that once you touch a piece, you have to either move that piece (if it’s yours) or capture it (if it’s your opponent’s). It’s called the touch-move rule.
My sisters and I would frequently violate the touch-move rule as we hemmed and hawed over our next move. Our parents were very patient with us, and usually only enforced the “if you let go, that’s your move” rule.
Your Inbox probably faces the same analysis paralysis. If you keep picking up the same input over and over again only to consider it, then put it back to deal with later, consider invoking the touch-move rule.
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In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
I’ve worn glasses for a couple years now. In some ways, I’m still getting used to them. Like just how quickly they build up dirt.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to put them on and noticed some spots on the lenses that needed cleaned off. I grabbed a clean cloth, started wiping, and couldn’t believe how much dirt came off! It was a little unsettling.
I had no idea that my glasses had built up that much gunk. For the most part, I could see through them just fine. It was only when I took them off and looked at them instead of through them that I was able to see just how dirty they were.
Photo courtesy of © Adobe Stock / peshkov
We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.