From Point A to B – It’s Never a Straight Line

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

When our boys were very little, they watched endless video tapes on British railways and train watching. They were, in effect, defacto trainspotters. Now, if you have ever watched these type of shows (and no disrespect here), they are like watching paint dry.

Of course, our kids did the same with watching anime for years without subtitles. Mind you, it did inspire all three children to eventually dabble in learning Japanese at school.

Red Cars Do Go Faster (Well, Maybe Not)

A few years ago now with the family just south of Lake Grace – but red cars do go faster – don’t they?

Now, the reality is, when I drive, I like to get from point A to point B as quickly as I can. Notice I didn’t say fast – I get in trouble at home if I mention that word. I look at the most direct route, the shortest possible route and if going somewhere, let’s get there first and then take our time coming home, and not the other way round. That gets me in trouble too with the home CEO.

So, in my crazy local government CEO days, I would get up at 4:30 am, hit the road, drive 356 kms to Perth airport, fly out to Canberra, the national capital by 7:00 am (either had to stop in Melbourne or Sydney, so a six and half hour flight, have meetings, maybe get four hours sleep, fly back to Perth, jump in the car and drive 356 kms home and be home by 8:00 am the next day, generally rolling through the door as the office opened for business.

Of course, there did come a time when I decided I needed to stop doing that, because who really appreciated such an effort anyway?

Strategy and Action do not have to be a straight line – Enjoy the view!

Some Things to Consider

The Titanic Museum – Belfast – Image by Josef Kotarba from Pixabay

When it is all said and done, do you know where you are really heading?

The Titanic suffered from what I call straight line thinking: we have to have an output right now, on this day, we must get from A to B as quickly as possible on a particular heading, and nothing can get in the way of that because we have taken into account all possibilities and we know the environment oh so well!

The Laws of Physics (Roughly)

Firstly, it is okay not to get where you are going in a straight line. Does nature observe going from A to B in a straight line, and as quickly as possible? Here are some points to note (the physicists out there please be kind):

  • Sound travels in waves;
  • Light travels in a straight line, but fills up all the spaces between its point of origin and its eventual destination;
  • To travel through time, we have to bend space so that we can travel through A and B at the same time? 🤣
The Importance of the Slow Anything Movement

This is the 2979 kilometre rail journey from Adelaide to Darwin that kicked off Australia’s slow TV craze. The Ghan tells the story of how the development of central Australia can be attributed to local Aboriginal communities as well as early immigrants, including the Afghan cameleers that gives The Ghan its name. We all got excited at the time, because when watching it, we realised that by slowing down, we could actually get some of our life back!

We keep jamming things in to our lives, and that’s not okay. We take our eye off the ball because of it, and then crash – just like what happened in that wonderful picture at the top of this post.

So, meander here and there and enjoy the scenery, stop and smell the roses. Remember the tortoise and the hare? How do we keep forgetting about that?

Appreciate the “Small Things” at Home

When you get home appreciate what you have. As Paul Kelly sings “from little things, big things grow.” Many of us have lost the art of just “being” and enjoying what is happening at home. And have you tried to apply straight line thinking with your household, anyway? Doesn’t work does it? There are strong forces at play regarding what they want to do instead of you having a nice ordered life of going from A to B.

There are some wonderful blogs out there on how to do just kick back and enjoy home life bliss and slowing things down:

Marcus and Mika

Patty Wolters

Olivia Lucie Blake

The CEO’s home (our former home) in Lake Grace. The community are very proud of this house.

Toot Toot – All Aboard!!!

At the end of the day, whether I go from A to B in a straight line, depends on what is happening at the time. Best made plans are just that. But every now and then, the plan works and we arrive on time and on budget. That’s the magic of a plan when it all comes together. In between times, I go here, there and everywhere, but when I do, I learn a whole range of things I didn’t know before (like all of those fabulous blogs out there, including MiddleMe). Do you?

As that advert goes: “Like is pretty straight without twisties.”

Photo by Mark Plu00f6tz on Pexels.com

19 thoughts on “From Point A to B – It’s Never a Straight Line

    1. Thanks for sharing, Sheila. Trains are very interesting. I have been involved in a number of train projects over the years. I have been around long enough to still remember steam trains and the smell of the coal and steam – you never forget it.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. That’s fascinating about the Ghan! There are so many wonders that we can see if we take the time. When I’m in a hurry, I’m all about the most efficient path, but every now and then I feel the need to take a more meandering route simply to explore.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, you had a crazy schedule before. How long did that last? I suppose there are times when a straight line is best, while other times, not really. The trick is in figuring out which is which, or what is most useful in a given situation. What do you think? When I work, I am more German about it. But with everything else, more relaxed, or at least hopefully as urgent as whatever the thing in front of me demands. Thank you for the shoutout. Interestingly, I saw some fresh posts of yours and gravitated to this one because of the title and also found the link. Thanks again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was like this for many, many years, Markus. I achieved a heck of a lot, but it all came at a price. Fortunately, I have a very understanding wife and she is the smart one in the outfit.

      Most definitely re whether a straight line approach is needed or not. I have found many people I have worked with don’t understand this until you suggest they flowchart a process so they can see for themselves a better way to approach an issue. A long time ago (yes, it might as well have been in a galaxy far far away) I mapped out a licensing process that no one could ever learn or get their head around. That was because it had 104 steps in it. Once those higher up saw my flow chart they went, well there has to be a better, more straight line approach!

      My pleasure re the shoutout. You guys are doing a great job with what you do and have actually contributed to me “springing” into action re the garden and other projects!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your insights. We always learn something. You must be a really lucky man for having such an understanding wife! I could not imagine how it is like to live with someone with that schedule. And 104 steps is a lot. But I suppose it is through these experiences that we fine tune our approaches. Not easy but if we keep an open mind we always have a chance for improvement. Oh, thank you, that is lovely to hear. I hope the projects are doing well. Your garden must be happening. Isn’t it spring in Oz now?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes, it is Spring and is now starting to warm up. Three projects have progressed quite well including new borders to the garden beds out front and a major trim to plants along the patio on the southern side of our house, which has resulted in a number of plants responding way better than expected.

        There are so many things that only experience can teach us. As I said to someone a few months ago, I was considered quite insightful at an extremely young age and (in true Back to the Future fashion) I have now finally caught up to myself 🤣

        Linda has had to put up with so much, but she is a real trooper. Bright as a button and positive with everyone and always up for a party 🥳

        Liked by 1 person

      3. She sounds lovely. I laughed when you said you have finally caught up with yourself. Very happy to hear about your garden and how the plants are responding! These details always capture my interest. Good job!

        Liked by 2 people

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