“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
I was reading an obscure blog, “The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Special Needs Planning” by Scott Solkoff, when I saw a line that jumped out.
‘There will be new opportunities for special needs attorneys because of the complexity of the Affordable Care Act.”
That line made me realize the fundamental key to success:
1. Change is always going to make things more complex.
2. Those who “get” the complexity will master the universe.
I’ve owned a computer since the first IBM PC 30 years ago. I spent countless hours learning how to program code, manipulate software and rewire machines in order to do something simple like calculate simple numbers.
On the other hand, my ability to quickly calculate numbers gave me a huge advantage over competitors, who still use pen and paper. Many of them did not make it.
Apple became the largest company in the world by sticking to the mantra of making their products simple to understand. I don’t need to do complicated programming to get an iPad to work; I just click on an application specifically designed to the task I want it to perform.
If I wanted, I could still do programming on an IBM XT. Part of me thinks that I spent years on a skill that is no longer needed.
The better part understands that the skill helped me get a competitive edge and fuel my desire to embrace change.
Most people are afraid of change. They want affirmation from “what everyone else is doing” and don’t want to spend the time and effort to keep on educating themselves. I’ve been as guilty of that as anyone.
I realize that my stalling points in life are when I decided I “knew everything” and got lazy.
As Harry Truman said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
The first key to understanding Truman’s point is to recognize that you are never going to “know it all.”
The second key is that if you aren’t constantly trying to “know it all,” you are going to fall behind.
I see the world with a great divide of have’s and have not’s. I don’t see it as shaped by economics or ideology.
The divide is between people who are hungry to learn and those who aren’t.
The hottest countries on the world stage, like China and India, are fueled by the excitement of people willing to seek knowledge and embrace change.
A simple dynamic fueled their desire. Not long ago, they were two of the poorest countries in the world. They are seeing their quest for knowledge being rewarded with a better lifestyle for their families and themselves.
It’s a lot harder to embrace change when things are going pretty well. It’s also hard when you don’t see an immediate tangible result.
That is where education comes in.
One of my great frustrations of 21st century society is that the study of history is not cherished as it should be.
There is a lot of focus on dealing with the problems of the moment instead of recognizing that someone else dealt with a similar problem decades or centuries ago.
To use another Harry Truman quote, “the only thing new is the history you don’t know.”
That is why I sat and read all 906 pages in the Affordable Care Act. Several times. I read every nuance through the same lens: Where are the opportunities for myself and my clients?
I also viewed it through the lens of a historic event: The interstate highway system.
Just like Obamacare will do, the interstate highway system dramatically changed America.
Those who understood the opportunities prospered. Those who did not went out of business.
Although there were some who made money building roads and bridges, the overwhelming opportunities of the interstate highway system were not on the surface.
One on both sides was Colonel Harlan Sanders. He had a successful restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, right on a main road, until the interstate highway system routed cars in a different direction. Broke at age 65, Colonel Sanders did not curse his bad luck.
He embraced change, such as the mobility of society spurred by the interstate highway system and the rise of fast foods like McDonalds. By teaming up with smart businessmen, like former Kentucky Governor John Y. Brown Jr., Sanders created one of the world’s most successful brands in Kentucky Fried Chicken.
There are immediate opportunities for my clients as Obamacare comes into law. What I am looking for is the less obvious opportunities, just like Colonel Sanders.
As I learned from history, it’s possible for an obscure Kentucky businessman to ride the waves of change to success.
As long as we are willing to embrace change and not be afraid of it.
Don McNay’s fifth book, Life Lessons from the Golf Course, co authored with PGA professional Clay Hamrick, will be officially released April 9 but already a number one bestseller in the golf category.
“It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
SOAR-ing in Eastern Kentucky
By the time many of you read this, I’ll be traveling to southeastern Kentucky, on my way to the SOAR Summit scheduled for Monday in Pikeville (at least if the weather cooperates).
Saying ‘goodbye for now’ to Papaw
This past Sunday night, Heaven gained another angel. My grandfather, John DeBoard, or as I called him, “Papaw,” went to be with the Lord following a collapse at his house.
Love in a tweak or a bushel and a peck
On my lawn mower, string trimmer and leaf blower it only takes a fractional turn of a carburetor adjustment screw to get the small two-cycle engine to run smoothly; a tiny tweak for a perfect purr.
Why and what about America?
So if I were to ask you what defines a holiday, what answer would you give? How would you describe in words what or when a holiday occurs?
School-choice critics intimidate but won’t debate
Ken Wilber wrote: “Most of us are only willing to call 5% of our present information into question (at) any one point.” Then there is the closed-minded leadership of the Kentucky Education Association, Jefferson County Teachers Association, Kentucky School Boards Association and Kentucky Association of School Superintendents who, when it comes to school choice, won’t even question that much.
Be thankful, not greedy this season
I watched several videos from across the country showing feeding time at a zoo for starved, carniverous animals. At least, that’s what it looked like. What it was, in fact, was Black Friday, 2013.
Does Plan B exist for Kentucky’s declining economy?
Frustrated by intense opposition experienced by his ideological soul mate in the White House, Gov. Steve Beshear claims in a New York Times op-ed that Obamacare — the biggest expansion of government power and control in decades — is good for Kentuckians’ health and their pocketbooks.
Want the job done? Hire a woman
Robert Redford may have been on to something when he said during the recent government shutdown that women and young people are the answer to solving gridlock in Washington.
Out of the darkness and into the light
Back in mid-August, I went camping with my wife, Carmen, my mother-in-law, Linda, and our friend Donnie.
Thanksgiving - a daily duty
Over the years I have many times felt a grave disappointment, even a dismay, when attending a Thanksgiving meal in one place or another. It happened when hearing the blessing before the meal – the brief, inarticulate prayer that resounded with insincerity and lack of conviction.
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