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What We’re Following Today May 22, 2020

Do or Do Not, There is No Try

6 weeks ago we had three substantial trees taken down in our yard, and in order to save some money I asked them if it would be cheaper if they left rounds rather than carting it all away. They said yes, and my summer project was started.

I don’t have a hydraulic splitter, but I also knew I would never have complete days to work on it, so rental of a splitter wouldn’t work. I was going to have to get the rounds processed into firewood 1-2 hours at a time while the girls were napping. I knew it would be a long project but a rewarding one when finished as we would save a few hundred dollars on the cutting, and save a few hundred dollars on firewood. But the project hasn’t just been financially rewarding, it has been spiritually and physically rewarding.

My body usually aches at night on days when I chop, but it’s that good ache. Perhaps it would be “easier” with a hydraulic splitter, but I don’t know it would be “much” faster, especially as I like to get smaller pieces split out. Most cuts are one swing, and I’ve learned all sorts of ways to be more efficient with my strikes (where I should hit to split easier based on the grain). And I can essentially do all the work with three tools, the maul for the bigger pieces and heavier splitting, the 4 pound hammer to drive the mail in if it didn’t split on the first wack, and a sharp axe for the smaller splits or more precise work.

The tools themselves have been around for a long time and do the job nicely. There’s not much improvement over an axe, maul or hammer. My body appreciates the work and gets stronger as I do it (exercise), and I get the satisfaction every day of seeing the chopped wood piles growing and the number of rounds decreasing.

So what’s the point? Well, I guess sometimes we try to plan things out so much, assume we need a special tool in order to complete a project, or get caught up in risk/reward calculations that we forget that it simply might be easier, cheaper, or better for us just to “do” it. I’m fortunate that my body can still do the work, it won’t always be the case, and it reminds me of the versatility of the human machine. It also reminds me that sometimes we forget how effective our own person can be and how effective the tools that were created in the past are to do the task at hand. Sometimes we get caught up in the idea of “trying” to do something faster, more efficiently, or cheaper that we forget about the our own versatility and our ability to “do”. This mentality can sometimes bog us down so much that we lead ourselves into stagnation.

Let’s just point out a couple of examples - who needs checkout employees when people can check out on their own, or scan and check out on their mobile devices? Well what happens when we remove checkout people? We need robots for cleanup? Robots for inventory processing? Sometimes we forget that we can repurpose a human to just “do” many different jobs depending on need and that purpose can change on demand. This is something we should not forget as we continue to develop technology to replace humans and make it seem like there is a new “right” way to do something - sometimes the new technology is just one possible solution, but often we can solve the same problem less expensively by just “doing” the work using old tools already at our disposal.

For Yoda’s famous advice “Do or do not. There is no try...”:

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