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managing Outcomes

by | Feb 2, 2021 | Cat Stevens, manage, Outcomes

First a sincere apology – I managed to write about Healing… 2 weeks back, and lost track.  I originally planned (yes, I can plan…) to write about Healing with Cat, but we detoured through The Partridge Family. The last week or so I have spent in Texas with my family here, working, playing, and generally losing track of anything other than that.  We have gotten involved in projects, and I punted many of my normal responsibilities because… well I can.  Being self-employed has other challenges, but this is one of the benefits…  which helped me come up with a new word that actually fits better for both Cat and my stories – Outcomes

As I was coming of age in Tyler, I realized a number of things that managed my trajectory both through this season and into the better part of my life. My parents didn’t want me to “work” in High School so I could focus on my “job” which was to get good grades, the doorway to much of what would be coming.  Work hard, study hard, and that will pay off with Outcomes… which to be honest were pretty unspecific.  I had decent teachers, challenged myself, and enjoyed school… and I know all of that was a gift that many do not get from many perspectives. And I always had a bit of luck that continues to this day… 

Cat similarly by now had a band, producer, and studios that he leveraged to put out music that is still timeless and speaks to much that is common in the human experience.  Similarly, he applied himself to use his opportunities, and the Outcomes produced a series of top 10 hits, and albums that are still often played.  I had forgotten how amazing just the recordings are – listening on headphones you can hear so many sonic secrets he planted there for us to uncover. 

Our High School was open for lunch so we could get off campus and avoid the terrible cafeteria food and atmosphere.  There was a McDonald’s within walking distance, and you can imagine that when 2000 students descend… even on shifted lunch periods, it was rare to make it there and back and not be tardy.  I had a teacher who had the same lunch period, and we had a decent friendship even with him being a teacher.  He offered to take a group of us to a local sandwich shop, riding in the back of his 72 Chevy Pickup (this shows how this time was..). 

He was a great teacher, if not a little bit of a prima-donna.  I was of course… an angel 😉  And one day, at lunch, after he said something, I said he was stupid.  Probably not my finest hour, and I would love to say that Outcome would not reoccur… but in any case, it meant that I was given an Unsatisfactory in conduct for his class for that semester and my Dad had to plead my case with the Vice Principal.  Not surprisingly, our relationship cooled dramatically, and my parents wisely did not allow me to take his Senior AP Government class… 

… little things in the way you manage yourself can have dramatic effects on Outcomes.  This particularly smart remark is probably completely reasonable for a 14-year-old … and in our current season, likely the teacher would be bludgeoned by helicopter parents.  I am actually glad that didn’t happen.  I did it, I did regret it, and the Outcome was I was unable to be Valedictorian by not taking that class…  or be in the Lee Cannoneers… the premier group of young Men at my school.  This teacher led it, and I knew better than to even try to be in that 8. And to be entirely honest, managing to be in that would have been being an imposter as they were the ultimate “in” crowd…

What are the decisions that you made that managed to create the Outcomes you are currently living with?  And are there new Outcomes that you want to focus on now?  As I have been back in Texas, I am reminded of so many of these little things that have caused me to be where I am now.  And most of all, this week, think about your own Outcome as I give you some insights that I and Cat found helpful.  One thing I have tried hard to manage through all of my trajectories is to never be, what this great song highlights with great sonic imagery… Bitter Blue. 

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