• Rich Honiball

Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.


Early Reflections: Tuesday, December 3rd


Another late night of homework. Another homework assignment completed. One that included a video of six “Beanie Boos” sitting at a business dinner in China exchanging pleasantries and respecting local customs. I played the role of the Chinese Beanie Boos, led by Mr. Sapphire, my daughter represented the business contingent from the United States.


The dinner went well, the business meetings start this morning.


This assignment was completed by 10:30PM, an hour AFTER the “red line” of bedtime. However, it was completed, and it was completed with flourish. We adapted, improvised and managed to overcome this particular obstacle.


I did the same thing yesterday, facing my “mountains”, adapting to the situation, improvising a potential solution, and climbing another few hundred feet of the mountain in front of me. Planning is critical, essential. But the ability to improvise as the situation requires, that is often times the key to success.


It can’t be, as my team will subtly remind me, reckless. If the optimal time to do homework happens to be from 8:00PM to 11:00PM for my daughter, we will have to calibrate around it, and run with it as long as it is working. If we don't make necessary adjustments in other areas, it would be reckless, and we will simply trade off a couple more completed assignments with an exhausted daughter who will fall behind again.


Adapt. Improvise. Overcome.


For the record, this is one of the unofficial motto's of the Marine Corps, and it is actually Improvise, Adapt, Overcome. It is an example of the “Semper Gumby” mentality that I am reminded of by my friend Tom, one that Marines and other branches of the service have to adapt to in order remain agile and battle ready. As near as I can tell, this was made famous by Clint Eastwood in Heartbreak Ridge, though I have to believe it has a history earlier than that.


Back to the point…


Yes, lack of sleep can send me off on a tangent. But another day of progress, a few hundred feet higher. A permanent solution? I am not sure that there ever is one. But we will keep trying!

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