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"Fragile: don't rock my boat!"

How easy is it to be pushed off balance?

Comparing the death rate per distance traveled per passenger for those traveling by commercial airlines to those traveling by private car (USA based stats), air travel is 750 times safer!

Even if you argued we should not compare distance for distance, but time spent traveling, given that airliners cruise at 500 miles per hour compared to a car's 50 miles per hour, the airlines still come out 75 times safer per passenger hour!

Why is car transportation so fragile compared to traveling by commercial airlines? 

Fault tolerant

I suggest that a major factor is that commercial aircraft have been designed to be much more fault tolerant than have cars. Although the even more important factor is that the checklist procedures and protocols that the crew of a cockpit have been trained in and are required to follow are much more fault tolerant than hardly any of us car drivers would dream of coming up with or following.

Although driving safely is an important topic, that's not the major take-away from visiting this suite.

How fault tolerant have you designed your life?

How often do you cancel or re-schedule appointments? How often do you have to keep adjusting your plans because "something came up"? How often are you late? How often do you miss appointments without letting the others know that you need to re-schedule?

How often do your plans fall out because of not getting enough sleep? How often are you taken out of commission because of a headache or getting sick? 

How vulnerable are your plans to other people's needs or demands that often occur unexpectedly? How often do you procrastinate and then everything else has to take the backseat so that you can pull the rabbit out of the hat once again? How often do you get your back to a wall because of promises you made to others?

How often does something urgent push out the important? How often do you make plans but when the time comes to follow through, you just can't make yourself do it? 

How often do the expressions "have to," "need to," or "should" pop up in your thoughts or speech?

How often do you have thoughts like these?

"I hope things go like they should, otherwise..."

"If everything goes as planned, things will be okay."

"As long as Aunt Mary doesn't start complaining about her health, it could be a happy get-together."

"I know my plans didn't work out before, but I'm hoping it will be different this time."

"I feel so bad about messing up last time, I don't think I'll let it happen again."

"As long as God doesn't interfere with my plans, things should be fine."

Every time there's a "mistake," there are two things to fix

"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

—Albert Einstein

  1. Fix or clean up the problem just made.

  2. Identify and implement what would make similar problems much less likely to occur again in the future.

Many of us just muddle through trying to repair the problem we just made, but rarely stop to take the time to identify and implement what would make such problems less likely to reoccur in the future. We don't stop to learn from our mistakes, often thinking it's just a one-off mistake or there's really nothing we could have done to prevent it in the first place.

How can we be so myopic!?

Four new habits/structures t0 remove 90% of the fragility caused by your recurring breakdowns


  1. Get your memory out of your head. Create the simple habits to consistently follow through on maintaining and using an external system of reminders so that "lack of task awareness" is rarely a problem anymore.

  2. Plan your day and your life with time buffers. Underpromise to yourself and to others.

  3. Set up your income and outgo so that you have significant money buffers.

  4. Practice and become adept at undoing expectations, but more importantly learning to not develop expectations to begin with.

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