Can You Catch a Frisbee?

Why can a border collie catch a Frisbee easier than you or I can?

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal (Decmenber 21, 2013) by Raymond Zhong entitled, “Andrew Haldane: The Banker Who Cried Simplicity.”

Mr. Haldane, a British banker, wondered why very smart human beings (even ones with PhD’s) have trouble catching a Frisbee when a dog has no problem. He pointed out “catching a Frisbee requires you to process, in real time, a brain-fryingly complicated set of physical and atmospheric factors: wind, gravity, the Frisbee’s rotation and flight path.”

His point was that dogs keep it simple and humans don’t. In other words, less is more.

I think many of us call it “Analysis Paralysis.”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat down to try and decide where to go on vacation but never got anywhere. I would analyze this. I would analyze this. I would compare and compare until I got so tired of the process that I gave up. We would have a very nice “staycation.”

During our normal day of doing business, how many times have you over analyzed a situation or problem? Do you step back at some point and take a break (from thinking)? Do you say to yourself, “Is there a simpler way of doing this?”

Mr. Haldane, a central banker, was using this analogy to describe the complex rules and regulations of the banking industry. But it is something that really needs to be asked in many situations – is there a simpler way?

When I told my father I was writing the walking tour books, his one comment was, “Keep the bloody thing simple.”

I’ve finished the book, “Where Did They Put the Guillotine?” It’s with my editor. The next step is to determine which illustrations, photos, and maps will be included in the book. So I have to devise a simple system to catalogue these so my book designer will know where they go and have an easier time.

For your New Year’s resolution, pick something you want to tackle in regards to making it simpler in 2014. Perhaps catching a Frisbee?

Good luck and good networking.


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