While anxiously waiting for a replay, I grabbed the morning newspaper. After reading about a poolside interview he gave the previous day, I no longer needed to see the race. I knew he was beat. Beaten by his thinking. Before he even stood on the starting block.
The experts agree, at elite level - where fractions of a second can separate first and last, mindset is crucial. And if I was Sullivan's coach, I'd be hiring the sport psychologist Michael Phelps uses.
But mindset is not only critical to the success of elite athletes. How we think is critical to the success of us mere mortals too.
One of our members wrote me recently explaining how he was a very accomplished technician, but he would never be an engineer.
My reaction to this was: why not?
And if not, only because you say so.
Why do people limit themselves like this? Sure, there's always obstacles we can point to - reasons why we're stuck where we are. While a teenager, Sullivan had both his hips replaced. He didn't let that stop from becoming an elite athlete and dual world-record holder. But I'm sure he could have. Sounds like a perfect excuse to me. Had he wanted one.
I am always amazed when I come across people involved with hydraulic equipment who can't read a hydraulic schematic. I even know guys with decades of experience in hydraulics who just walk away when a schematic is rolled out.
At some point early in their career they must have decided they could not read them and so they don't. Thinking makes it so.
Contrary to what you may believe, reading schematics is not a difficult skill to learn. And I am convinced anyone who wants to can master it. Today's computer software makes it easier than ever before. But even the latest tools are no help to someone who thinks: "I can't ".
This is not to suggest positive thinking is all that is required for any achievement. On the contrary, thinking positively without backing it up with appropriate action is futile.
A couple of weeks ago I became aware I'd been thinking about two business ideas and a new book project for way too long - with no action. And even though I could think of loads of excuses not to - too busy; too hard; too risky; too complicated - I acted to set all three projects in motion that same day.
Figure out what is holding you back.
Accept no excuses - from yourself or anyone else.
The Nice Things People Say …
"I am compelled to advise you of the wealth of knowledge
I have gained from your literature. It is in fact worth every penny"
Find out more ...
M.M.P, Eng.Tech., C.Tech., M.I.I.E.
Maintenance In Action
How to settle any hydraulics argument|
Earlier this year, I wrote an article for Machinery Lubrication magazine in which I debunked the myth that if the piston seal in a double-acting cylinder is leaking, the piston rod will drift. Fact is, it won't.
One reader, who couldn't grasp the concept, wrote the following to the magazine's editor:
"I will gladly eat my college diploma if Mr. Casey is correct in his assertion that:
"… if the piston seal is completely removed from a double-acting cylinder… the cylinder will hold its load indefinitely unless the rod-seal leaks."
"If what he said is correct, then why do we put seals on the pistons? Maybe the need for piston seals is just another "popular misconception".
I fear that Mr. Casey's assertion will not hold water any better than his cylinder (minus seals)."
Truly, this was the most entertaining reading I've had all week… better than the comics even."
Other people's ignorance rarely bothers me. But frankly I was steamed when I got this. For no other reason than, because his letter had come to me via the magazine's editor, I couldn't just ignore the nitwit.
So I hit reply and started typing. Pretty soon there was heat coming off my keyboard. After several minutes I stopped writing and thought to myself: "This is pointless….a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still…"
Then I did what I should have done in the first place. I opened up my simulation software. And eight minutes later I had a model which demonstrates what actually happens in a double-acting cylinder with a leaking piston seal. I made a video of it and sent copies to my skeptical reader and the editor of Machinery Lubrication.
This video is conclusive because seeing is believing.
And it's definitely worth eight minutes of your time.
Watch the video here.
"Thanks for the great work on the two publications, Insider Secrets to Hydraulics and Preventing Hydraulic Failures. I have been in the hydraulics business for the past 20 years and it's very difficult to find any decent material on hydraulic maintenance, troubleshooting and failure analysis. These two books cover it all in easy to understand language... I conduct hydraulic training courses and plan to purchase copies to distribute to my students to share your practical approach to understanding a not so understandable subject."
Paul W. Craven, Certified Fluid Power Specialist
Motion Industries, Inc.
Why your current maintenance strategy is wrong|
If any aspect of your equipment maintenance strategy is based on linear thinking, it's wrong.
To understand why, read my column in the July-August 2008 Issue of Machinery Lubrication
To receive a complimentary subscription to this informative magazine (US and Canada only) go to:
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About the Author: Brendan Casey has more than 19 years
experience in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of
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information on reducing the operating cost and increasing
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