The magic of thinking big|
When I meet successful people, given the opportunity I ask them to name a book which had a major impact on their life. The author of a new book I recently finished reading answered this question without me asking, by listing the top five books which had influenced his career.
At the top of his list was a book called: The Magic of Thinking Big, first published in 1959 and a book which I first read about 12 years ago. So I decided to dust it of my bookshelf for a quick re-read - a task made easier by the highlighting and notes I made in the margin over a decade ago.
Only when I got to page 209, did I realize this same book made a significant impact on my career as well. At this point the author, David Schwartz, expounds the benefits of self-investment in education:
"Normally, people think of investing in terms of stocks or bonds, real estate or some other type of property. But the biggest and most rewarding type of investment is self-investment, purchasing mental power and proficiency. To get the extra reward above a 'normal' income in the years ahead we must invest in ourselves."
This obviously resonated with me at the time, because the notes I made back then reminded me it was this section of Schwartz's book that motivated me to enrol in an MBA program. And the 'doing' of my MBA lead me to start the business I'm in today. So I'm one of many who owe a debt of gratitude to David Schwartz.
Here in Australia this month, the government will deposit economic stimulus checks into most taxpayer's bank accounts. While it comes with no strings attached, the government hopes people will spend it to give the economy a kick.
Of the total which is spent, I wonder how much will be directed to "self-investment" books and courses versus flat screen TVs and other gadgets. Unfortunately for them, and by extension the economy, a lot of people do not embrace the big-library-instead-of-big-TV principle; do not understand the closed loop between investment and improvement.
But given that everyone seems to understand that in years to come our governments will want this money back - with interest, I'm sure you can guess what I'll be doing with mine.
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Heavy Equipment Mechanic
Since it's April Fools month, here's a couple of trick questions to test and entertain you:
A small shrimp-like animal has a 'hammer'. It uses this hammer to break the shells of the crustaceans it eats. But the hammer does not exert enough force to break the shell on its own. So it creates a small air bubble on the end of the hammer. When the hammer hits the crustacean's shell this air bubble implodes and breaks the shell.
True or April Fool?
Leonardo da Vinci, the genius painter, sculptor, scientist and inventor urged his fellow artists and scientists to "go straight to nature" in the search for knowledge and understanding.
Taking Leonardo's advice, if you wish to understand why cavitation eats away the innards of hydraulic components, look no further than the cavitating shrimp. If a tiny shrimp can use an imploding gas bubble to destroy the otherwise impenetrable defenses of its prey, it's little wonder gas bubbles which implode under high pressure in a hydraulic system can erode case-hardened steel and even softer yellow metals.
The cavitating shrimp is TRUE. As seen on the Discovery Channel and sent to me by Jerry Carlson from Utah - thanks Jerry.
The cylinder in the circuit shown below is drifting. In an effort to isolate the problem, the technician has installed ball valves 1 and 2. When both these ball valves are closed, the cylinder stops drifting. This proves to the technician that the cylinder's piston seal is not leaking and therefore he should replace the directional control valve.
True or April Fool?
This conclusion assumes if the piston seal was leaking, the piston rod would continue to drift with the ball valves closed. But with ball valves 1 and 2 closed, the cylinder's piston seal could be missing completely and the cylinder would still NOT drift. So it is wrong to conclude the piston seal is not leaking.
The technician is an APRIL FOOL.
To understand why, watch this 8-minute video
"This book has the potential to save many
organizations lots of money. It should be on the bookshelf of every engineer, supervisor, planner and
technician who deals with hydraulic equipment... it's worth its weight in gold." Find out more
Alexander (Sandy) Dunn
Plant Maintenance Resource Center
A look over my shoulder|
On this month's Hydraulics Pro Club CD I demonstrate how to troubleshoot integrated hydraulic
circuits - without leaving your desk. On next month's CD, I'll compare tank-line load sensing
with conventional load-sensing and explain which is the better control system and why.
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About the Author: Brendan Casey has more than 20 years
experience in the maintenance, repair and overhaul of
mobile and industrial hydraulic equipment. For more
information on reducing the operating cost and increasing
the uptime of your hydraulic equipment, visit his
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