Predicting 2035 for My Granddaughters

2035 is 15 years from now.  My current granddaughters Harper and Olivia will be 16 and almost 20 respectively. Those are good ages to imagine for predicting what their lives will be like at that time.  Below are 10 such predictions.

  1. Their educational experience after high school will not involve attending a traditional college or university

    Instead, some combination of a future trade school and internships will equip them for entering the workforce

  2. They won’t own a car

    I only assess a 50% chance that they will even learn to drive a car

  3. They will get a broad-spectrum immunization that covers a huge quantity of pathogens

    Better yet, it will have some ability to self-adapt to protect against mutations of many known viruses

  4. Their annual wellness check will first involve a cheek swab at home that, after lab analysis, will detect early onset cancers and other non-pathogen caused ailments

    I have a feeling it might also be able to detect various DNA mutations that need to be further investigated

  5. Augmented reality will be so widespread that they don’t even notice it

    Much like today’s young adults that grew up with a smart phone in their hand perceive it like a body appendage

  6. They won’t own or use a cell phone

    At least not in the form factor that we think of it today.  I don’t know if it will be embedded under their skin or be on a necklace they wear, but it won’t look like a current smart phone with a screen.

  7. They won’t use paper currency

    Actually, they will almost never even see it being used by others

  8. They will be able to fly from Austin to New York City in 1 hour and to Paris in 2 hours

    Assuming they can afford it

  9. They will watch humans land on the surface of Mars

    Multiple such flights will occur over a period of several years in an attempt to create a perpetual settlement there

  10. They will have a robot at home

    I’m not sure what duties this robot will perform but they will ask questions of it naturally and command it to do various things

Welcome to my new Granddaughter, Harper McKenzie Greye

Harper:  I am sure you will hear all about this day from your mom and dad, but I wanted you to hear in my own words what your date of birth was like and what’s going on in the world.  I am writing this just a few hours after your birth while on a bus ride to Dallas for some business events.

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A Model for Career Success

Over time, society has increasingly expected instant gratification and uses of an “easy” button to achieve a desired result.  Unfortunately, when it comes to the pursuit of career success, it’s not near that easy.  A lot of time and effort is usually involved.  I’m sure you have a story about a 25 year old that is already a multi-millionaire and that’s great.  Maybe it was pure luck but maybe there was more to it.

The purpose of this article is to give you a framework for visualizing the key ingredients to long-term, personal career success, however you define that term.

Gordon’s Target Model (weightings)

50%  Drive and Determination
20%  Intelligence
20%  Common Sense
10%  Luck

Drive and Determination

It’s clear from the suggested relative weightings above that I place significance on drive and determination.  Otherwise referred to as “fire in the belly”.  It’s amazing how far that can get you if it’s genuine.  What do you do when a door is slammed in your face or someone tells you “no”?   What if those things happen numerous times rather than just once or twice?  Do you lose interest and give up or do you keep charging forward?

How do you get drive and determination?  Well, for many it comes easiest when there is genuine and personal passion for the thing that’s being worked on.  That “thing” could be a problem you’re product solves or a significant benefit it provides.

Another tool to try is positive reinforcement using phrases you say to yourself from time to time, perhaps 10 times each night before you go to sleep or in the morning when you wake up.  You’d be amazed how effective a phrase like “I will do whatever is necessary to reach my goal” is.

What are you willing to sacrifice for long-term career success?  It usually comes at some cost (trade-offs), so I’m not suggesting it’s for everyone.

Intelligence and Common Sense

Let’s talk about intelligence versus common sense, otherwise referred to as “book smart” versus “street smart”.  I strongly believe that 1) they are different things  2) they are equally valuable  3) extra strength in one can help offset a weakness in the other.  Having said this, being strong in both is a HUGE advantage.

An issue to realize is that intelligence can be improved with effort but common sense is mostly ingrained.  Common sense can gradually be enhanced over time but it comes from a collection of life experiences, both personal and business.  Think about the way wisdom is gained over time.


Regarding luck, I don’t want to just flip it out there as some ethereal thing that you have no control over.  In fact, 1st century Roman philosopher Seneca, American President Abraham Lincoln and others are credited with saying that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.

So if you want to influence the 10% I attribute to luck, then engage in “preparation”, which essentially means planning.  Do you have goals?  Have you written them down or communicated them to others?  Have you come up with a plan to achieve your goals and put those plans into some sort of roadmap or phases?  That’s what “preparation” means.

The way I see it:

  • Someone with strong drive/determination and intelligence, moderate common sense (half credit), and decent preparation (half credit for luck) has 85% chance of career success.
  • Someone with strong drive/determination and common sense, moderate intelligence (half credit), and decent preparation (half credit for luck) also has 85% chance of career success.  (notice the only difference is swapping the half credit for intelligence and common sense)
  • Someone that only has strong intelligence, moderate common sense (half credit) and decent preparation (half credit for luck) only has 35% chance of career success.

I realize that life isn’t as analytical as this.  I also realize that it’s extremely hard for people to accurately judge and measure themselves.  But this is actually a suggested thinking and reflection activity rather than an analytical one.

What is “career success”?

I don’t know what career success means to any particular individual but I do feel strongly that these basic guideposts can be used for all that aspire to achieve it.  I also think the results come over time and after some level of consistency in the things mentioned in this article.  Evaluating short windows of time against a career success yardstick might show various ups and downs but the trend towards career success should be positive.

I hope this article gives you a framework to think about and plan for achieving your own career success or helping a friend or loved one do the same.

Home Maintenance Checklist

repairmanOwning home isn’t a “set it and forget it” endeavor.  The better you take care of your home the longer you can go between repairs and replacements that cost a lot of money.  Your home will also be at less risk of fire or accidental flood if you’ll take good care of it.  Below is my personal checklist of home maintenance tasks based on frequency.  I hope you find it helpful.

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Must-Have Tools for New Homeowners

toolsMost new homeowners previously lived in an apartment and surely acquired some basic tools.  But owning a home brings with it numerous new opportunities for do-it-yourselfers that previously were done by the apartment maintenance guy.  Below is my personal checklist for spending your money at Home Depot to outfit your new home.  Warning, the costs add up pretty quickly so get the items you can afford and be prepared for a new trip to the hardware store with each new project to add to the collection.

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