It is good to have faith and convection about the life you are leading and the things you are doing. It is good to be a part of a team that is making a difference and leaving the world better than they found it. It is great to be successful in Life, Business and as a Leader. All of these things are good, but they can lead to a dangerous place. Sometimes we begin to fall victim to our own ego. Sometimes we start believing our own hype. Sometimes we drink our own Kool-Aid.
Let me start by saying, it is good to be creative, focused, a big thinker, a big dreamer, a visionary and a leader as long as we keep our egos in check. I have been there; I have admitted there is a fine line between arrogance and confidence. Sharing your ideas, building a team, having measures of success can lead to tension; it can lead to tough decisions. We can begin to believe we are more than who we really are and lose sight of where our talents came from in the first place. Leadership is a tricky place to be sometimes if you forget to appreciate that it was a team that made you look so good in the first place.
Sometimes being humble can be a tricky thing also. I was reading a book a leadership where they told the story of a man who was unselfish and humble. The town appreciated him so much they gave him a badge that said, “Most Humble Man in Town.” The man wore the badge so much that the town took it away from him. Sometimes people will wear their badges of poverty and suffering like a badge of honor. Is that not just as bad as being an arrogant leader? I say it is… if you are drinking your own Kool-Aid.
They say that “Pride goes before the fall.” Who are “they” anyway? What takes more faith, to act on your God-given talents or to say God will take care of it and if he doesn’t it just wasn’t meant to be? Why would God give you a vision if you are not supposed to act on it and take some ownership? Now before you take all the credit or put all the blame on God, take a minute to soak this in. Are you drinking your own Kool-Aid? Do you believe your own press? Are you going to be the victim of your own hype?
The easiest way to not fall victim to your own success is to be truly thankful for the gifts and talents that you have been given. Another way is to give back as much and often as you can, not just when people are taking pictures. And a third way is to spend time helping people who do not know who you are, just help them because they need help. If you can stop and reflect on how lucky and how fortunate you are, maybe you might not drink your own Kool-Aid.
I remember when I was a kid. I remember learning to run and learning to ride a bicycle. I remember falling many times before learning how to ride that bicycle; and once I learned how to ride a bike I felt that it was worth every cut, scrap and bruise from falling off. Learning to ride a bicycle felt like learning to fly, even though I did not know what flying felt like.
Welcome back to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Today I call upon my childhood memory of racing airplanes with bicycles. Do you remember that perfect summer day when you were a kid? Do you remember the sun shining in the deep blue sky? I remember looking up into the clear blue sky and seeing airplanes flying over head. I remember trying to chase them, and race them on my bicycle. I remember riding my bicycle and wondering what it would be like to fly away in an airplane. I would try to keep up with those airplanes to the end of the block or down the street until they were gone out of sight. I remember racing airplanes with bicycles.
I remember dreaming of flying. I remember wanting my life to be full of jet planes and limousines. At the time I did not know why but I dreamed being rich and famous. Know I dream of helping others. Now I dream of helping others live their dreams. I lost my dreams and had to find them again. Now I dream of helping others find their dreams again. I dream of racing airplanes with bicycles. It is my crazy belief that if people will work together than we can live our dreams. Have you ever tried to build a platform that will help others before you help yourself? That is part of my new dream. To find a way to help others pull together, so that if everyone pulls together than everyone wins together. I want to be a part of that victory. I want to be a part in helping others win. Sometimes it feels like I am back on my bicycle, racing with airplanes.
Many times I have gotten on airplanes and travelled halfway around the world and back. Many times I have gotten on airplanes to travel hundreds of miles per hour. Every time I sit next to the window, I look down at the ground and se the world passing by below. To think everything I am looking down from that Airplane, their may be a kid out their riding their bicycle chasing and racing the airplane I am riding in. In many ways I am still just a kid on a bicycle racing with airplanes. I am racing airplanes with bicycles and you can also. Have you ever believed you could fly just by riding a bicycle? Do you remember what it was like to dream the big dream before someone told you to be realistic and aim for a lower goal?
If I can help people recapture their dreams, if I can help people help themselves; than I can still race airplanes with bicycles. I can still ride like the wind and feel like I am flying. You can too. Stop worrying about what other people are telling you and start listening to the inner voice inside of you. Start listening to that inner voice that has been there since you where a child. Listen to the voice that told you that you could run faster and ride faster and spread your wings and fly. The one that has been their before you fell victim to the cares of this world. Listen to the voice that leads you and guides you, not the one who pushes and pulls and tugs at you. Listen to the voice that brings happiness and peace, not the voices that causes you worry and pain. Recapture that dream you had when you were a kid.
Dare to Race Airplanes with Bicycles!
Happy Thanksgiving! No I am not late with this greeting, I believe we should give thanks everyday or any given date, not just one fixed day on the calendar. I think we all have something to be thankful for and the best way to give thanks is to give back.
You may be reading this post during the holiday season, or you may be reading this post on any given day at any given time. Do you have any reason to be thankful? If you do, and I think you do; than I also think the best way to give thanks is to give back. Get involved in community service. Help the people who have less than you.
So during the holidays people give money to good causes which is great, and people give gifts to family and friends which is also great. Why not also give your time to help others? Why not use your talents to help others? I am always putting money in the change jars at the corner stores. I leave my pennies instead of taking them. I may not have a lot to spare, but I am always pitching in my spare change, and a couple of extra dollars for good measure. I have debt, but I also try to give back because I am grateful for what I have. I give back and it does make me feel good, but giving your time to help others is even better.
Given your time shows you care. Giving your time also helps you appreciate what you have. It makes you appreciate more than just your money; it makes you appreciate the gifts and talents you possess. Hopefully it also makes you appreciate your health and the fact that each new day is another chance for you to use your talents.
So I am not late for Thanksgiving, I think you can give thanks any day. I don’t want anyone to lose sight that the holidays are more than just giving money or gifts, it is also about giving you time. Give your time to help others. Give your time to help further the causes you support. Don’t just throw your money at a problem; help be a part of the solution. It may help you appreciate the things you have been given. No matter where we are in life, we can always help others. Helping others makes the world a better place for all of us. Give back to give thanks!
Two years of Blogging. It goes quick, and it goes slowly. Two years of 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. So many words typed and so many typos. Thank you for sticking with me. If it made sense to you then I did something right. If it did not make sense, back to the drawing board. No not really. If it did not make sense to you, maybe it wasn’t supposed to make sense to you.
This blog, 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo was never meant to be perfect and it never will be perfect. It is not written to a formula. I do not have proof readers and editors. Maybe it is just meant to be what it is… it is my stream of consciousness and my observation on this life we are passing through. I am learning by doing and I hope you will do the same. If I had all the answers I would be a best-selling author by now. I am looking for answers and sharing my thoughts along the way.
I am convinced that each of us have a gift. I believe each of us have a talent that we did not earn, it was given to us. We can argue over where the gift came from, I say if came from God. I think the best way to honor you gift is to practice your talent, get around people with whom you can find common ground and let your talent show. Let your light shine. Put yourself on display in a positive way, where you are hurting no one and helping those around you.
So I blog, and I work and I try to learn and mentor and coach others. I try to have a positive impact when doing the things I love. It seems I drive the people I love crazy, but it is because I am convinced even when those around me are not. Give it a try, spread good news and tell people to chase the big dream. Some people will call you crazy. Some will call you a dreamer (which is a compliment.) Others may talk behind your back (ask yourself if you really want friends like that?) Some people will actually be happy for you, and some may actually help you live your dream (those are your real friends.)
Who am I anyway, I am just some guy on the internet trying to spread good news. Pretty much a few times a week for the last two years I have posted on this blog. It went fast, but it was also a grind. Sometimes I would get ten posts ahead, other times like lately I have struggled to post once a week. Time flies when you are having fun and life will get in your way. You may not get paid a dime to chase your dreams; will you let all those things stop you or will you learn by doing?
Two years of blogging and I am still at it. I haven’t been paid a dime to chase my dreams, but I will still chase them. And I will ask you to chase your dreams. It is what I do. Hopefully that if anything has gotten through, that has gotten through. Maybe that is all I was ever supposed to do, all typos aside. If you can’t get past a typo here and there you are really missing the point.
All of us have dreamed about it. Who hasn’t wondered about Limousines and Private Jets as their mode of transportation? What would it be like to live like the Rich, the Famous and the Powerful for just one day even? Today I was lucky enough to get the First Class Upgrade.
I know what it is like to not have a car, and to walk to work or ride a bicycle in the rain. I know what it is like to work two jobs and drive a late-model car that is reliable but has no flash. I know what is like to be broken down on the side of the road to and from job number one or job number two. I know what it is like to ride the bus, and I know what it is like to fly back and forth on business trips. No matter what way I travel I still see a world that needs hope. No matter if by bus, plane or car I know there are people who are trying to better themselves and people who are down on their luck. I know there are people who appreciate all that they have and people who don’t appreciate anything. I know this exists on all levels; those who walk, those who bike, those who ride busses, those who drive and those who fly, even here in First Class. I know that no matter where you are the world needs hope, and people should appreciate what they have and continue to strive to make things better.
Don’t just try to make things better for yourself by taking advantage of others. No, I am talking about trying to make things better for everyone around you. Spread Good News and the best advice possible. Go the extra mile, volunteer, coach and mentor. Be the best you can be no matter where you are at this moment in time. Yes, the First Class Upgrade is nice, but my day-to-day life will not change because of it. I will still go back to the same car, same family, same job and basically the same life. That does not mean I will give up trying to better myself and help anyone who asks for my help.
Yes, it would be nice to be able to afford First Class all the time, it would be even better to be able to take my loved ones on trips with the First Class Upgrade. So the upgrade, though earned by many miles of flying coach does not make me feel entitled, but does leave me inspired. Can I help make the world a better place, so that I can pamper the ones I love with First Class Upgrades? The key to it is treating people in a First Class way no matter where you are at the time. Pay things forward. Leave a penny instead of taking a penny. Give your spare change to that charity. Volunteer once a month or more. Coach, mentor and train others in areas that you are strong. Don’t be afraid to ask for help in areas you are weak. Always try to find ways to make things better than you found them. Be the First Class Upgrade in someone else’s life.
What does it take? How do you know you are on the right path?
I guess it takes faith.
I guess it takes patience.
I guess it takes understanding.
I guess it takes love.
I guess it takes truth.
So I am seeking truth. I am seeking not only knowledge but wisdom. I am learning how to love on a less conditional level. I am not well enough equipped to love unconditionally, but I can be happy for people as long as their pleasure is not the cause of my pain. I try not to be the cause of others pain.
I am trying to be a better listener and I am trying to understand where others are coming from. I am trying to look at things from more angles and more perspectives. Some things I still do not understand though. If you say you love someone, would you and should you not do everything you can for them? It takes patience so it seems.
I am not the best with patience. I am trying though. I am trying to believe in something bigger than myself. I am trying to believe in something bigger than you and me. I believe in the power of us. I believe that everyone working together can get a lot more done than everyone working separately. So let us work together. I think that is what God wants us to do anyway.
So the right path is the best path for everyone. The right path is that path that makes things better for everyone. The right path harms none. The right path is grounded in patience, understanding, love and truth. So it takes truth, it takes love, it takes understanding and it takes patience and faith.
I guess that is what it takes.
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I would like to take a minute to come up with a new Acronym, or at least change an Acronym that is familiar to me. I am an Engineer, and in the Engineering world E.C.R stands for Engineering Change Request. I would like to retool that Acronym for the Leadership world and state that the New and Improved E.C.R stands for Engage, Challenge and Reward.
For me having and Engineering background and trying to learn to become a better leader is a natural fit. Some people may not understand what Engineering has to do with Leadership. Engineering is basically applying science to solve a problem. Leadership is as art and a science to help people reach their goals. Leadership implies there is a team and a goal and vision and maybe a deadline that needs to be met. So I think the term E.C.R – Engage, Challenge and Reward is a great little system and a great little acronym all leaders should remember.
Engage the team. A leader should learn how to engage their team members. A leader should be able to not only communicate a vision, but also be able to take input from their teammates. A leader needs to establish open lines of communication. A leader should try to make a good experience for everyone on the team. Learning how to engage people is step one in becoming a good leader. A good leader must engage the team.
Challenge the team. Set a goal that is not a give me, automatic, no way you are going to miss it goal. Set a goal that is going to take some effort. The first time you do this it should be a small goal with a short time frame. It has to be a goal that is in plain sight, but will take an effort to reach. See if the team will stretch out of their comfort zone to reach a goal. A good team likes to be challenged. A great team loves to be challenged. A good leader knows how to challenge their team. I great leader knows how to break a big challenge into a series of small challenges.
Reward your team for reaching their goal. It is ok to reward good effort, it is better to reward accomplishments and effort. If you fall short of your goal but your team gave it’s all reward them. If you team gives it all and reaches it goal, reward them a little more. No individual reward should out weigh the efforts and the accomplishments of the team. A great leader understands the system of balance that is required to keep a team motivated and also feel appreciated. All reward with no effort will lead the team to feel entitled. All effort with no reward and the team will lose moral. To keep a team fully engaged, the challenges and rewards must go hand in hand.
Step one. Engage your team. You may find some people do not want to head in the same direction as you are heading. It is better to part ways early than to waste each others time. No hard feelings; just wish them the best and move on with people who want to head in the same direction. Open, honest communication is the key to go engagement.
Step two. Challenge your team. Some people will not want to be challenged. Again, it is better to find out early who wants a challenge and who does not. If people do not fit, it is better to let them go before they damage the spirit of the team that does want to be challenged. Try to work with everyone, but not everyone will want to grow and stretch themselves. Again, it is better to part ways with no hard feelings than to try to head off in every direction at once.
Step three. Reward you team based on efforts and accomplishments. Again, find balance. The reward for reaching your goal combined with good effort should be great than the reward for great effort alone. Try to find that balance that keeps your team in engaged, but still is a challenge.
This is the E.C.R. of Leadership; Engage, Challenge and Reward your team. Yeah, yeah it is all just a theory. If you have read this and it makes sense to you, maybe you will give it a try?
These are my Top 3 Problems; these are my Top 3 Obstacles to becoming a better person, a better Leader and maybe one day a World Famous Motivational Guru; even though I will take being a Motivational Guru who is making a difference one person at a time. I admit it, I have to learn to control my anger, be more patient and become a better listener. The more I reflect and explore these things; the more aware I become that they are connected.
We have all heard it before, count to ten before you get angry. I have heard it before, but I challenge if that is enough. I say it is not. Problems do not go away because you wait a minute or because you tune them out. Problems go away because you deal with them. In dealing with problems, I become impatient; I sometimes overstate my position driving home the facts; and I can get angry when I am misquoted or misrepresented about things I say over and over again vs. one off remarks that may be meant to be funny or ironic. So how do I address these problems without ignoring them or waiting for them to pass over?
1: Tell the truth and ask for the truth in return.
2: Focus on the problem not the person.
3: Seek to understand first.
4: If something does not add up, ask for more information.
5: Clearly state goals and objects up front
6: Be flexible before making final decisions
7: Seek extra input
8: When in conflict seek a neutral party to help both sides understand each other.
9: Let people know when they are crossing lines or making things personal.
10: If you just can not agree, or agree to disagree; use only trusted sources as go betweens.
First and foremost, not every problem can be solved, so not every conflict can be resolved. Let’s face it, in the sad history of the world; war is big business. Is what you are fighting for worth dying for? Many have given their lives for King, Country, Creed, Race and Religion and we still can’t agree. Now with that being said, there are many things we can agree on; so we should try to find an answer, resolve our differences and move forward for the common good.
1: Tell the truth and ask for the truth in return. Many differences can be resolved because someone is spinning the facts or just plain lying. Be the first person to offer up the facts, even if the facts may make you look bad. I think the truth is always the best answer. Offer the facts, offer the truth and ask for the truth in return. This can solve or at least avoid a lot of conflicts, in my opinion.
2: Focus on the problem not the person. People are different. We come from different backgrounds and have different experiences and different opinions. If you focus on the problem and not the person, you may be able to resolve your differences in a quick and easy solution. This only works if people are willing to tell the truth.
3: Seek first to understand. Sometimes people see things different ways. The way you see things will make sense to you, but can you make sense of the other person’s point of view? Can you understand what they are going through and why? Seeking first to understand can help resolve differences before they even arise in some cases. This takes listening skills and patience, but if people can come to an understanding up front; it is well worth it.
4: If something does not add up, ask for more information. Again this takes patience and listening skills, but if things are not adding up in your mind ask for more information. This goes back to items, 1, 2 and 3; but why let a problem fester and grow if a little extra information will clear the air?
5: Clearly state goals and objects up front. If we do not agree where we are heading in the beginning, than sooner or later; some one will object to where we end up. A lot of confusion can be avoided if everyone can clearly state their goals and objects up front. We may agree to disagree and move forward down separate paths. But if two or more people are trying to coexist; it is very important for everyone to know the ground rules.
6: Be flexible before making final decisions. You can’t take the hard-line on everything. Be flexible, life is about give and take. Life should never be one-sided all give no take, or all take no give. Don’t be a dictator, but don’t be a victim either. If we can not find a way to be better off together than what is the point of working together? Be flexible, go back through Items 1 to 5, have patience and be a good listener; it will pay off in the end.
7: Seek extra input. Call this double checking, but ask for extra input again. Make sure everyone understands the ground rules. Make sure everyone agrees with the facts. Is everyone in understanding? If not ask for a neutral third-party to take an objective look. This is not the time for stacking the deck with yes men on one side or the other. This is taking a second look to make sure everyone is still in agreement.
8: When in conflict seek a neutral party to help both sides understand each other. OK, you have been patient, and you have been a great listener and you have gone through Items 1 – 7 and something still is not adding up. Can everyone come to the table with a neutral third-party and work things out? Whomever does not want to be Open, Honest, Focus on the Problem and Not the Person may very well be the problem. I am not attempting to say I can solve all the problems in the world. I am just stating that this is the point where people either work things out, or agree to disagree and hopefully leave each other alone. I don’t want to be the cause of your problems. I also don’t want someone else to be causing me problems for whatever reason. If we can’t work things out, maybe we just need to admit we can not find common goals, common ground and move on.
9: Let people know when they are crossing lines or making things personal. Sometimes people do not realize they are crossing lines. Give them the benefit of the doubt, but also make it plain and clear they have crossed a line. Don’t avoid it, don’t laugh it off; or it will happen again and again and again. Address it. Then go back through Items 1 to 8 if you need to; yes this will take patience. Do I do this all the times? No, I admit this can sometimes be a fault of mine. I am trying to get better. Why do you think I am typing this post?
10: If you just can not agree, or agree to disagree; use only trusted sources as go betweens. Sometimes people just can’t work out their differences. I do not have all the answers. I will say this… if you have to work with someone you always seem to be in conflict with; always make sure trusted, neutral sources are present. Sorry, it is just the way things are sometimes. If you have gone through Items 1-8 and made them habits, it will rarely come to this; but the more important things get, one day you will face this challenge. Not everyone tells the truth, do not put your trust into someone who may have ulterior motives. If people can not be open and honest; maybe you should not trust them. If things just don’t add up, maybe you should listen to that inner voice that is telling you to take a second look.
Is this a long post? Yes. Is this a long process? Yes. This process takes patience. That is why I admit I am working on my patience. This process takes listening skills. That is why admit I am working on my listening skills. See this is all about preventing a fire, instead of having to put out a fire and then doing damage control. When all is said and done, losing control of your temper is a waste of time, resources and could do damage to good working relationships. Why not put out the fire before it starts. Take a moment, and ask yourself; what makes me angry. Then work backwards from there. If there was more understanding, more patience, and open and honest communication; many conflicts can be avoided.
Dart and Dominoes are two games that require you to look at the big picture and to also focus on one thing at a time. Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. Today’s post, today’s topic is can you focus on one thing at a time while also keeping an eye on the big picture? Darts and Dominoes:
The bottom line on darts is you can only throw them one at a time. Yes, there is a big picture of what game you are playing, how you are scoring and if you need to call you shots or can you use blind luck to score points. All that being said, or typed, blogged and posted; you can only throw one dart at a time and you have to keep your eye on the big picture. So to be successful at chasing your dreams, you have to take one step at a time while keep your eye on the big picture. See I always work my way back to chasing your dreams.
In darts you can get hung up on hitting the “Bull’s Eye” every time. This rarely leads to a winning strategy. You see a lot of games are based on hitting certain numbers in certain orders. While the Bulls Eye is a popular target, the most points are scored in the Triple Twenty Spot. So once again, one dart at a time, all while keeping your on eye on the big picture.
When you are chasing you dreams, you need to have a Big Goal, then you need to break this goal down into smaller goals and set deadlines. You need to hit each deadline, each smaller goal on the path to the Big Goal. The game may change a little along the way, but you have to reach each smaller goal to get to the big goal. Throw one dart at a time and reach one goal at a time all the while keeping your eye on the big picture.
As a kid who did not love putting a bunch of dominoes in a row and then knocking them over, watching them fall one at a time. Again, looking at the big picture but knocking down steps one at a time. Domino is a game of skill, and knocking over a bunch of dominoes is fun but it takes a lot of patience and a steady hand. It takes a long time to set up a bunch of dominoes, and it only takes a little while to knock them over. Kind of like life isn’t it. A lot of planning and effort goes into something that can be lot’s of fun even if only for a short time. So is all that planning and effort worth it? Of course it is… but you can not short-circuit the process. You can not knock the dominoes if you are only half way done. Even if you knock them over by accident, to reach the big picture you will have to start over. Sometimes our plans fail and sometimes we fall short. Sometime we have to start over, but just like dominoes; when you finally get it done it is worth it. Can you be patient and have a steady hand, not knocking over the dominoes before their time; all the while keeping you eye on the big picture?
Again, Big Dream, Big Picture, can you reach your goals one domino at a time? Can you keep a steady hand and not knock down the dominoes before you get everything set up? If you make a mistake, are you willing to start over? Are you willing to take a long time to plan and set up all those dominoes for a very short amount of time having fun? Will it be enough? Can you find satisfaction after all of the effort you put in to setting up all those dominoes? If the answer is “Yes” then get started?
Darts and Dominoes each require that you do two things; keep you eye on the big picture, but also to do things one step at a time. Can you do this? Can you do things one step at a time while keeping you eye on the big picture? This is what it takes to chase your dreams. Keep your eye on the Big Picture, but also break things down to one step at a time.
Welcome to 60 Seconds of Motivational Mojo. I try to find a positive spin on a daily basis. I try to post on an average of 3 times a week. So after almost two years of blogging, I have noticed I have a strange take on thing sometimes. Maybe my humor is not for everyone. I don’t need that much pressure to try to make everyone happy or like me. So today’s topic “The Wannabe, Has Been and Never-Was” may seem strange to some. Try to give it a minute and see if you can get through it.
A Has Been is someone whose fame has peaked. Now a lot of time a Has Been is made fun of by the younger and cooler people who come after them. No it is not fair, but it is part of this cruel dog eat dog world we live in. One thing I can say for the Quote – Unquote “Has Been.” They chased their dream and got to live in some Real or Nightmare version of it. They took their shot. The Morality Lesson that should be learned is that fame is fleeting and you must adjust to life after being “Number One.” Those who adjust are celebrated; those who don’t can lead tragic lives or worse end up in tragic deaths.
A “Wannabe” carries a mixed meaning: 1) One who aspires to a role or position, or 2) One who imitates the behavior, customs, or dress of an admired person or group. Those of you whom have read my posts before know where I am going with this… Chase your dream not someone else’s. It is ok to aspire to a role or position. This is what I am spending my days encouraging. Dream and dream big; so go out there and be a “Wannabe” but back it up. Action speaks louder than words. You have to be you, not try to be someone else.
The “Never-was” is a sad story in itself: one that has attained no rank, success, or eminence. The only thing worse than being a Never-was is the regret of not trying. Day after day I blog that you must get out there and try, if you can’t reach your dream; at least help others reach theirs. Life is full of small victories. Sometimes we get so caught up in making it to the top of the heap we forget about great things that happen along the way. Helping others, learning something new, making new friends and teaching a kid to get up and try again. The only way to be a “Never-was” is to never try.
So you may ask where is the positive spin? You should be able to see it plain as day. Never give up. Never stop trying. It is ok to be called a “Wannabe” as long as you are doing you own thing. Never let someone else define you or stop you from trying. It is ok to be called a “Has Been” as long as you can adjust to the fact that you can’t stay on top forever, but at least you got there, even if it was only for a short time. After you make it to the top, maybe you should try to help others find their way. You may find out, you can hang around longer if you are willing to help others. It is even ok to be called a “Never-was” as long as you made an honest run at it. The only truly sad option is the “Never tried.” Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been” Kurt Vonnegut