No pressure

Shaun White's gold medal in the half pipe in the 2018 Winter Olympics will go down as one of the most exciting performances in Olympic history.  Not only did it mark the 100th gold medal earned by the United States in the Winter Games, the manner in which he won was, to say the least, dramatic.  Each competitor in the finals was given 3 runs.  Shaun found himself in silver medal position as he took his position for not only his final run, but the final run of the event.  Japanese snowboarder Ayumu Hirano, who had just completed a nearly flawless run, including completing a trick that had only ever been done successfully in competition once before, sat in gold position. As Shaun moved into position and prepared for his run, he knew he needed the snowboarding equivalent of a buzzer beater or a Hail Mary to win the gold. No pressure, right?

We tell ourselves the same thing sometimes. No pressure. Stay calm. Don't panic. Everything will work out just fine. We try to minimize the p…

One small step for man

Today was a unique day.  It's not every day that a major religious organization changes leadership.  In fact, in the nearly 200 years since the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith, it's only happened 16 times.  That's roughly once every 11 years.  It's only happened 5 times in my lifetime, and really only 4 times that I remember. 
For the LDS faith, the calling of a new prophet and First Presidency feels a lot less like a changing of the guard, and more like the next-man-up mentality held by many sports teams.  When the prophet passes away, the apostle with the most seniority, in terms of years serving as an apostle, not years of life, is called as the next prophet, and life goes on.
Even though a divine pattern for succession has been established and the whole event is predictable, it's still a unique and sacred experience for most members of the church.  We have an opportunity to see the mantle of prophet passed on to another, …

Signs of the Times

As his earthly ministry was coming to an end, Jesus' disciples asked him "what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?"  The Savior then taught them how to avoid being deceived and for which signs they should watch.  
Signs are all around us.  There are signs dotting every road and street, alerting us and helping us stay safe.  There are signs on hiking trails in the wilderness, helping to orient us and keep us on the right path.  There are signs everywhere we look, providing guidance and information, but all of these signs mean nothing unless we look for them, and pay them heed.
The evolution of personal, mobile devices has forever altered the way we receive information.  Gone are the days of watching for signs to tell of forthcoming events.  We no longer look to the skies for an indication of coming weather.  We have an app for that, that will notify us of changes in the weather, and of approaching storms.
We no longer need to remember the dates …

Forget what you know

Software development is a field of constant change.  Just because you know how to do something one day doesn't mean that way will always work, or that there won't ever be a better way. So, go ahead.  Throw it all out.  Toss aside everything you think you know.  Well, maybe not all of it.  Just the pieces that are holding you back and preventing you from learning new things.

We sometimes get stuck in doing something that works just because it works and that's the way it's always been done.  I recently saw a comic depicting a teenage girl stranded on a desert island and in the caption she lamented that she was never going to get off the island because she ran out of rocks before she could complete a message of distress on the beach.  She stared, distraught, at the incomplete message at her feet:  #HEL.

It was good for a laugh, but it also illustrates something that happens to all of us.  This poor girl had been taught by example and experience that printed communication…

Dear Mom

Tomorrow is Mother's Day.  Well, for at least some people.  Ever since I served a mission in Mexico I've been trying to promote the concept of Mother's Day on May 10th every year instead of the second Sunday, but so far no luck.  So, for now, we'll celebrate tomorrow.

I've always found the phrase "words cannot describe" to be a little odd.  When you think about it, words are all we really have to describe something.  But in writing about my Mom and what she means to me, I can appreciate the sentiment.  Words alone do not seem adequate, but since they're all I've got I'll try to use some.
First, I'll borrow some words from Joseph Smith:
"We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely,…

What if there were no rhetorical questions?

Take a second and think about the following question.  What if there were no rhetorical questions?  This would then mean that the question itself merits an answer.  It would mean our brains would need to engage in an activity to which most of our brains are not accustomed.  We would need to answer all questions, regardless of how inane or pointless they may seem.  It would certainly challenge the popular belief that there are no stupid questions.  We only say that because we don't believe that all questions deserve an answer, so we can dismiss some of them without any further thought.

So what would happen if every question was meant to be answered?  What would happen if we had to pause and think and come up with an answer?  Play along with me as we go through some of the most famous rhetorical questions to see what would change if we dispensed with the rhetorical.

Q:  What was he thinking?
A:  This is one of my favorite questions that I have always believed is in no way rhetorical.…

When it's okay to have no goals

It's a new year.  I guess that means it's time to set some goals and resolutions for my life.  Or at least for the next couple of weeks, which is how long most of us remember said goals.  Either way it seemed appropriate to share some things that have been on my mind when it comes to goals.

I've never been incredibly skilled at setting goals.  I tend to either set them impossibly high, which defeats the purpose, or unnecessarily low, which also defeats the purpose.  I realize the potential of goals to help us stretch ourselves to grow and improve, I'm just really bad at finding the right balance between shooting for the moon and hitting the cowpie right in front of me.  So I've done some pondering thinking about what it means to have goals.

I think in it's simplest form a goal is something we want; a desired outcome that carries with it an set of actions necessary to be acheived.  Most of us are really good at defining the outcome but really bad at figuring out…