EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

Everyone has a “too hard pile.” (Even I have one!) It’s all that work that sits in a pile by your desk and you never seem to get to it.

I suppose there ought to be a law or something that would prevent us from leaving things in the “too hard” pile for very long. Of course, many of us (myself included) would now be guilty of a crime. (Perhaps a law would be too harsh.)

Anyway, what started me thinking about the “too hard” pile is the constant state of my desk these days. I know I move a lot of the paper on my desk every day, but the pile isn’t going down as fast as it should.

I know the problem isn’t impossible to solve. I just need to get at it and really focus on dealing with the myriad items in the pile rather than just paging through them from time to time and leaving them for later resolution.

I have never believed that any problem was impossible. The impossible just takes a little longer.

A long time ago I heard a story about a farmer who had a large rock in the middle of one of his fields. (I grew up in Indiana and I guess it is now showing through.) It didn’t stick up very high, but it was about 6 feet across. As you can imagine, he was always running into that rock with one of his pieces of equipment. But, rather than fix the problem, he just marked the location of the rock so he wouldn’t run into it. Well, that really didn’t work. When the corn is high in Indiana, you can be lost in a field until the fall harvest. So, after many years of ruining equipment, he finally got mad enough to try to actually solve the problem.

He and a few of his friends loaded up his truck with dynamite, drills, shovels and sledge hammers and headed out to the field. They decided to start by digging around the edge of the rock and blasting off pieces. Much to their surprise as they began digging they discovered that the rock wasn’t all that thick. In fact in less than an hour they were able to break it apart with sledge hammers, load it into the farmer’s pick-up truck and cart it off to the edge of the field. For too many years the farmer had put off doing something about this rock in his “too hard” pile. It had cost him time and equipment.

If only he had addressed the problem when he first discovered it he would have saved himself a lot of time and aggravation.

I think about this story whenever I am faced with something I have put in my “too hard” pile. Is it really impossible? Most unlikely! I think, maybe it is just a thin rock I can break apart with a simple sledge hammer.

Let me load up the truck and check it out. Want to come along?

Regards, Matt

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