Category: Inspiration

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” – King Solomon

This Proverb from the King James version is perhaps better translated as, “If there is no prophetic revelation, the people will cast off restraint”  The verse finishes with “but blessed is he who keeps the Law.”

The point is without a focus on true north, chaos ensues, social order breaks down.

Have a great 2015!


Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“When it is dark enough you can see the stars.” – Charles A. Beard

This one came from the great series, “From The Earth To The Moon.”  The series showed the glories and victories of NASA’s journey to the Moon but it also shared the failures, which were numerous.

A corollary is this, “It’s always darkest before the dawn.”

When you are headed down a path, you have set up all your assumptions and milestones on which you’ve built your hope.  Then you hang on.  This produces all the great stories of loyalty and perseverance.

But sometimes, it takes a total meltdown in order to see new potential.  As long as you head down a certain path, you are focused on what’s in front and not so much on what’s around you.  Deadlines, deadlines, deadlines.  The tasks make us feel like we’re making progress.  Robin Williams in “Dead Poet’s Society” made his students stand on their desk to get a different perspective.

Once a week or once a month, stand on your own desk (whatever that means to you) and take a look around.

BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure some of them are dirt.” – John Muir

Today I am backpacking in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  Hiking in the woods is where I think; or not.  It’s where problems get solved in my subconscious.  It’s where the Creator reminds me that there is something more.

Our lives are so full of noise.  It’s getting worse and worse.  It’s good to get away.  From people.  From technology.

Take the time to be alone and to be quiet.


BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“Can you imagine Steve Jobs showing up for a paycheck? It’s nice to get paid. It’s essential to believe.” – Seth Godin

Sooner or later you will face a crisis of belief.  It seems to happen more often these days and it shows up everywhere.  A revered leader is dismissed over hubris and egotism.  A venerable church splits over a contemporary moral issue.  A veteran teacher struggles with a new job evaluation process.  A loyal employee is laid off due to a decision made in another city over numbers on a spreadsheet and shareholder value.

Crisis reveals hidden truth.  You learn what people really believe when their credibility is at stake and it’s surprising to learn how indifferent and selfish we tend to be.

Adjust your lifestyle to accommodate mobility and flexibility.  Save money in the good times.  When it all goes to hell, then go make your own meaning.  In fact, just go make your own meaning, period.

Read Tribes by Seth Godin

BloggingGazelle is publish daily by Shawn Carson



“Everything that can be invented has been invented.” – Charles H. Duell, US Commisioner of Patents, 1899

There are a few more patents than there were in 1899.  I’m not sure what the sentiment was that led to this comment but there is a point to be made for the innovator and the entrepreneur.

There’s a good chance that the solution to the problem you are trying to solve has been applied in some other context.  One of the more interesting examples is an athletic shoe designer who applied an idea from a suspension bridge to solve a structure to weight problem.

Shoe Bridge Design

Innovation is not necessarily about invention.  Look around you.  Look above, below and around the problem. Get a different perspective.  Ask people outside the problem. You may find someone has probably already done the work for you.

Standing on Desk


BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you….” – William Bernbach

The quote goes on, almost like a poem really:

“The truth isn’t the truth until people believe you,

and they can’t believe you if they don’t know what you’re saying,

and they can’t know what you’re saying if they don’t listen to you,

and they won’t listen to you if you’re not interesting,

and you won’t be interesting unless you say things imaginatively, originally, freshly.”


Whatever you do, learn to tell a good story.  The truth depends on it!


BloggingGazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson

“We’re gonna fix it till it works!” – Connie

The conversation took place at an entrepreneurial symposium at a national lab.  A researcher named Connie was talking about her research in the context of starting a company.  Her excitement was contagious as she was applying what she had learned about customer needs to the development of the technology she hoped to be the basis of a future startup.  She said, that the prototype didn’t perform the way she wanted it yet but said “We’re gonna fix it till it works!”

Her determination was inspiring.  She had made the transition from proving what is possible to delivering a solution to a problem.  She’s an entrepreneur.

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

There was a report on NPR about a town in Wisconsin where 90% of the people there have living wills.  The national average is around 30% so the reporter set out to find out why.  Her efforts led to one guy who is a medical ethicist at the local hospital, whose job included helping families make difficult decisions at end-of-life.  He set out to try to make the process easier by encouraging people to consider filling out a simple living will form when they first get sick.  The hospital staff caught on and now 9 out of 10 people have a living will.

There was another story about organ donations in Michigan, which ranked 44th in the country.  Within the last few years, they have increased organ donor registrations to 7th place in the country.  The short version of this fascinating story is that they figured out how to enlist the DMV workers to simply ask everyone if they wanted to sign the organ donor card.  Period!

Change starts with individuals who set out to solve problems they face everyday.

Sounds like entrepreneurship to me.

Blogging Gazelle is published daily by Shawn Carson