Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Commit fully. Be creative. Orient the details.

I spent the  first half of Saturday scouring my house for the GFCI outlet that would allow me to reset the outlets in the master and guest bathrooms as well as the outlets outside of my house. Why these outlets would be wired together is beyond me. The bathrooms are on the opposite sides of the house. They are linked to all of the outlets on the outside of the house. And, the GFCI switch that would allow me to reset that circuit was not in any of those locations. 

For those who don't know, GFCI stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, and they are used on electrical outlets that are close to water - kitchens, bathrooms, garages, outside, etc. Many homes now have GFCI outlets on all fixtures. In my house there are two. 

The first was an easy find. It is in the kitchen and the black and red switches stand out clearly against the white outlet cover. It controls the outlets in the kitchen. 

The other, though, lay hidden for the better part of the day. I searched everywhere. I checked places twice. I looked in cabinets, closets, the attic, outside, everywhere. The geographical distance between and among the interconnected outlets clouded any logical answer.  

Finally, I decided to move my car out of the garage and give my search one last ditch effort. The old college try. Plugs that I knew of in the garage were working fine so despite my skepticism I started moving things so that I could see all of the walls exposed. Luckily, I wasn't into my search for long before I found it: a random GFCI switch outlet in the middle of the wall. 

I pressed the reset button. I went running into the house. I plugged a nightlight into an outlet in the master bathroom. Success. I cheered! I ran to the guest bathroom and did the same thing. Operational. Finally, I ran outside and turned on the fan on the lanai. Three for three. My daughters thought something really exciting was happening and wanted to see the switch I had found in the garage. Even their disappointment in seeing nothing more than an electrical outlet didn't dampen my happiness (although it did add to their belief that their daddy is crazy).

I share this story for four reasons:

1. I do not intend to quit my day job anytime soon. Even though I have two of them, I am not handy.

2. I found success only after I fully committed to the task. Moving my car so that I could actually relocate the boxes in the garage and not just step around them and half-heartedly tip and contort them allowed me to find this electrical needle in a haystack. There were multiple times that I was on the verge of quitting and just calling an electrician. But, I persevered. 

3. My perseverance paid off because I approached this challenge from multiple angles - looking online for tips, getting creative with where I would look, and increasing my level of intensity with each round of searches allowed me to find the switch. We can't just work harder; we must couple this intense effort with a constantly improving approach. 

4. I had to be meticulous in my efforts. I had to look into the minutiae of the circuitry of my house in order to get results. I had to get dirty to remove the junk that stood in my way. I had to search everywhere with precision. No stone could be left unturned. 

This quarter, let's get gritty in our approach to being the best versions of ourselves. Let's focus in on what we're doing with a laser-like scrutiny to find the reset buttons that we need to press in order to find even more success with our students. Let's creatively approach solutions to those obstacles that at first glance and even after three quarters have seemed beyond our grasp. 

Commit fully. Be creative. Orient the details. 

This quarter, let's be the best versions of ourselves and in turn pump out the best quarter ICS has ever seen. 

I'm ready.

Are you in?