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Al was a genius!

March 26, 2008 - LLee Janssen

Sitting in the dentist's office today, awaiting my routine checkup, I found a passage attributed to Albert Einstein, "The Three Rules of Work."

  • Out of clutter, find simplicity.
  • From discord, find harmony.
  • In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

After hurriedly jotting these down on a note card (a writer should never leave home without one), I spent the next 30 minutes laid back, shoulders through hands tensed as I tried to relax to the tune of equipment I fear seeing. I focused my mind, instead, on these rules.

Clutter is abundant in the office. And that's probably true of most any newspaper office. And discord, that varies from day to day. Sometimes it's a person unhappy about having their name printed on the police and courts page. Sometimes it's political, having more to do w/ image than sharing assorted views. Sometimes it's a lack of sleep from a late night meeting, followed by an early morning assignment.

Often, it's difficult, for each of us in our own ways. And Al is right, as therein lies the opportunity.

Have you ever stopped to think about how good you may have felt after accomplishing some huge, daunting task? It may be tempting to take the easy way out, but what fun is there in that? And why deprive yourself of the rush of accomplishment? The opportunity is personal growth, for those willing to go out on that limb and take the more difficult path.

So, no matter how difficult some days may be, I'll most likely still show up in the morning, start all over again and try to figure out what we'll do today for an encore, while responding to emails, answering phones and attempting to give the news staffers my undivided attention.

(By the way, most days are not all that difficult. I love what I do, and the energy of the newsroom keeps me young. But I really liked what Einstein said and just wanted to share it with all of you.)

 
 

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