Man, what a year it was! Hurricanes, guns, North Korea, South Korea, Mel B, Harvey W, NFL, MLB on steroids…

Ultimate questions

As a year draws to a close, we naturally take a step back to reflect: what did the last 12 months bring? Hopes and dreams – gone with the wind or turned into reality? Was there a balance between pleasure and pain?

Ah, 2017! As far as our industry, the world of unmanned and robotics, is concerned, things did not exactly move at a glacial pace. Creative chaos, the startup mentalities, disruption, innovations, and the regulatory ball and chain. All of us involved are scrambling to keep up.

For the most part, Unmannedpower (and me personally) have had an invigorating and enjoyable ride. Opportunity abounds, and as unmanned grows up, there is plenty of money to be made.

And yet, I know how hard we all have worked (the sleepless nights, the proposals, the engineering, the financial meetings), and I can’t shake the feeling that there are times when many of us could benefit from slowing down. Find our favorite armchair in the house and just sit there for a while. Watch the grass grow outside. Smell the roses or watch the snow fall (or melt).

At the end of last year, I shared some personal thoughts with you. How as a mother, spouse, and business-owner I can get too caught up in the business of life. I told you about my plans to unplug more often, not to be a slave to my electronic devices (and, to be honest, I did make some progress, but…).

This year I am again thinking about how important it is to see through all the hustle and bustle. Why are we doing what we are doing? Business, family, community – to live a well-rounded and meaningful life, they all have to come together somehow. I guess, what I mean is that I focus best when I know my “why.” Like I said last year, you can’t go after what you want until you first truly know what that is.

Or in the words of modern-day philosopher Yogi Berra, “If you don´t know where you´re going, you´ll end up someplace else.”

Ommm…

At the end of the day, my “why” is what gives me direction, focus, purpose. The why is what makes it all worth it! And sometimes, you can only find your why if you allow yourself to just sit there, do nothing and listen.

It is a bit like this story I once read:

In the search for meaning a few seekers come to an old Zen master.

“Master,” they ask, “What are you doing to be happy and satisfied? We would like to be as happy as you.”

The old man replies with a mild smile: “When I lie down, I lie, when I get up, I get up, when I walk, I walk, and when I eat, I eat.”

The seekers are puzzled. One blurts out, “Please, do not mock us! We also sleep, eat and walk. But we’re not happy. So, what’s your secret?”

Same answer: “When I lie, I lie, when I get up, I get up, when I walk, I walk, and when I eat, I eat.”

After a while, the Master feels the uneasiness in the group and says, “Sure, you too lie down, walk and eat. But while you are lying down to sleep, you already think of getting up. And as you walk down the road, you ask yourself what you are going to eat later. So, your thoughts are always elsewhere, not in the same place with you. But life happens at the intersection of past and future. Allow yourself to be fully absorbed in the immeasurable moment, and you have the chance to be really happy and satisfied.”

Can you relate? I know I can! How many of us could have waited on the Master to explain without checking our smartphones in the meantime!?

Mindfulness. Awareness. The why. Would taking some time to just sit and listen often make your life easier, more productive, more fulfilling? So, if you are still mulling over your resolutions for 2018, here is one to consider: When I work, I work. When I play, I play. When I pilot a drone – well, you get the gist of it.

And if you are having trouble sitting and listening and think you might benefit from listening to three hours of Ommm chanting – here you can!

My very best to all of you for a fruitful 2018.

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