Aim high, then step
I was with a friend this week at lunch. He asked why I got the COVID booster.
“Are you afraid of dying?”
It was a great question… “I want to travel with my wife. I want to attend in-person meetings. I want to hug my children and grandchildren. I don’t want to put my family or others at risk.” It isn’t about dying. It is about living. Lynnda and my willingness to take the risk for a third shot was all about others and our desire to live a normal life.
We believe the first step to living a normal life is to be vaccinated. We still need to deal with restrictions like masks. We are concerned with spiking cases. Our youngest grandson still can’t get vaccinated. Our oldest son won’t get vaccinated. We are concerned about their health. We were at the West Virginia Chamber Business Summit with 600-plus people over a week ago, then visited all three of our children and grandchildren last weekend in Maryland. It was priceless family time, especially after the past year. The shot was an essential step, the first step in deciding how we want to live our life.
Henry David Thoreau — American naturalist, essayist, poet and philosopher _ said, “In the long run, we only hit what we aim at.” The first and biggest decision we must make is, what do we want? Today I received my certificate, medal and T-shirt for the WVSTRONG Summer Running Challenge, a 222-mile virtual run from Huntington to Morgantown in 14 weeks. I completed the journey and finished with 273 miles. This was a big deal because a year-and-a-half ago I was in a hospital bed and a wheelchair with serious leg injuries. My aim was to walk, run a 5k and then a half-marathon (13.1 miles).
In January of 2020, the first step was painfully walking a quarter mile to start the journey. I’m blessed with great doctors, physical therapists, people who support me and my daughter/running coach who trains me. After running two half-marathons, the Summer Running Challenge put me on track for another one.
What are you aiming for? Are you aiming high and stretching yourself or aiming low? If you are constantly aiming low, you may never realize how capable you are.
Reaching our goals is rarely quick. It took me over a year to be able to run a half-marathon again. Our high school soccer team is now 2-2-2. We are continuing to improve. The boys want to see immediate results and sometimes get frustrated. We have to constantly remind them of how they are improving and get them to trust the process. My wife Lynnda has been on a weight loss program for several months with a healthy eating focus. She has lost 20 pounds! Lynnda is disappointed she hasn’t lost more. I remind her it took years to put on those pounds. They won’t go away permanently in a few months. Lynnda has a specific high goal she has aimed at and is making steady progress.
We need to be careful of what we aim at because we might achieve it. Some people aim at making money, assuming it will bring happiness and other good things. I have a good friend who is financially successful. He had money and a big title. He rarely took vacations. In the process, he lost his marriage and family. He learned what is really important and is making up for lost time with his children and grandchildren. I love following him on Facebook.
There is an increased focus on climate change. In spite of all our actions in the USA, global greenhouse gases continue to increase, mostly because of Chinese emissions. U.S. greenhouse gases are down 20%. The assumption is, if we reduce our use of fossil fuels we will reduce global emissions.
According to the Canadian Energy Center, as of 2020, 350 coal-fired power plants are under construction around the world, with hundreds more planned. China and other countries are increasing their use of fossil fuels. Many groups and governments are focusing on U.S. fossil fuel elimination. Is this the right target? If the goal is global emissions reduction, that is where the aim should be. This will encourage creative solutions focusing on solving the actual problem.
In a soon-to-be-released study, Shale Crescent USA looked at the long-haul transportation of goods from China to the U.S. in 40-foot containers. A container will travel roughly 14,000 miles by sea to the U.S. unless it goes through the Panama Canal requiring 22,000 miles of travel. Historically the cost per container was $2,000 to $3,000. In mid-2021 the cost was $10,000 and going higher. This doesn’t include land transportation costs of another $2,000 to3,000 to get to our door. A product manufactured in the Shale Crescent USA and consumed in the Shale Crescent USA eliminates all of the ocean transport costs and most of the land transportation cost. This does not include China’s 7,000-mile transportation cost to get oil for feedstock from OPEC in the Middle East.
Making products in the USA is a huge saving for U.S. manufacturers and consumers. It is also a creative, guaranteed way to reduce global emissions. The USA gets $500 billion in imports from China. We could make 20% of those products in North America eliminating 25,000 miles of ocean transportation for each product and tons of emissions. More details will be in the study. The first step is for U.S. consumers to buy local instead of overseas products.
We can decide what kind of life we want. How much weight we want to lose. How many miles we want to run. How many tons of emissions we want to eliminate by setting and aiming for the desired result. Then take a first step. Make sure we are aimed at the target we really want. All things are possible.
Greg Kozera, firstname.lastname@example.org is the director of marketing and sales for Shale Crescent USA. www.shalecrescentusa.com He is a professional engineer with a master’s in environmental engineering with over 40 years’ experience in the energy industry. Greg is a leadership expert, soccer coach, professional speaker and author of four books and numerous published articles.