Investments Unlimited – The Origin Story

We had assembled to put together the outline for a guidance paper. At the top was the title, “Modern Governance.” I thought to myself that the title alone would cure insomnia. Despite the title, members of the team had developed brilliant new automation and approaches. They were already deploying those game changing ideas at their businesses. We wanted to share those! Unfortunately, the gold was buried in the boredom. It was too academic and dry. Nobody would make it past the title, much less the layers of governance tedium in the outline. Energy in the room which had been off the chart during the discovery discussions suddenly fell flat as we all realized that our guidance document would have little impact on the real world.

“Hey, I have an idea! Why don’t we just tell a story?” I suggested, “Imagine a Phoenix Project moment where a crisis hits and a band of characters have to solve it.” Enthusiasm erupted as the group piled on with ideas on how the story could unfold to show and teach the thoughts we had captured in the dry outline. Suddenly, characters emerged. Susan, the CEO was getting an urgent phone call about an existential crisis hitting her company. Bill, Jada, Michelle, Jason and the rest of the cast of character sprung to life in a brief narrative. We put the story to paper and changed the name to Investments Unlimited, inspired by the fictitious company in the Phoenix Project. We had done it! A short story was assembled and we presented it to the rest of the DevOps Forum who applauded the work. Mission accomplished. Or so it seemed…

A few months later we were invited to a meeting. “Gene Kim and the staff at IT Revolution reviewed your paper and we have a proposal.” Leah, the editor for IT Rev and the Forum papers explained to us, “We think the paper is great, but we think it could be greater. We would like to turn it into a novel.” She paused and surveyed the group. John Willis, the leader of the forum group and fellow co-author, suggested, “I think we should do this! It would take some work, but we should write it ourselves and add some of the details that we couldn’t develop before. What do you think, are you up for it?” We were all stunned and delighted. One by one, we all chimed in that we would love to take on the challenge. Shortly after that call we started meeting every Tuesday evening to work on the book.  We invited industry experts to interview and fill in the gaps of our understanding. Weekends became a writing club where some of us would meet to knock out a scene, develop a character or wordsmith a moment. Slowly the short paper became chapters, and the chapters became a novel.

I confess, I was enamored just to be part of this great group of co-authors. This cast was made up of an incredible family of industry thought leaders, technical gurus and fellow DevOps rebels: Helen Beal, Bill Bensing, Michael Edenzon, Tapabrata “Topo” Pal, Caleb Queern, John Rzeszotarski, Andres Vega and of course, John Willis. Our meetings would sometimes pivot into philosophical discussions, technology news or current DevSecOps challenges. Despite the frequent distractions and detours, we managed to nudge the narrative forward, week by week.

Writing a book is hard. You are turning ambiguous ideas into letters on a page. The key was to just keep writing, keep the prose flowing. There were times where you wouldn’t feel inspired or enthusiastic about the words pouring out of your fingers, but you would keep typing. I was surprised and amazed at how well that worked. More than once, I discovered that inspiration followed effort. The act of doing created a warming glow. Suddenly the arduous task unlocked a love, a passion and an inspiration that wasn’t there before. That approach developed new twists in the story, new ideas to explore or challenges to solve. But getting those words on the paper were important. We would spend months editing and tweaking the story, but without that original content there would be nothing to work with. Eventually we would have a finished product and as of two weeks ago, a published book. It was an experience that I will forever cherish and recommend to anyone who gets the opportunity to do the same.

Just keep writing. Going through this journey has reminded me of the importance of “doing,” self-motivation and determination. I think we can all get stuck in limbo, waiting around for that magical moment of inspiration. The truth is that in life, that inspiration is often the result of the wind of our own movements. Just keep going! Inspiration will come. Words will become chapters and chapters will become stories. What are you penning today? What adventures are you crafting by your doing? Get up, get moving… keep writing.


Find out more about Investments Unlimited here.

Investments Unlimited
A Novel About DevOps, Security, Audit Compliance, and Thriving in the Digital Age
by Helen Beal, Bill Bensing, Jason Cox, Michael Edenzon, Dr. Tapabrata “Topo” Pal, Caleb Queern, John Rzeszotarski, Andres Vega, and John Willis

Queen Elizabeth II

“I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration to work together.” – Queen Elizabeth II

“On the underground, at the pub or picking up food, whatever queue you are in, people are always talking about the same thing: the time that they, or a mate, met the queen.” Discussions about Queen Elizabeth II are happening everywhere, not just in the U.K. but around the globe. And rightly so. Nine out of ten people alive on our planet today were born after Queen Elizabeth II took her reign. Most of us grew up knowing this monarch. She was a respected leader, known to be proper, thoughtful, positive, pragmatic, logical and dedicated. Her public addresses and Christmas broadcasts were especially poetic and inspirational. She seemed to embrace her role as a celebrated leader who was adopted by many of us as a “global grandmother”, firm, gracious, and at times, admonishing. With her passing, a shockwave of mourning has propagated throughout the world as the sad news is learned. She is gone, but the impact of her legacy lives on.

Unlike Queen Elizabeth II, we are not all called to a life of globally visible leadership from a throne. But we are all call to be an example and rule the domain of our own character. You may not know it, but people are watching. Friends, family and fellow travelers examine how we behave, mirror what we value and observe and model how we treat others. What will be your legacy? What message are you sending for others to follow?

Like Queen Elizabeth II, we have an opportunity to encourage and inspire others by the life we live and the virtues we demonstrate. Are we leaving a lasting positive impression on this planet and our fellow humans? I suspect we can do better. I know I can. Now is a great time for us to ponder our own impact and make a change. How can you make the world better by the way you live? What would you change?

“It’s worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change.” – Queen Elizabeth II

Photo Credit: PRESS ASSOCIATION / Danny Lawson.

Fog

The fog was all around us. The headlights shimmered off of the cool gray guardrails along the side of the road. I drove slowly around the curve. The tension in the car was as thick as the fog outside. The view to the left and to the right was buried in the gray dark abyss. Even the stripes on the roadway vanished into the fog just a few car lengths ahead of us. The cool white darkness enveloped us. I edged forward slowly, staring intently at the yellow and white stripes that were the only visual assurances that we were still in the lane.

Then it happened. A faint white glow started to appear on the invisible horizon in front of us. It’s warm halo began to grow and soon illuminated the fog all around us. First the cliffs beside us began to materialized. Faint crevasses became sharp edges. Watercolor light splashed against the slowly appearing monochromatic landscape and painted faint hues of brown, red and green. Like a flip of the switch, the light in front of us exploded into view, quickly erasing the remaining fog and illuminating the vibrant colors that were hidden beneath the blanket of mist. It all became crystal clear. As we reached a crest in the road, we looked out into the new horizon and saw the pillowy clouds nestled amongst the royal peaks of the Rocky Mountains, standing majestically in the warm glow of the rising sun. It was breathtaking. We pulled over at a turnout to drink in this glorious view. The nervous trek up the national park highway had been worth it.

Life is full of adventures. But often, we find ourselves on fog covered roads, edging forward into the hazy unknown. It can be nerve racking and intense. It can be depressing and discouraging at times. But we keep going. At long last, we arrive and are in awe of our new destination. It fills us with unexpected joy and new views of our world. The truth is that it was always there, hidden yet waiting for us. We just needed to keep going. Life is often poetic like that. The darkest most difficult moments in life often proceed the most glorious.

Are you in a fog? Is the road before you unclear or difficult to navigate? Don’t give up! Keep going. The warm light of the sun is out there even if hidden in the mist. Keep driving. Soon the warmth and clarity of the new day will appear and wipe out the fog. You can do this!

May the sun shine on you this week!

Walk to Solve

Do you pace? I sure do. For years I thought it was a bad habit. I couldn’t sit still in school. My poor teachers tried to address it, “Sit down, Jason!” It was a constant problem. I eventually learned to pace “in place” while sitting. I can’t help it. My legs just want to move. Over the years, I learned the art of “focus” and mindfulness to help address some of my restlessness. Zoom has been a challenge for me, but I can assure you, my feet are still traveling miles under the table, bouncing and moving out of frame. But I find that anytime someone asks me a difficult question or I need to think deeply about something, I still instinctively leap to my feet and start moving. Are you like that?

I need to be moving. Scenery needs to be changing around me to forge new mental connections, amplify associations and expand my mental models so that I can arrive at an answer. It isn’t just the super complex problems that drive me to my feet, it can be something as simple as, “What should we do for dinner?”

I’m a kinetic thinker and suspect some of you are too. I need to push my mind through space as well as time to arrive at the solution. Somehow by experiencing a spatial flux it sparks cognitive magic. If I have a problem I just can’t solve or need to get creative about a fresh solution, a brisk walk suddenly unlocks the impossible. It can be something simple like a walk around the house.

We happened to find a house that has a circular floorplan. My wife laughs at me and my kids as we make laps around the inside of the house. Yes, my kids have been infected with this kinetic affection as well. There have been more than one collisions in our thinking, literally. For the more difficult problems, I go outside and perhaps even make a circuit around the block. Over and over again, those spatial explorations uncover discoveries that wouldn’t have been afforded otherwise. What can I say? I walk to solve.

Do you have a difficult decision in front of you right now? Do you have a mental block or can’t see any alternatives to a problem? If so, go for walk. I’m convinced it can help you unlock those mysteries too.  Oh, and I’ll join you!

A Culture of Candor

“There’s no upside in being wrong.” – Ed Catmull

“I need to sit down.” We were standing in a crowded reception hall and the keynote speaker and I were talking. He had a pained look on his face. The waitstaff was bustling around offering hors d’oeuvres to the conference attendees that had gathered after a “Ralph Breaks VR” demonstration at The Void at Downtown Disney. I spotted a collection of chairs in the corner and motioned toward them, “Let’s grab a seat there.” 

“That’s better!” It was a star-struck moment for me. I was now sitting next to one of my heroes and in an hour or so we would be going to dinner together. I first heard about Ed Catmull in college. I had admired his research in computer graphics including his pioneering work in texture mapping. Sitting there, it occurred to me that the incredible VR demonstration we just saw wouldn’t have been possible without his revolutionary work. Ed smiled, clearly relieved to be sitting down and then continued our conversation. We talked about the technology, cloud computing, PIXAR, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Steve Jobs, John Lasseter, mindfulness and of course, Ed’s book, Creativity, Inc.

“I hated it!” Ed’s shook his head in response to my question about his experience writing the book. It was a lot of hard work. He explained how he had enlisted 40+ reviewers to critique the manuscript and was always wanting more. Despite his elaborate efforts to get that candid feedback, he was convinced that it was still far from perfect. After publication, he said he received abundant feedback from the brilliant folks at PIXAR on all the areas he got wrong. He was motivated and even encouraged by Bob Iger, to make a second edition. I do hope that happens. The thing that impressed me the most about Ed was his insatiable desire to get things right and to enlist the help of others to do so. When I asked why he went to such measures to get that feedback, he told me, “There’s no upside in being wrong.” 

If you ever read Ed’s book, and you should, you know how much emphasis is placed on getting authentic and candid feedback. That approach has shaped the storytelling and creative content powerhouses at PIXAR, Walt Disney Animation Studios and ILM. I told Ed about my first visit to PIXAR and how it left such a huge impression on me. It wasn’t just the great campus, the comfortable open area buildings or the iconic artwork decorating the place. No, the biggest thing to me was the culture of candor. There was no power structure in the rooms. Ego was taken out. There was this incredible respect and expectation for everyone in the room to give and take honest notes. It was transformative and something I have forever sought to encourage and replicate in my own teams. Ed’s comment? “Yes, but I know we still have work to do.”

Ed is right. I have seen organizations achieve good success only to see it calcify processes or limit the ability to receive corrective feedback. As my conversation with Ed underscored, it is critical to continually seek honest feedback, remove power structures from the room and drive changes accordingly. I’m proud to say that I personally continue to see this honest feedback. At least once a week, someone on my team will raise an issue to me where we—and yes sometimes just me—are not doing the right thing, not communicating well, missing an opportunity, or doing something we shouldn’t. These are pure gold. I won’t pretend they don’t sometimes sting or hurt, but I can’t think of a single time where they didn’t result in some improvement that made us all better.

Are you willing to receive candid feedback? Are you willing to give it? As a leader, are you removing the power structure in the room so that you minimize risk and amplify candor?

I recognize that I’m over indexed on optimism, but I also believe that at any given point, something is going wrong. How do we discover that and encourage others to do the same? Getting a true and honest signal when things are going wrong is critical for our organizations if we hope to see them stay relevant, successful and thriving. Look for problems. Reward and embrace honest feedback so that you can change. As Ed would say, “There’s no upside in being wrong.” Strive for being right!

Laughter!

“There is nothing better or more cleansing in this world than laughter.” – Pat Carroll

“Hahaha!” Laughter filled the room. Pat was with her daughters and granddaughter. Tears were rolling down their cheeks like a shower, washing and refreshing with each powerful laugh. It was glorious. The smiles, the sounds, and the senses radiated and adorned Pat’s gregarious and welcoming face.

Pat began acting in local productions when she was just five years old. She was funny. Her wit and humor had gained the attention of brilliant stars like Lucille Ball, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Burnett and Danny Thomas. She loved performing live shows, stand-up comedy and doing character acting. She picked up roles on television shows like ABC’s Laverne & Shirley. She started doing voice-over work in the 1980’s for animation programs like Scooby-Doo, Galaxy High, A Goofy Movie, Pound Puppies, Garfield and even voiced the character of Granny in Hayao Miyazaki’s My Neighbor Totoro. But her most beloved role would come in 1989.

“I’ve been a Disney fan since I was 5 years old,” Pat would explain. She had joined the Mickey Mouse Club and even had the ears. Her greatest dream was to perform in a Disney film. That day finally came. Disney was working on a new animated film and the directors and musical team were looking for the perfect talent. Pat auditioned six times. Her determination paid off! A year later, she got the call to be the voice of Ursula in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.  She laughed! It was a dream come true and she said, “I’ve never enjoyed anything so much in my life.” Her memorable and throaty rendition of Poor Unfortunate Souls would make her one of Disney’s most beloved villains. Can you hear her singing? Can you hear her laughing? That was Pat.

Pat Carroll passed away this past weekend, July 30, 2020, at 95 years old. In a recent interview, she said, “I’ve had the most wonderful life. I’ve done everything I wanted to do and I’ve had a ball doing it.” Indeed she did. To Pat, the greatest thing in the world is laughter. The ability to laugh and make other people laugh is a superpower that is a remedy for so much that ails us. It provides cleansing. It washes our worries, treats our bruises and breathes oxygen into our journey.

Laugh! Make sure you take time to sample some humor today, and every day.

Recovery

The room was spinning! I had been moving fast, trying to quickly clean up everything, fix and serve breakfast. I was holding a hot frying pan in my right hand and had just placed a bowl of eggs on the counter. I sat the pan on the burner and literally saw a dark tunnel forming before me. The lights were going out but it wasn’t the room, it was me! Weakness started crawling up from my feet and hands. Core shutdown eminent! My central nervous system managed to reach my higher brain functions before it was too late. “Sit down now!” The orders were clear and the tunnel approached with even greater speed. The legs went to work, folding like a card table, tucking themselves under each other in a “Criss-Cross Applesauce” mode. I was on the floor with hands on lap and staring bewildered at the fading ceiling lights.

My heart was racing as if driving with full throttle away from the approaching tunnel. Thankfully it did the trick. The shadows receded and the feeling of my head gained its full weight again. The cold floor pressed up against me, with a reassuring, “Stay put buddy.” My family passed by, unfazed. Of course dad would be sitting in the middle of the kitchen like he was in kindergarten. Nothing to see here… he just overdid it again.

True enough. I overdid it. I was on day 4 of having tested positive for COVID. It had been a painful few days with the typical flu-like muscle aches, headaches, sneezing, sore throat, coughing and feverish restlessness. But on Saturday, I woke up feeling so much better. I thought I was over it. Instead of enjoying the moment and gradually wading back in to the hustle and bustle of life, I decided to jump in to the deep end with full force. Time to tackle the day and get some things done! Oh, bother. Back to recovery mode.

I don’t know about you but I’m a terrible patient. I know things need time to mend. I just don’t want to wait for them. This weekend was a great lesson on patience. Push the recovery envelope to much and you will get an enforced time-out delivered post-haste!  Too many of you have told me about similar experiences of driving yourself too hard with too little rest and sleep. This is a knock-out recipe for disaster. I fully recognize I’m being a bad example here. I’ve lectured many of you to give yourself space to heal and here I am, sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor, eating crow.

Pace yourself. Listen to your body and those around you when they remind you that you should take it easy. Give yourself time to heal and recover. That doesn’t just apply to recovery from a sickness, that applies to all that we do and experience. We need hard work. But we also need good rest. Those seemingly opposing forces work together in a complementary and dynamic way to balance life. If one side is too heavy, our life will be out of balance. This weekend was a good reminder to me that I have a tendency to push things out of balance. I took a breath, laughed at myself and slowly restarted the day. I gently stood up and waded back in to the insatiable adventure of life.

How is your balance? Something off? Take time to align yourself and reach a healthy balance that will propel you forward.

Keep Exploring

“We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious … and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney

I love Disneyland!  My girls and I just concluded a three day visit at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.  We stayed on property so we could enter the park early in the morning and enjoy the cool awakening of this magical place. Despite having fully memorized the layout over the past nearly 17 years, my girls still love to pick up a map. They are not alone. I saw many families around us walking down Main Street with their heads buried in a map including the digital version on their smartphones.  I love watching our guests, especially the little ones at the beginning of the day when they are full of anticipation and energy.  Their little arms struggle to stretch out the map in front of them as they bounce with excitement.  It’s contagious!  As they scan the map, their eyes tell a story of the wonders, adventures and discoveries that await them.  There is something powerful about exploring new possibilities, mysteries and experiences.  You can feel it too, can’t you?

We are curious creatures. It begins early as we try new things. Sights, sounds, smells, textures. They all fascinate us and pull us like a gravity to explore more. We ask, “What is this? How does it work? Why is it here? Is there more to this?”  We peer into the small, the quantum world, asking if it can be even smaller.  We gaze into the heavens and ask how far does it go and is it even bigger.  Our insatiable curiosity launches discovery, plunging to the depths of the sea and flying to the surface of other worlds.  Our eyes are hungry for discovery and our minds are thirsty for excursions. We map our menu of options and begin to explore. 

This past week, NASA’s Webb Space Telescope rocked the world with new discoveries of the universe that we have never seen before. Thousands of new galaxies, solar systems, exoplanets and star formations from 290 million light-years away were suddenly made available just inches from our eyes.  Each discovery reminds us that we are part of something even bigger.  It opens up a new map to explore.  Before us, the universe.  Where should we go next? What is this? How does it all work? Why is it here? Is there more to this?  And on we go.  We keep exploring because we are curious.  

What fascinates you? What are you exploring today? Stay curious!

Image Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

Fight for the Users!

“On the other side of the screen, it all looks so easy.” – Kevin Flynn

Greetings programs,

“LaserDisc… Prepare to be blown away!” The clerk at the local movie rental store handed us the LaserDisc player and movie and guaranteed that it would level up our home movie experience. My brother and I unpacked the dazzling new player and quickly connected the RCA cables, powered up the audio system and hit play. Seconds later it sprung to life with colorful geometric shapes flying across the screen, taking us on a journey into a virtual realm. The dazzling images on the screen were accompanied by room filling sounds the LaserDisc pumped into the audio system. The ethereal soundtrack by Wendy Carlos transported us into this magical world of the impossible. The characters in the movie were playing video games, but not like my sister and I would play at the local arcade, they were actually in the game, inside the computer! They were “programs”, walking around, pulling power from circuit board rivers of light, recording information on their identity disks, piloting vector based light-cycles, tanks, recognizers and solar sailing ships across the grid. And like any good hero story, they fought against the oppressive evil overlord. The Master Control Program sought to enslave the world of computer programs to do it’s evil bidding to ultimately take over the human world. They were fighting for the “Users”, the human creators of this digital realm. One of those creators, a programmer named Flynn, gets transported into this digital world to join in on the fight. Welcome to the world of TRON!

I was blown away! The clerk had been right. It had inspired me and introduced me into a new world. The world of programs, computers and computer graphics. I was suddenly obsessed with this new found passion. It became an imperative for me to learn everything I could about this computer world. I managed to talk my dad into getting me a Commodore 64 so I could learn to do all these things that I had seen on the screen. Soon, I was crafting my own programs, sprites, animations and audio waveforms. I even made my own space adventure game that I published in our middle school paper, as if anyone would ever type in all that code! I was hooked. Maker clubs, hacker homebrew meetups and bulletin board systems eventually led me to join the computer science and electrical engineering departments at the University of Tulsa. I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to fight for the Users, making programs and systems that made the world a better place.

TRON was released to theaters 40 years ago this past weekend. While not a blockbuster for Disney by any means, the film was groundbreaking. As with so many of Disney films, it had inspired people just like me. It even paved the way for computer-generated imagery in animated films. John Lasseter has said that without TRON, there would have been no Toy Story.

We make magic. But that magic isn’t just the compelling storytelling, the visual effects, the powerful adventures or experiences we deliver. No, the real magic is what endures those moments and begins a ripple effect on lives. People become inspired to try new things. New passions awaken. New worlds unfold. The work we do makes an impact that transcends the bottom line and propels us into the future as a species. We inform. We inspire. We improve our human experience, one story at a time.

Are you ready? It’s time to go play the game. Let’s go fight for the Users!

End of Line

Don’t Worry, Take Action

Rain was gently falling.  Lightning arced across the dark sky.  The brilliant flash reflected off of the wet black pavement and the shiny airplane parked at the gate.  A groan erupted from the collection of stranded passengers standing at the gate.  The answering thunder seemed to punctuate their frustration and a new downpour begin to ensue.  Security radios squawked to life around the room, “Lightning detected within 3-mile radius, evacuate ramps.” Hushed complaints and grumbles from the passengers were silenced as the flight crew announced the inevitable delay.  We were supposed to depart from the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) airport at 4:30pm and now it was 9pm.  We had spent an incredible two days with our SRE team supporting National Geographic.  They had introduced us to the collection of applications and systems that power NatGeo’s mission to deliver great content and experiences that inspire people across the world to appreciate, care for and explore our incredible planet.  At the moment, we were appreciating how unpredictable this planet of ours can be and how it doesn’t play by airline schedules.  Our flight to the Orlando Airport (MCO) was about to be cancelled.

What do you do when your plans fall apart?  As I stared out into the dark, rainy and surprisingly peaceful night, I heard chatter of anxiety, anger, frustration, and confusion all around me.  I felt some of that myself.  As the next lightning strike lit up the clouds, I was reminded that my worry would not change the weather.  When our plans are thwarted or problems arrive at our door, what do we do?  Do we worry?  I confess, I come from a long line of worriers. Instinct seems to coach you to wring your hands, pace and fret.  But none of that helps.  Many years ago I had a realization that life is a series of circumstances we find ourselves in. Our plans are programs we write to move us from one situation to the next, one state to the next.  When those plans involve external dependencies, like the airline or the weather, we can find our plans thwarted.  When that occurs, instead of activating the no-op infinite worry loop, reprogram.  I have learned to assess the situation and ask myself what are the controllable actions we can take to address the situation?  We can’t control the weather or other dependencies, but we can control how we respond to a new unknown state and our next steps.  

When life throws you for a loop, break out.  Don’t stay in the trap.  You can’t control everything, nor should you try, but you can control your next move.  What moves are available to you? Get creative and enumerate all the possible next steps. Now, take action.  Success or failure?  Assess your current state and take another action. There is incredible peace and clarity in knowing what you can do or can’t do, even if your original plans are spoiled. Use the flow of circumstances around you to power, inform and navigate your journey to the next moment.  Then to the next.  

Our original plans to Orlando were unwinding.  Our next actions were to explore all alternative ways to travel to Orlando.  We reserved seats on a flight the following day and made a hotel reservation for the night just in case our flight was cancelled.  Beyond that, our next action was to wait, enjoy the falling rain and relax until the verdict came back.  Changes would be required, but we would adapt and move forward.

“Don’t worry, take action.”  I’ve learned to coach myself on that advice over the years.  It reduces stress, adds clarity and avoids the fretful worry loop.  Are you worried or stressed?  Press pause and assess your circumstances. What is controllable and what actions can you take?  Avoid fretting over the uncontrollable and embrace the next step.  Appreciate the clarity that it brings and don’t forget to enjoy the peaceful rain and moments that those unplanned events can bring your way.