Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

On Parenting, College Admissions and Continuous Learning

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Mitch Albom did a story recently that really hit home for me personally and I imagine it will for others as well.  It’s entitled, The College That Rejects You May Do You a Favor.

Our second daughter is going through the college application/decision process.  While our first daughter pretty much knew where she wanted to go, applied and got accepted, our second daughter’s process has been more involved.

Of the eleven schools she applied to, she was accepted to five and wait-listed at two.  She has received the acceptances and polite rejections with maturity way beyond her years.  She is now focused on narrowing the field so she can commit to a school by May 1st.

Her mother and I, however, are enraged.  Why wouldn’t every school accept our daughter?  She is intelligent, hard working and dedicated to giving to others in addition to going to a great high school, getting fantastic grades,college_admissions notable standardized test scores and has a list of extracurricular activities that exhausts me just to read.  Any school would be lucky to have her.

This year more than any other, a lower percentage of students are being accepted to colleges nationwide.  And with the common application process (filling out a single college application that can be sent to as many schools as you’d like) the universities are filled to the brim with qualified candidates.  So while our daughter stands out from the view point of anyone who knows her, not all of the school admission personnel are able to see what we see.  From a biased parent’s point of view, that is not easy to accept.

We’ve been there for her through the years.  Putting bandages on the cuts.  Picking her up when she falls.  Opening doors when we can.  We’ve been needed less and less as she has grown through her high school years and she is handling the first step in her transition, selecting a college, just fine.

As a parent, however, it can be very hard to watch, overcoming the desire to jump in with an Elmo band-aid or a phone call to the dean of a college.  With that said, she has some great schools to choose from and I know she will have a magnificent college experience.  And as Mitch Albom reminds us, “When you get older, you realize college doesn’t make you, you make college.”

Well said, Mitch.

Just because we’re frustrated and may not understand a college’s opaque reasoning doesn’t mean we’re right or we know better – despite what our hardwiring and years of parenting experience have instilled in us.

We’re learning something, even now. Even through this.

Come to think of it, maybe it’s already doing us a favor.


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QUOTE: On Passion vs. Security

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“Don’t worry too much about security. You will eventually have a deep security when you begin to do what you want.”

— Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

(Via Merlin)


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing inPeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) andBusiness Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitteror Facebook, we’d love to have you.

More quotes to read.

‘Days Are Getting Shorter’

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“You do get to a certain point in life where you have to realistically, I think, understand that the days are getting shorter, and you can’t put things off thinking you’ll get to them someday. If you really want to do them, you better do them. There are simply too many people getting sick, and sooner or later you will. So I’m very much a believer in knowing what it is that you love doing so you can do a great deal of it.”

Nora Ephron
Film Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Novelist

(Via swissmiss)

[INSIGHT] 2010’s Lesson: Slow Down and Keep Grinding Away

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(Ed. note: Jeff Micallef is a Managing Partner of MIPRO Consulting.)

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did.  ~ Newt Gingrich

Perseverance eventually pays off.

As we look back at this past year I am reminded of the childhood story of the race between the tortoise and the hare, particularly its theme:  Slow andperseverance steady wins the race.  In a business world that often looks at how fast something is achieved, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that perseverance wins more than pure acceleration.

Over the past year, we had two races where our determination paid dividends.

Five years ago we entered into a relationship with Bart & Associates, a firm who has tremendous expertise in the government sector.  We brought our extensive PeopleSoft experience to the relationship.  Together we were going to rule the world.  Quickly.

Things didn’t work out that way.  Right away.

Three years later, not one battle had been won.  Alas, another crusade presented itself.  The United States Senate needed to implement PeopleSoft HR and Payroll.  So we began our quest.

Many months later, after dozens of meetings, midnight phone calls and fending off almost twenty other competitors – including Deloitte and Oracle Consulting – our resolve and experience paid off with the U.S. Senate selecting our team, MIPRO/Bart/ IBM, over all others for their PeopleSoft project.

This accomplishment is one we worked very hard to earn and are extremely proud of looking back at 2010.  And for a while there, it looked like we were getting nowhere, not unlike the race against the hare must have seemed to the tortoise.

In a similar tale, two years ago we joined forces with Jetco Solutions, a firm in western Michigan, in order to uncover opportunities at the state level.  We jointly responded to many Request for Proposals (RFPs) – which most readers of this blog know is a time-consuming effort – with not one win to show for our efforts.  Again, after thinking we would move quickly and bag some quick wins, we found ourselves running without covering the expected ground.

Fast forward several long months.

As the numbers game continued, we finally found an opportunity that was perfect for our expertise.  The State of Michigan was looking to improve their reporting and analytic capabilities.  This will be of tremendous value to the state, helping them uncover areas to eliminate waste and at the same time providing additional insight enabling improved decision making.

The RFP was substantial but we put a team together to respond.  We shared our past successes as well as the unique advantages we bring to our customers.  We responded during follow-up rounds with additional information.

And then the wait.

Silence.  And more silence.

Before long we concluded that we must have lost.  Just about to throw in the towel, we received notice that we were one of the vendors selected for the project.  Triumph! And here we were, perfectly cognizant that perseverance pays off, and we were about to chalk this endeavor up as lost.

Lesson reinforced.  It happens again and again.

So in 2010, we added the U.S. Senate and State of Michigan to our family of customers.  Long hours, email blizzards and a dedicated team diligently working toward the finish line eventually outpaced the subconscious expectations for quick accomplishment (the metaphorical hare).

Me?  I hope the hare gets his rest this holiday season, because it looks like 2011 will provide even more race opportunities and we’re up the challenge.

Do you have similar stories of perseverance and determination paying off for you this year?  We’d love to hear them in the comments.


MIPRO Consulting is a nationally-recognized consulting firm specializing in PeopleSoft Enterprise (particularly Enterprise Asset Management) and Business Intelligence. You’re reading MIPRO Unfiltered, its blog. If you’d like to contact MIPRO, email is a great place to start, or you can easily jump over to its main website. If you’d like to see what MIPRO offers via Twitter or Facebook, we’d love to have you.

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Friday Linkology: The Best of the Internet, 10/2/09 Edition

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Before we get to our standard Friday links, a question.  This morning, a waterbaldwin_ggr cooler conversation broke out that got us talking: what are the best movie scenes you remember?

Lots of answers to this, but these are the ones that everyone agreed really stood out.

There’s the famous Glengarry Glen Ross monologue, which many argue launched Alec Baldwin’s career in earnest.  Or a similar scene in Boiler Room starring Vin Diesel.  Then there’s the wallet scene in Pulp Fiction. Or the courtroom scene in A Few Good Men.  Or maybe some more Alec Baldwin in a classic narcissistic rant in Malice. The Billy Madison everyone-is-now-dumber scene. Blazing Saddles’s campfire cowboys.  Or, maybe, when John (Owen Wilson) meets Chazz (Will Ferrell) in Wedding Crashers.

What are yours? Let us know in the comments.

With that out of the way, here’s some good Friday reading for you:


Climbing the Wrong Hill

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People early in their career should learn from computer science:  meander some in your walk (especially early on), randomly drop yourself into new parts of the terrain, and when you find the highest hill, don’t waste any more time on the current hill no matter how much better the next step up might appear.

Great article by Chris Dixon about how people say they want another career but remain, even years later, doing something they aren’t passionate about.  And these are smart, talented people, in most cases.  We’re not talking about aimless folks who don’t care to know better.

As humans, we tend to put greater value on short-term rewards than long-term.  I’ve often argued that the reversal of this thinking is what wisdom is all about.  Regardless, psychologist and behavioral economists have explored this phenomenon through the ages, and it remains as true as ever.  (I know because I was a victim of it for a good, long time.)

Worth reading the whole article, if only for some good career perspective.