Optimists Think Outside the Box

Food for thought
This photo story

strategic planning: innovation: management:success


We all admire and respect the dreamers we run in to. Sometimes we can run into them in unusual ways and in unusual places. Sometimes their impact is profound and sometimes it is more subtle, but almost always it makes us pause and reflect about how a different perspective or vision can alter our world view.

I have a story from my college days that takes a lighthearted look at optimism in action. I hope you enjoy it.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in making new landscapes but in having new eyes. -Marcel Proust


Ah, hamburgers, the higher ground of collegiate cuisine. Burgers are a learning institution nutritional mainstay only preferred by pizza and beer. How delightful that they were going to be the focus of a community eating competition. The burgers in question were the size of the original McDonald’s offering – those tasty tidbits that helped fill the void.

What kind of devouring team could our fraternity assemble? We had Dean, the eating machine, legendary for winning a hot dog eating contest as a freshman. This feat was made more impressive, since Dean also ate baked beans in order to get the wieners down. He was able to overcome this considerable disadvantage and reigned as king dog man. But could he do the same with hamburgers?

Or could we find an even more daunting competitor? Danny chirped in that he and Ralph worked as TV antenna installers for a hefty entrepreneur whose claim to fame was that he had stumped the TV panel on “What’s My Line”. It seemed no one was able to guess that the occupation for the 300-pound contestant named Bobby was TV antenna installation. Well, life goes on and Bobby no longer installed antennas himself. That’s what Danny and Ralph were for. Bobby did however continue to expand his waistline and was known for his modest pound of bacon, dozen eggs and loaf of bread breakfasts. Danny, the dedicated fraternal soul that he was, volunteered to inquire whether we could obtain the considerable talents of Bobby for the upcoming burger contest.

The next day, Danny stopped to talk to his boss and explained to Bobby about the pending eating competition. He was pleased when Bobby’s interest began to perk up. Danny, attempting to size up Bobby’s consumption potential inquired of him: “How many of those little hamburgers do you think you can eat? A difficult question indeed. Bobby squirmed in his seat, paused, focused and carefully reflected. His eyes drifted upward as if searching for some inspirational insight from a mythical source. He cautiously and slowly raised his head and said to Danny, “I don’t know; how many can they make?”

The word optimistic seemed to too modest a reaction to Bobby’s reply. For he had just leaped the philosophical gestalt to a higher state of awareness. His focus was on the supply side of the equation. He was going where few men had gone before. As Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry character used to say “a man’s got to know his limitations”. Bobby was exploring his.

Moral: “Optimists Stretch Limits”  GO FOR IT!

Greg Pashke , CMC is  President of Pashke Consulting and provides business mentoring, strategic and tactical planning, and financial modeling services. Greg is a big proponent of The One Page Plan approach to managing the day to day performance of an organization. He is committed to continuous learning and skill development. Greg’s mantra is “to get a lot done & have a lot of fun”.
Website: http://www.pashkeconsulting.com/

The story of the photo above

Marketer Alexandra Gergar writes a wonderful blog, Lemons in Water, where she mixes her love for vegetarian food and cooking with her skills as a photographer. She kindly sent us this great photo when we asked her to get closer to a cow than she normally does and photograph a burger to accompany Greg’s article.

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One Response to “Optimists Think Outside the Box”

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