The 165% solution

We conceived Personal Due Diligence (PDD) to teach people how to think about preparing (themselves and their children) to earn a living.

Somewhere in what people in the “developed” world like to call the “underdeveloped” world, fathers and mothers are sitting with sons and daughters to talk about “just in case”. About hunting, fishing, gathering, working the land. It’s not easy, but they and we are living on the same planet at the same time. Only we in the “developed” world seem to be doing our level best to mess it up for them.

We live in a “just in time” world. They teach their children to deal with eventualities and the product of those eventualities, just in case the “just in time” world isn’t there for them. We educate our children to deal with neatly labelled situations complete with “mental barcodes”.

But the barcodes keep changing.

Granted, some of our situations demand a lot of very specialized skills and knowledge transfer, but we’re turning our children into filing cabinets instead of into thinking machines. It’s already happened to their parents. Knowing where information is isn’t the same as knowing what to do with it.

If you’re looking for proof and you live in Canada, consider our 1.65:1 domestic debt to income ratio. Governments have been after us about our debt situation for years, but that hasn’t stopped us from ignoring them. There’s nothing in the air or the water (except for the carbon dioxide) that’s forcing us to deal with our “developed” environment this way. It’s the false sense of security that comes from believing that the cavalry—or our credit card—will always be just over the hill and available at the last possible moment to save us from the situations we create for ourselves. And now we’re doing it to our children.

Division of labour is nothing new. But we “developed” folks have become masters at subdividing that labour to the point where we can always blame someone or something else when things go wrong.

“Couldn’t get that report to you because the Internet went down.” Or, “Wasn’t able to make it to the meeting because the car broke down.” Or, “Could I borrow a cup of sugar? Didn’t go shopping this week.” That’s what “just in time” gets us a lot of the time. A little anticipation and planning can really help. So does having the car maintained at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.

We’ve surrounded ourselves with technological doo-dads and we’ve forgotten how to think, assuming we were taught how to think and reason in the first place. Isn’t it funny how much more “intuitive” computers (the software actually) become when we play with them long enough to figure out how they work. Did we read the manual?

Do we remember the last time we sat with someone who was going to teach us how to think? About education, maybe?

Google “analytics definition” into your search box and what comes up for openers is “the science of analysis”. PDD is the science of analysis applied on a much smaller, much more personal scale, to preparing for work and building a life—yours.

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