I heard this quote listening to a college graduation speech by Denzel Washington.
“You only live once, so do what you feel passionate about. Don’t be afraid to take chances professionally. Don’t be afraid to fail.”
~ Denzel Washington ~
That really resonates with me. I'm striving to do all of these things with Saturn Ergonomics. It was my dream to have my own consulting business ... since I was 25 years old. And not that long ago I "woke up" and decided to pursue it. It amazes me the freedom I now have ... professionally. I stayed too long in work environments where there were simply too many barriers - politics, play it safe culture, ultra-high revenue targets, etc. - to truly explore what might be possible in ergonomics technology innovation.
In the big picture I realize that fear of failure kept me from following my dream. And this can go beyond the decision to quit you job and start a company like I did.
In 2015, after MANY hours reading ergo texts, sifting through research papers, thinking deeply, etc.; I derived an equation to calculate recovery time necessary for muscles to recover from force exertions. This equation was derived from Jim Potvin’s MAE Equation (Jim is a highly accomplished Canadian researcher and consultant.). The first time I publicly presented my work in this area was at a major ergonomics conference, the Applied Ergonomics Conference in Orlando, FL. The night before my presentation, I had reservations about even delivering it. I anticipated there would be academic researchers in the audience; and I could imagine them finding all sorts of flaws, shortcomings, etc. in my work. To make matters worse, I looked up from the podium - minutes prior to my presentation - and saw Jim take a seat in the audience (I had not met Jim before, but recognized him.).
I managed to survive the presentation. Jim and I subsequently collaborated to turn this work into a better defined model, the RCRA (Recommended Cumulative Recovery Allowance). And I have subsequently been invited to share this model and my ergo ideas at companies, colleges, and ergonomics conferences.
I believe it is important to follow Denzel's advice. It’s not easy, but nothing truly worthwhile is.
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