I was 22 years of age, it was the year of 2019 nearing the now historic year of 2020.
My dedication, or more specifically my unconstrained willingness to give enormous amounts of my time beyond 40 hours in order to get ahead early in my corporate career, provided me with a great deal of “real world” experience that empowered me to handle many complex(ish) tasks from an early age before most had even graduated from college.
Gazing thru second story windows that arched 25 feet and spanned hundreds of feet from wall to wall, I would often allow myself to zone out into the mind palace as I playfully gazed with twinkled eyes at the airplane lanes as toylike planes that were all but toys came tuttering down from the clouds as if to want to greet you first hand while others fluttered from inches off the ground as they sped off into the distance until they were miles in the sky and nothing more than a distance spec as they went on their way without ever as much as an audible goodbye.
Each and every day, good weather permitting, these little private airplanes came cruising on in and fluttering on off within this magnificent vantage point that was accessible to those who were fortunate to have the benefit of working at a Marketing Agency like VMLY&R who used such a perspective as a way to aww their potential clients and captivate fortune 500 companies by walking them from the runway directly into the board meeting rooms one sliding door away from the very private airplane the executives who came to do business flew into Kansas City on.
VMLY&R quite brilliantly re-modeled an old downtown Kansas City airport into an eye catching spectacle that one could call a marketing agency's dream of a corporate Head Quarters that intended and succeeded in capturing interest and attention from the many clients they courted from the Fortune 500 list including the likes of Wendy's, United Rentals, Ford, Heinz, Gatorade, Taco Bell, and several more easily recognizable brands.
Visualize a “Google-esc” design with the added meditative benefits of small planes dazzling your vantage points with fascination thru out the day as things that are as intrinsically interesting as flight tend to do when it comes to directing a statistically measurable amount of the human attention into a given direction relative to other potential stimuli that are simply often less fascinating than the pursuits of flight.
VMLY&R had an impressive Authority in the Marketing world in which they pinnacled their Digital Marketing excellence for display to the world at that remodeled Kansas City Airport they dubbed as their marketing empire's Home Base.
“Don’t eat the 🍪 all in one bite.”
Whoa...I thought for half a second, was that my own sub-conscience?
It was so profound in terms of its timing and quality. The kind of advice that just sank into the very being of your essence as it was both the information and within the right location in which you were traveling thru space time to have profound impact to the point of it becoming a life long memory.
After a second of realizing my conscience hadn’t suddenly actualized part of its essence into a Yoda like essense to transcend the normal internal communication and perception capabilities -- I came to realize I had to focus on the physical world outside of my own thoughts which had previously engulfed my entire attention span with ideas drifted off into space alongside the airplanes flying in and eventually taking off from the run ways. A place where thought was unconfined by prior ideas and was just freely wondering - I was in my own mind palace that day and very content being there at that.
Yet, once I had shifted and properly interfaced my attention towards the physical world immediately around me again, I quickly was caught off guard by the fact my mentor - an older dude named logan (one of the best mentors I've ever had with decades of experience on me at the time) had just dropped some timeless old man wisdom on me during the exact moment in which my mind was completely caught off guard to the point of genuine curiosity being the default state as I was surprised by the very voice -- and then overwhelmed with happiness at the content of the words spoken.
Wisdom is both well said as well as said at the right time and in a place in which the thing being said has the potential to genuinely be heard.
“Huh?” I asked - as if I hadn't heard it. But I had, what I lacked was an understanding of the context in which Logan decided it was of value to randomly drop such a profound statement of wisdom in which appeared from my perspective to be coming out of the blue of nothingness which felt as profound as a color being derived from the color-less.
Logan expanded the context to allow my attention to direct towards a shared point within his attention span in which the reasoning for such profound wisdom being dropped made more contextual since.
Adding context to his of his original remark, Logan continued
“Your PR man, a lot of your PRs actually, they’re good but these things are absolutely freaking huge. You’re trying to tackle very complex things all in one go. The problem isn’t the quality or how your tackling the problem in terms of design or architecture - the problem is the size of the 🍪. You're trying to eat it all in one bite.
Don’t do that, break it up into smaller bites. Quit trying to eat the 🍪 all in one bite and break it up into smaller more digestible chunks”
Logan’s Wisdom stunned me with the [now paraphrased] quote because he was right - and I had not noticed in the least bit until then. I had always liked eating cookies in one bite (and yes, I mean both literally and metaphorically).
The truth was, that - although simple - it was (and still is) the best advice I have ever received in my career as an engineer.
“Don’t eat the 🍪 all in one bite.”