Friday, April 10, 2015

The "P" Words...A Better List...

Calvin:  "I’ve been thinking Hobbes"
Hobbes:  "On a weekend?!"
Calvin:  " wasn’t on purpose..."

                                ~Bill Watterson
                                  Calvin and Hobbes

I recently needed to beg for some forgiveness from a customer for not completing a certain set of tasks I was assigned to accomplish.  I was fully aware of the deadline, but over the course of a few days, several emergencies arose that needed my immediate attention.

When the customer 5 Psreceived my explanation for my tardiness, he responded with the same "5 P’s" that many of us learn in grade school:

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

I suspect that he was slightly upset that I didn’t have any real contingency plans to complete his project, just in case an emergency did come up.

After some time, I began thinking about the "5 P’s"...

In business school, they talk about the "5 P’s" of marketing...

Product, Price, Placement, Promotion and Profit...

 ...or the "5 P’s" of management...

Purpose, Plan, Process, People, Profit (it’s no coincidence that Profit appears on both lists... it was business school after all).

It suddenly occurred to me that I know several other words that started with the letter "P".  

As an entrepreneur and a citizen of the world, I believe that this is a slightly improved list of "P" words and perhaps more accurately describes how most people operate (or at least want to operate) their lives.

5 P s
The 5 "P’s"

Every new idea starts with possibility... namely because everything is possible.

It is possible that the sun won’t come up  tomorrow... it is possible that a time machine exists... it is possible that our universe is nothing more than a speck on the end of a dandelion (ala Horton Hears a Who).

Everything and anything is possible... although those same elements might also be highly improbable.

If you existed on this planet 2000 years ago, you would have thought it was impossible for the earth to orbit the sun since it was proved beyond all doubt, complete with charts and mathematical equations, that the sun orbited the earth.

If you lived only 600 years ago, you, along with almost the entire population, believed that the world was flat and that it was impossible to circle a cube.

200 years ago we knew nothing of microscopic organisms...

Atomic structure has been known for less than 100 years... and DNA structure for only 60 years... the Internet was created 30 years ago... and the human genome has been decoded for exactly 12 years...

What was once declared impossible has now become possible as we push the boundaries of innovation and science.

Possibilities are endless and bound only by our imaginations.


Principles are the fundamental truths in which provide us the foundation and systems to govern our lives.

Our principles are the tenets of our belief system and the core values that we hold self-evident.

Whereas our goals may change, our core values rarely, if ever, change... they are who we are deep down inside...

They are the sum of our inner hopes, dreams and fears...

Our principles are our road map to wherever that place is that we call "success".
Success is defined differently by each person on this earth but that is because we are all driven by a different set of principles divined from our DNA, our experiences, and our environment.  

Our principles are unwavering in the face of adversity or uncertainty. 


Some think of providence with a capital "P" meaning a divine intervention or protection by God or nature.

This gives many people a sense of meaning and great comfort knowing that they are sheltered by a higher power being.

The second meaning of providence (the one with the small "p") is the one that I often like to refer to.

Providence with a small "p" refers to foresight and be ready when the chance of opportunity knocks upon our doors.

So many of us have had great opportunities in our lifetimes... the opportunity for an education... the opportunity for expressing freedoms... the opportunity to fail and fail and fail again... the opportunity to make our own decisions and live our lives by our own design.

Providence teaches us to prepare ourselves for what may lie ahead be it good or bad...

The truly successful people will tell us that their successes come from the intersection of opportunity and preparedness.  This is providence.   

Priority places one thing of more importance over another item of perhaps lesser importance.

Each waking moment we are making decisions that could affect our lives.  With each of our decisions there is an outcome.  The outcome might be beneficial (a positive outcome) or it could be detrimental (a negative outcome).

Many times our decisions have both a positive and negative element associated with the outcome.

For instance, we can chose to stay up late reading a book that helps to educate our minds... however in doing so, we know that we will not get all of the required sleep which could cause us to under-perform the following day.

We had a positive outcome followed by a negative outcome.  In this instance, we placed a higher priority on the learning experience than we did our sleep, knowing in advance, that it would be detrimental to our health and productivity the following day.

Every day we place priorities on certain things that we value.  Priorities help to give us focus on those things that are truly important.

We may value money and wealth... so we work very long hours to help produce those things that we value... but at a cost of not spending time with our families and/or keeping our bodies healthy.

Keenly watching what someone does rather than what they say will give you great insights into a person’s priorities.


Passion is the exhibition of a strong love, enthusiasm, and/or emotion.  It’s the thing that gets us excited to get up each morning to face another day.

When a person is passionate about something or someone, they will not let momentary failure impede their eventual success. 

Passionate people believe in themselves, in others, and in what they are doing because they know that what they are doing will make a difference... today or tomorrow.

Those people who possess passion understand that passion is infectious and that often others will become intoxicated with a similar desire.  The passionate will frequently inspire and energize others by and through their words, actions, and teachings.

When you possess passion, you can move mountains and help people to become better human beings.

Thank you for your support of OptiFuse where we believe that proper planning is important but that our true success comes from Possibility, Principles, Providence, Priorities, and Passion...

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