Day 1,389 – Thankful for Comet Chasing and Learning Vicariously Through the News

I’ve got to start off with something that was a very minimal amount of time in my day but was a moment we’ll remember as a family forever. Comet NEOWISE was supposed to be visible with naked eye for us tonight. The way 2020 has gone I figured it’d be cool to see it as it was probably going to hit Earth 😉 Becky had the awesome idea of staying up late (for us anything past 8:30 is way late) and then heading somewhere to see if we could catch a glimpse of it.

We drove out to Nelson Park and were quickly able to see it a ways below the Big Dipper. How crazy to see something that is 70 million miles away and is only about 5km big in the sky lit up like that? Nothing like seeing something so wild in nature like that on a size and scale that is difficult to comprehend to help us see just how small each of us as individuals are. To share that moment of awe with my family was pretty special and something I’m very grateful for.

Comet Neowise soars in the horizon of the early morning sky in this view from the near the grand view lookout at the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction, Colo., Thursday, July 9, 2020. The newly discovered comet is streaking past Earth, providing a celestial nighttime show after buzzing the sun and expanding its tail. (Conrad Earnest via AP)

Earlier today there was an interesting new article in The Wall Street Journal talking about American Airlines. Their CEO made the decision to increase the number of flights dramatically. The theory is that they will gain market share when everyone is willing to fly again. The risk is that they start burning through cash rapidly and run out before everyone starts booking flights again.

In my experience I struggle to look at myself, my team, and my industry from a true third party perspective. I try to view the world from outside of these paradigms, but it is very difficult to take the emotion and passion out of it 100%. Situations like this with American Airlines offer interesting test cases to bend my brain around. Throughout the day and across several conversations I found myself bringing up this story and finding ways to learn from it.

I appreciate the gusto and passion of the CEO to push forward. There’s something to be said about taking action instead of standing back waiting for the dust to settle. He’s making a bold bet in an effort to drive his business forward. In many ways he’s focused on future growth.

I fear that he is oblivious to the market change around him. It seems he’s trying to fight a new battle using old strategy. I’m reminded of someone gripping on too tightly to something obsolete in hopes it will work again. This story reminds me of the times when I’ve bet more than I’ve had to lose, the times when I’ve rushed into action for the sake of action, and the times when I’ve let passion get the best of me.

So many take aways I can pull from this. Are any of the correct or wrong? Maybe, but we’ll never quite know for sure. What I truly appreciate about this is the opportunity to learn vicariously. Where I struggle to remove my personal perspective from a challenge I find it much easier to do the same for something I am not at all related to. As I pull each component apart I can find little nuggets of wisdom to save for the future. Whether this bet by American Airlines works or not (I’d bet on the latter) I’ve found ways to learn and improve my thought processes as a result.


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