Turning Theory Into Reality

Lorraine confused reading the big Book of SmartsFunny the things that bring back memories.

Especially the ones you’d rather forget because of their ability to fuel old stories you don’t have time or energy to wrestle back into their proper perspective.


Take for example solving a cryptogram puzzle the other day.

The answer turned out to be:

Idealism increases in direct proportion to the distance from the problem.



Suddenly I was replaying scenes from a project way back when during my first job.

I was the caretaker of the corporate graphics technology suite.

That meant big plotters and programs that ran on mainframes (dating myself anyone?) along with new personal computers and desktop printers.

Somebody thought it would be a great idea to leverage the plotters for use with the PCs.

Imagine the huge posters that could be created.

The only problem was mainframes and PCs didn’t connect with each other.


BUT, there was a very new graphics file format intended to transfer data between platforms.

If you could export a file in CGI format, you could import that file on the other end.

Or so the theory went.


A big project was launched.

(So-called) Expert consultants were brought in to code the import and export programs.

I was responsible for things far above my pay grade – or knowledge.


The shiny excitement of the project quickly turned into frustration.


Theory was not translating into reality no matter how hard we tried.


We were screaming down the fast track to failure and felt sicker each day.

This. should. work.!

Dog-With-A-Bone kicked into overdrive.

This. WILL. work.

Not a chance.

Spitting out a few lines on the plotter didn’t even come close to proof of concept.

At least in my mind.


I wanted to speak up.

Call failure a failure.

Stop putting good money after bad.

Who was I as a NUG (new university grad) to pull the plug?


Every day of mounting failure killed me a little bit more inside.

I waited for somebody to put an end to this idiocy.

And fire me for being an absolute failure.


Eventually, the money ran out.

One would hope the project would slip quietly into the Land of Never to be Mentioned Again.

Time to move on.


Not so fast.

That would be too easy.

Somebody thought it would be a great idea to give an award for this (failed) project for a reason beyond me.

My stomach churned through the entire attendance-required “ceremony”.

If only melting into the back wall was possible.

Escaping the room couldn’t happen fast enough.

I’m not sure what was worse – the depth of embarrassment or feeling like a fraud.


I learned a lot from that project.

Like how being book smart can mean little in the real world.

Just because something should work doesn’t mean it will.

It’s one thing to think you should speak up and raise warning flags.

And a whole other thing when 1001 reasons to keep quiet race through your head.


I’d like to think I have a lot more common sense now.

Or at least see more clearly where theory is just theory and reality takes a different turn.


Oh wait.

Suddenly realized something.

My belief in theory and Dog-With-A-Bone attitude to make it happen wasn’t wrong.

Just off the mark or misapplied.


When it comes to seeing people for who they really are,

holding them in that higher vision until they can see it for themselves,

and not letting them fall short …

that’s what I can’t help doing.

Or being.

Theory was the only word I had at the time to describe seeing possibility, knowing and beyond imagination and bringing that fully into a life lived.

So yeah, give me theory and Dog-With-A-Bone any day.

I’ll always put everything I’ve got into helping make the real, true you a reality.


Have you ever faulted yourself for doing something only to find out at the core it’s who you really are?

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Lorraine Watson - on rustic porch

chief nudging officer


Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.

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