Joel Achenbach of the Washington Post wrote a very interesting article on Japanese geologists. You see, these geologists have long predicted a major earthquake in Japan. However, this event was not to happen 80 miles off the coast but rather 231 miles southwest. This would have placed it along a fault line just southwest of Tokyo.
“It took place in a stretch of the coast of Japan that was not considered prone to mega-earthquakes” said Northwestern University geophysicist Emile Okale.
As Achenbach noted “Scientists said the event has once again humbled them, reinforcing a growing sense that the field of seismology needs to ditch some of its presumptions about major earthquakes.”
“It’s really just kind of guessing game” says Dave Wald of the U.S. Geological Survey.
“We tend to focus on the expected events. We’re going to get blindsided by unusual events” says Susan Hough, a USGS seismologist.
As leaders, we are constantly being surprised by unexpected events. We need to ditch our presumptions. Muhammad Ali once said, “It is not the hardest punch that knocks you out. It’s the one you don’t see coming.”
Of all the people in the world, let me tell who the person is that blindsides me the most: It’s MYSELF!
I am constantly surprised at how I sometimes react to situations, to the decisions I make, how I feel about certain things, things I focus on, and the level of damage I can do if left to my own devices.
I agree with Paul when he said, “I do things I don’t want to do. I don’t do the things I want to do.” I’ve got to quit assuming I’ve got things under control. Can you relate?
On a side note, when scientists develop hazard maps with similar geological conditions to what happened in Japan here in America, believe it or not, Boston is the city that most matches this past weekend’s events. Did you assume it was somewhere in California? That’s the point.
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