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Ship In A Bottle

Applying Impact Analysis To Life

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 3 years ago 3 min read

This contains a true story. This is about how we should plan when we want to get something and hit a target or goal illustrated by something that I did as a kid. I thought I had written about this on my main blog SevenDaysIn but I could not find any trace of it when I searched, so this is the first time that I have possibly written about it, although my memory tells me otherwise.

My mum had a ship in a bottle. It was very impressive or it was to me. The ship was in port and there was a dark and green feel to it. The port and village rose up along the side of bottle as though climbing a hill or a mountain.

Almost every day my imagination took me on that ship, on the water and through the streets and houses of the port and into the countryside beyond. I always had a vivid imagination fed by books and encouraged creativity although when you are on adventures in your imaginations you are often perceived as doing nothing. Often I seem to be doing nothing when trying to solve a problem at work or elsewhere.

Anyway I became obsessed with the ship in the bottle, I wanted that ship. Now what I should have done is asked my parents to buy me one, Airfix did lots of kits and other toy manufacturers sold extremely detailed fully assembled models , but I wanted the ship in the bottle, that was all that would satisfy me.

One day I took the bottle out, got a hammer and smashed it to get the ship out, I would have my ship……

…. But the reality was the ship was not complete and it was just a small part of the whole construct, and smashing it destroyed my mind’s adventure playground. There was no going back, I had destroyed something that had given me enormous pleasure, and also actually belonged to my parents. My mum was not too fussed about it but she could have been, so not only had I destroyed what I had, I had destroyed something belonging to someone close to me.

The main positive to come out of this (and you should always look for positives in any situation, it allows you to build) is that from then on I tried to consider all possibilities before I actually do things, what is termed in a working environment “impact analysis”.

I have known people who have left jobs in an acrimonious fashion , insulting the people they worked for, then finding that they are out of work because they had nowhere planned to go , or the place they went to was not “as advertised”.

Burning your bridges is not usually a good policy unless there is something coming after you that would be worse than you not being able to go back. There are a few employers who I would never ever consider in what’s left of my life, but there are a heck of a lot who I would happily go back to and would be glad to have me, and that is a good feeling.

When you apply impact analysis to any situation you do not assume things will go wrong or turn out badly but you have to prepare for, and have a “plan B” in case things go awry.

With the ship in the bottle I should have thought what would happen when I smashed the bottle, if I had I would not have done it. I should also have looked at alternatives, and in reality there were plenty of those. I maybe should have hidden the ship in the bottle for a week and see how my mind was.

The thing is while sometimes you have to react to situations , if you can you should plan.

A song that comes to mind for this is “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot , truly great disaster story to remind me to always plan and always have a plan “B”.


About the Creator

Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

Weaver of Tales, Poems, Music & Love

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