Monday, February 11, 2008


There’s something insanely sick (or sickenly insane) about partaking in a meeting with predictably eyeoring Eyeores, especially when such contrarians are new acquaintances. Perhaps it’s a seventh sense: An ability to eye and engage Eyeores. Today baked the cake.

My friend Mike is chairing the homecoming committee for UCD’s Centennial celebration; I’m his co-conspirator. One-hundred years, and we’re tasked with throwing a party. Not just any fiesta: A big, boisterous, memorable, pop-the-cork event. Sounds like fun; I volunteered and joined his committee.

We had our first formal meeting today and quickly proffered five Bs for our desired bash: Bang (fireworks), Bands (the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh! battling with a few of their compatriots), Bonfire (a big, hairy one), Beads (Mardi Gras-esque parade through downtown), and Beer (lots). Basic ingredients of a 10,000-Aggie party.

Before we could imagineer the what and why, our alter-ego Eyeores took command of the meeting: I’m sorry to be a wet blanket (the Eyeore Creed), but how can we do it? (Eyeore: We're never gonna get there!)

Don’t worry about the how, we injected. Let’s design the biggest and best party, this side of Picnic Day, Davis has ever absorbed.

Our five B’s were countered with five roadblocks: Staffing, funds, permits, liability and logistics. Makes sense if you’re trying to cover your rear or protect your cheese (or perhaps think pragmatically), but it’s a buzz kill if you’re volunteering to create a celebration.

I’m not sure if, come homecoming (October 11, 2008), fireworks will blast, bands will blare, a bonfire will blaze, beads will fly, or beer will flow. But, I am certain that if we employ a yeah, but … mindset, if we spend time thinking about how it will not work, if we’re defeated from the outset, we will fail. The solution – whether you’re throwing a party, launching a product, or starting a company -- rests in employing a tabula rosa to craft the ultimate what and why (thinking in a yes, and ... manner), and then figuring out how to make it happen.

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