My mother replied to an e-mail in which I mentioned that my lawn mower is at the repairers, just at the time when I need it most. My mother is 80 years old and her lawn is bigger than a full size tennis court, with additional grass paths and grass covered orchards. In her reply she gives me seven valuable lessons in four lines of text, amazing:

Here’s what she wrote:

Harley,

Can't you borrow a mower from a neighbour, friend or relative? I get my mowers serviced in the winter when it is 10% cheaper, I must admit that Judith takes it for me to where she gets her machines serviced. We cut all the grass today, using the big machine to pick up the leaves etc. Then I can use my mulcher, a smaller, manageable size with no grass box to empty, so much quicker.

Have a good weekend,

Love Mum xxx

The seven lessons:
Lesson one: be resourceful
Lesson two: solve the real problem and don’t complain
Llesson three: plan ahead
Lesson four: save on bottom line costs
Lesson five: delegate and get the task done,
Lesson six: be efficient; use the right tool for job
Lesson seven: put the right tools in the hands of the right employees

Here’s my reply:

Mum,

Me and grass, we have a love / hate relationship – I try to ignore it and hope it goes away, it ignores me and keeps on growing!

Following your email I have put an annually reoccurring reminder in my computer to take the lawn mower in for a service on the first Saturday of December every year.

I think human evolution takes so long purely because the things we should do to improve, we don’t do – because for the most of us, planning ahead is not natural. In prehistoric times (and still today for the millions of those that are living on the edge) we lived for the now moment, each day, live or die.

In business I learned to plan ahead and have created elaborate focus, planning and progress measuring systems – but in my private life, I simply want to go home, chill out, listen to radio 4 and drink a glass of white wine in the sunshine – all the rest is an unwelcome interruption 😉

Love Harley xxx

I know my mother, I know she’s going to reply “Harley, stop theorising and just get on with it, if you follow my advice – you won’t have to even cut the grass yourself , you lazy swine!“

If my wife reads this blog, I'll have to go and borrow my neighbours lawn mower and I'll spend my sunny Saturday cutting grass – I need an excuse, quick!