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  1. This write up is going to be done in installments, but at least I'm getting posted closer to the real start of the challenge this time! Note: The following will span multiple challenges. 09/23/2017 First Installment A chef, a fighter pilot and a surgeon walk into ShadowLion’s dinner party, where she serves a mashup of “Meeting of Minds”, a personal mastermind group, and interactive TED Talk. “What? ShadowLion, whatever have you been drinking?” you might ask. Well… Way back when, when I was a spring chicken, there was a show on PBS called “Meeting of Minds.” Hosted by Steve Allen, each episode placed actors portraying historical persons - thinkers and doers who had major impact on the world - in a relaxed round table setting where they would discuss their lives and times. Nerd girl that I am, I loved it. As part of updating my Epic Quest, I realized that I have not been giving enough time to non-technical subjects and that I rarely have time to read or just sit and think any more. I also realized I have a lack of mentors and have not been utilizing my imagination as much as I might. This could lead to a shadow lion becoming less creative and inspired, and possibly burning out. So, I decided to use my nerdimagination to remedy the problem, with the idea that I would populate my dinner party (parties?) with a mix of historical and contemporary figures that had/have skills, knowledge, experiences, and/or qualities that would help me in my quests, and use these exercises in imagination to spur me to read their works and apply what I learn from their biographies to my own life. I’m still working out how to pull it all together into some learning projects, but figure that may be something that works itself out by doing. At this stage, I plan to do some brief writeups, not even “scripts” so much as notes and then do some active imagination exercises followed up with additional notes about the insights and ideas I gain. The chef, fighter pilot and surgeon are three people who relate to goals directly from my Epic Quest. Learn to cook. I’ve realized that part of why I don’t eat healthier is that I really don’t know how to cook. Julia Child to the rescue. Doesn’t hurt that she was a badass that worked for the OSS during World War II and that when asked to “solve the problem of too many OSS underwater explosives being set off by curious sharks,” she cooked up a shark repellent that is still in use today. Second Installment 09/25/2017 Improve my business acumen, creativity, and inventiveness. I made some errors in the last couple of years on my business strategies. In taking a nice, stable job working for a company I like and in a great team, I’ve bought some time to dream up another venture (or not). I’ve given myself at least the next six months to find an idea and think it through. (Have made a commitment to myself to stay at current job at least one year - can't believe I am nearly at 90 days already!) I want to not only reflect on and learn from my previous mistakes during that time, I want to study the masters of strategy, game theory, leadership, and innovation. Chief among those is master strategist Lt. Col. John Boyd, the fighter pilot in my title and dinner guest at my first meeting of Minds. Future “guests” Elon Musk, Sun Tzu, John Nash, Leonardo da Vinci Improve my productivity, workflows and accuracy I read “The Checklist Manifesto” by Atul Gawande several years ago and always meant to go back and reread it and implement more of the ideas from it. This year, I will. And, read this eminent surgeon’s other works, including “Being Mortal.” Still more to come...
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