A friend of mine tells a story of a discussion between him and his mother when he was 6 years old. “Mom, I’m bored,” he said. “Son, that just means that you''re boring,” she replied. Ouch! It sounds harsh, but his mom was trying to make a very specific point. If you’re bored with your current situation, then do something about it. Don''t just sit around being “boring” by doing nothing.
Many of us take introspective assessments of our lives and think that things could be better. You may have even identified that you are somewhat bored. Many of us have diagnosed ourselves with boredom but cannot explain why. After all, oil prices are high, activity is booming, and everyone is busy. How can any of us possibly be bored? I’ll argue that this boredom results from a pattern of monotonous activity and that you need do something new, such as volunteering for an organization like the SPE.
Have you set any goals for yourself for this year?
Do you want to lower gasoline prices?
Or, do you simply want to help people understand why gasoline prices are so high?
Do you want to feed the hungry?
Or are you just hungry for a bigger salary?
Whether your goals or worldly or personal, active involvement in professional societies such as the SPE helps you achieve them. SPE committees and study groups disseminate technology. The embrace of new technology helps oil and gas companies find more hydrocarbons faster and more efficiently and produce them sooner at lower costs. These benefits lead to more hydrocarbon supply to meet worldwide energy demand, which ultimately benefits our industry and our world. Simply put, SPE’s execution of its mission of disseminating technology betters our industry and our world. Your involvement in an organizing committee in SPE betters our industry and our world. But you have to get out of your chair, out of your office, and into a committee meeting. You don’t know what the committee needs from you—it may be nothing more than your opinion during a discussion. But you’re not advancing anything by staying sedentary.
Maybe you’re a little more locally focused and your number one goal is increasing your net worth. Join a committee in SPE. Most managers will tell you that if they look at two seemingly identical resumes, one for an indvidual who has volunteered in an industry group and the other for someone who has not, the volunteer will get hired first every time. Volunteers learn skills that are not taught in their own offices. With no offense aimed to coworkers, sometimes we need to hear other people’s opinions to broaden our own. Where else can you work with competitors, vendors, and strangers on a project that shares the objective of trying to accomplish a goal that benefits someone other than yourselves? Volunteering for the SPE gives you insight to aspects of our industry that simply aren’t available at your desk. Volunteering for SPE breaks you out of your routine and exposes you to environments that you cannot create on your own.
Get off your chair and quit being so boring. Do something—anything! The inside cover of this newsletter has an entire page listing committees and study groups that host events and activities that further the causes of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and the oil and gas industry in general. Call or e-mail any one of the names listed and ask them when and where their next planning meeting is. Go. You may just sit there and listen, or you may speak up and give your opinion on a topic, or you may even volunteer for a task. The important thing is that you will take your career and your SPE membership one step further. You will make yourself less bored, or maybe even less boring.
I am incredibly grateful to all of you who do volunteer and have been volunteering so selflessly. You are the real reason that the SPE Gulf Coast Section can do so much good for our community and our industry. Thank you to everyone on the board of directors for your time, your wisdom, and your support.
Specific thanks to Susan Howes for your undying dedication to the SPE and this Section. You have been an incredible resource to me throughout my term.
A special thanks and good luck to Roger Hite who will take over as the 2006–07 Gulf Coast Section chair. You are a brilliant and charming individual who will do wonders for this Section.
Finally, thank you for letting me be your 2005–06 chair. I feel very blessed for having had this experience. Let’s make 2006–07 even bigger and better.
Thank you for what you do for SPE. I’ll leave you with the following quote from John F. Kennedy talking about Theodore Roosevelt in a speech given December 5, 1961:
“It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement; and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither defeat nor victory.”