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It started with her toes that got infected and had to be cut off. Then it moved to one of her legs, and they amputated it below the knee. Six months later, it happened to the other leg.

Comment: Take nothing for granted, give thanks for all things

Now it's happening to one of her knees. It's almost as if God is taking her piece by piece. It seems like she is in the hospital more than she's out, and although she fights every day to stay alive, her quality is life is terrible and she's frequently in a lot of physical pain. I tell you these stories to remind you of just how precious life is. And as we know, we could all get hit by a bus at any time and our time would be up.


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But do you live your daily life remembering this? Do you constantly remind yourself how lucky you are to be healthy, alive, and to have your loved ones here with you too? Many people don't. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that most people don't. It's so easy to take life for granted. I know, because I have to constantly remind myself of this when life gets stressful. For example, I have two teenage boys. And while I love them with all my heart and soul and would literally give my life for them, sometimes I want to strangle them.

They make me crazy. Sometimes I have very little patience with them!

So to overcome my urge to become the next child abuser just kidding , I constantly remind myself how lucky I am that they are healthy and alive. Trust me, I think God every day that my boys are healthy and here to annoy me. As frustrating as it is, I wouldn't have it any other way. I challenge each and every one of you to re-frame your life's annoyances and constantly focus on how precious all of our lives are.

Because as we know, things can change in a blink of an eye. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Go hug your loved ones right now. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus.

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Social Justice. Donald Trump. Queer Voices. Black Voices. It contained thousands of trouble calls that would seem to indicate excessive downtime and point to asset reliability as the dominant reason for poor performance. One thing that I have learned the hard way is to never, ever take anything for granted. Never accept the obvious answer. When I look back over almost five decades of solving problems, every time I accepted the first—easiest—answer or the obvious conclusion, it turned out to be wrong.

We are all conditioned to see or hear the answers we expect to see or hear. In this instance asset reliability issues resulting from poor maintenance was a believable answer. So, we dug deeper into the historical data, questioned operators and maintenance technicians, analyzed the design, and defined the inherent reliability of the production systems.

This extra step resulted in a totally different view of production performance and its limiting factors. Of course there were asset reliability issues. Years of improper operation and deferred maintenance had taken a toll. But the inherent reliability was still adequate to support reliable performance at or near design levels. Lack of standard procedures, training deficiencies and limited supervision led the list of issues that turned out to be the real source of their performance problems.

As a result, they had substantially lowered the target outputs and did nothing to resolve chronic production shortfalls.

Take Nothing For Granted | Manuela Pauer

They had basically given up and just accepted that only a complete rebuild or replacement of their installed capacity would solve the problem. This view had become a shared vision throughout the plant and, as one would expect, had become the reality. Convincing first the management team and then the workforce that their production systems could reliably perform at design-level turned out to be our biggest challenge in this turnaround. Years of conditioning are very difficult to overcome and cannot be accomplished quickly. But if one follows sound change management practices and makes sure that each step is carefully evaluated—remember, never assume anything—it can be done.

After a few months of concentrated effort and carefully crafted steps to both recondition the workforce and improve production performance, everyone could see measurable improvement. Outputs were substantially higher—not at full design, but definitely trending in that direction. Operators were beginning to believe that their modules could actually deliver design outputs.

Overall, production performance OEE had improved by 5. At this point, one could assume the turnaround had succeeded and celebrate success, right? Unfortunately, this was not—and typically is not—true.

Take Nothing for Granted

Changing the conditioned beliefs of the workforce and management team takes proof and time. Careful observations as well as communications with the workforce at all levels revealed hidden resistors who remained convinced that operating these production systems at higher speeds was absolutely the wrong thing to do.

While they were not overtly resisting change, their convictions affected their decisions and work executions, and influenced the performance of others. Success was and is dependent on careful, continuous analysis and resultant actions that assume nothing and question everything.