A Trait We All Have, but Often Forget About
I still remember the first time I did a lot of things in life. And the moments just before I did it...the feeling of fear, exhilaration, and not sure how it would all turn out.
Like the first time I:
Rode a bike without training wheels.
Stepped on the ice rink for my first lesson.
Arrived at Penn State as a clueless, wide-eyed freshman.
Went on my first career interview.
Worked with my first client.
And every single time of these “firsts,” I recall that feeling. And how that powerful feeling could have stopped me in my tracks, but I went for it anyway, because I knew I had to do it. The fear was overturned by a voice inside me that said: “Just do it, Sarah!”
The voice in my 5-year old self to ride that bike without training wheels. I fell a few times, but was soon zooming around the neighborhood like a champ.
The voice in my 8-year old self to step on the ice. I fell once or twice that day, but just a few months later, won 1st place in the ice skating competition.
The voice in my 18-year old self that accepted the offer to attend Penn State. One of the best decisions I ever made - I'll never forget the academics, experiences, relationships, and memories as a result.
The voice in my 22-year old self to take that interview. While I didn't get THAT job, I "practiced" for an upcoming interview at my dream job - which I landed.
The voice in my 33-year old self to work with that client. Not only did I help that client with her goals at the time, but she recently hired me again to help her achieve new ones!
And with each of these firsts in my life, I remember what happened right after I did them. I remember falling, I remember feeling awkward, I remember being nervous. I never felt totally ready.
And guess what? Those moments were merely moments, and as time went on, I didn’t fall as much, I felt confident, and I knew I was in the right place.
That voice telling me to “Just do it, Sarah!” is a voice you have too. It guides you to do things when you are afraid, aren’t sure about it, don’t feel “ready,” and might fail.
That voice is courage.
And I think a lot of times we forget how much courage we have inside of us. I know I often forget, and need to constantly remind myself as I have new "firsts" I want to achieve. And as time goes by, we seem to be faced with bigger “firsts”, like:
Changing jobs or careers.
Starting a business.
Starting a new relationship.
Moving to a new city.
Having our first child.
And when you’re faced with these decisions, think back to your original firsts and big decisions you made, and that voice you listened to that guided you. That courage.
You and I have so much courage, yet we often overlook it. We get caught up in the grind of life; we get caught up with what everyone else is doing (thanks, social media feed!), and we get caught up with what we feel we “should” be doing based on so many factors. We tell ourselves we aren't smart, strong, or worthy enough. We completely forget of all the courageous things we've already done!
Think about potential “firsts” you have on the horizon, or deep down what your inner voice is whispering for you to do. Consider what’s holding you back - and think back to your other firsts in life to inspire you to move forward.
Share with us below what firsts you have on the horizon - and we'll send positive vibes (and courage) your way!
China's Push Toward Excellence Delivers a Global Robotics Investment Opportunity
Written by: Jeremie Capron
China is on a mission to change its reputation from a manufacturer of cheap, mass-produced goods to a world leader in high quality manufacturing. If that surprises you, you’re not the only one.
For decades, China has been synonymous with the word cheap. But times are changing, and much of that change is reliant on the adoption of robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence, or RAAI (pronounced “ray”). For investors, this shift is driving a major opportunity to capture growth and returns rooted in China’s rapidly increasing demand for RAAI technologies.
You may have heard of ‘Made in China 2025,’ the strategy announced in 2015 by the central government aimed at remaking its industrial sector into a global leader in high-technology products and advanced manufacturing techniques. Unlike some public relations announcements, this one is much more than just a marketing tagline. Heavily subsidized by the Chinese government, the program is focused on generating major investments in automated manufacturing processes, also referred to as Industry 4.0 technologies, in an effort to drive a massive transformation across every sector of manufacturing. The program aims to overhaul the infrastructure of China’s manufacturing industry by not only driving down costs, but also—and perhaps most importantly—by improving the quality of everything it manufactures, from textiles to automobiles to electronic components.
Already, China has become what is arguably the most exciting robotics market in the world. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2016 alone, more than 87,000 robots were sold in the country, representing a year-over-year increase of 27%, according to the International Federation of Robotics. Last month’s World Robot Conference 2017 in Beijing brought together nearly 300 artificial intelligence (AI) specialists and representatives of over 150 robotics enterprises, making it one of the world’s largest robotics-focused conference in the world to date. That’s quite a transition for a country that wasn’t even on the map in the area of robotics only a decade ago.
As impressive as that may be, what’s even more exciting for anyone with an eye on the robotics industry is the fact that this growth represents only a tiny fraction of the potential for robotics penetration across China’s manufacturing facilities—and for investors in the companies that are delivering or are poised to deliver on the promise of RAAI-driven manufacturing advancements.
Despite its commitment to leverage the power of robotics, automation and AI to meet its aggressive ‘Made in China 2025’ goals, at the moment China has only 1 robot in place for every 250 manufacturing workers. Compare that to countries like Germany and Japan, where manufacturers utilize an average of one robot for every 30 human workers. Even if China were simply trying to catch up to other countries’ use of robotics, those numbers would signal immense near-term growth. But China is on a mission to do much more than achieve the status quo. The result? According to a recent report by the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), in 2019 as much as 40% of the worldwide market volume of industrial robots could be sold in China alone.
To understand how the country can support such grand growth, just take a look at where and why robotics is being applied today. While the automotive sector has historically been the largest buyer of robots, China’s strategy reaches far and wide to include a wide variety of future-oriented manufacturing processes and industries.
Electronics is a key example. In fact, the electrical and electronics industry surpassed the automotive industry as the top buyer of robotics in 2016, with sales up 75% to almost 30,000 units. Assemblers such as Foxconn rely on thousands of workers to assemble today’s new iPhones. Until recently, the assembly of these highly delicate components required a level of human dexterity that robots simply could not match, as well as human vision to help ensure accuracy and quality. But recent advancements in robotics are changing all that. Industrial robots already have the ability to handle many of the miniature components in today’s smart phones. Very soon, these robots are expected to have the skills to bolster the human workforce, significantly increasing manufacturing capacity. Newer, more dexterous industrial robots are expected to significantly reduce human error during the assembly process of even the most fragile components, including the recently announced OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens that Samsung and Apple introduced on their latest mobile devices including the iPhone X. Advancements in computer vision are transforming how critical quality checks are performed on these and many other electronic devices. All of these innovations are coming together at just the right time for a country that is striving to create the world’s most advanced manufacturing climate.
Clearly, China’s trajectory in the area of RAAI is in hyper drive. For investors who are seeking a tool to leverage this opportunity in an intelligent and perhaps unexpected way, the ROBO Global Robotics & Automation Index may help. The ROBO Index already offers a vast exposure to China’s potential growth due to the depth and breadth of the robotics and automation supply chain. As China continues to improve its manufacturing processes to meet its 2025 initiative, every supplier across China’s far-reaching supply chains will benefit. Wherever they are located, suppliers of RAAI-related components—reduction gears, sensors, linear motion systems, controllers, and so much more—are bracing for spikes in demand as China pushes to turn its dream into a reality.
Today, around 13% of the revenues generated by the ROBO Global Index members are driven by China’s investments in robotics and automation. Tomorrow? It’s hard to say. But one thing is for certain: China’s commitment to improving the quality and cost-efficiency of its manufacturing facilities is showing no signs of slowing down—and its reliance on robotics, automation, and artificial intelligence is vital to its success.
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