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82 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I MAY 2020 Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS Around 20 years ago, I had the good fortune of receiving a recommendation to read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz and subsequently picking it up. It is a short and simple book that the author says is based on ancient Toltec wisdom. While the book am- plifies the premises by examples, these are the four personal agreements: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don't take anything personally. 3. Don't make assumptions. 4. Always do your best. I do my best to keep these agreements with myself in mind on a daily basis as I navigate the world around me. I've found that they are often applicable in many unanticipated ways, from personal relationships to business and even into process development and invention, which have been central to my career since I first encountered them. This brings us to this month's theme: "What does the electronics industry expect of its de- signers," or from the designer's perspective, "What do you expect from me?" At this point, one might be inclined to say, "I want perfection, of course," but we all know it is unlikely that will ever happen. There are always things that don't quite go as planned. Mistakes are "as perennial as the grass" (to lift and perhaps misuse a line from Max Ehrmann's wonderfully inspirational poem "Desiderata"). While first-pass perfection may be unlike- ly, it is not beyond approach. In last month's column, I put forth the notion that rather than When Expectations and Results Don't Line Up

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