I’m currently in Las Vegas at the airport, waiting to board my flight home. I was in town the past four nights for the same reason I come here every year at this time — the Life is Beautiful festival. It’s a three-day event that features music, art, culinary creations, and ideas. This year, I started off the festival Friday at 3 p.m. at the Fremont stage to see Bill Nye. That’s right…the science guy!

Though he’s not an HVAC engineer, he did present an idea that resonated with me, so I wanted to share it with you.

Nye introduced the idea of an upside-down pyramid. People use this approach for several different things — that’s how journalists organize their stories and some weightlifters stagger their exercises. But the way Nye used it was different. He introduced it as a way to see and appreciate things.

He pointed out that so much of what we use in our everyday lives, so much of what we rely on, all of it started out as a simple idea inside someone’s mind. And from that idea, it grows. It starts out at that little point at the bottom, and that idea becomes a well-thought-out plan, which turns into a process of creation, and eventually becomes a reality — our reality. But, we tend to only see things for what they are as a whole; we don’t look at the pieces and processes that make up the final product.

You’re probably wondering what this has to do with you. Well, a lot. Nye’s speech made me realize something that I already knew but often overlook: It’s all about perspective. You see, he sees this upside-down pyramid because he’s an engineer. That’s his passion, so he appreciates where inventions come from and that they come from ideas.

As HVAC contractors, you are putting people’s ideas into action every day. The equipment that you install, maintain, and repair — it’s all a product of someone’s thoughts and artistic vision. If you are passionate about your work, you will appreciate that. You will trace your tools back to where they originated, so you will understand why they exist, what they do, and what problems they can solve. If you do this, and you really admire the minds and the science behind the technology we have, you will find that you will enjoy your job more; you will look forward to thought-provoking challenges; your sales pitch, backed by 100 percent conviction, will sell itself; and you will inspire your employees and colleagues to follow in your footsteps.