I used to be a patient person, or at least I think I used to be a patient person. I at least know that people used to tell me that I was a patient person, but I also know it has been nearly a decade since anyone thrusted that label upon me.
I was the guy that had no problem spending hours polishing and waxing my car. Now I often stare at that last fender wondering: “Does it even need wax, no one would notice, right?” I used to spend an entire month working on a problem and be happy when I finally solved it — never feeling the urgent need to half-ass it just to get it off my plate.
I could wait on hold patiently for hours, stand in any line. Endure almost any wait. Things generally didn’t bug me that much, and if they did I just let them slide by me.
Whatever I accomplished, I always tried to measure qualitatively instead of quantitatively.
For the last five years I feel that has slipped away into nothingness. I am but a quantitative person who likes to think they are a qualitative person.
And it’s because I’ve lost my patience in life.
In losing my patience I lost my perspective of what is important. I’ve made significant changes to my life over the past month — changes which if I have done them right the only two things people will notice is: a more patient person, and someone only putting out their best work.
Of course, I have no fucking clue if I will actually achieve the goal of regaining my patience, but I know that is what I want back. And I also know how to get it: I need to refocus.
I need to pay attention to the work, down to every detail, and I need to let go of due dates. I need to only track things that actually have a firm due date. For everything else the due date should always be: when I am done.
This, of course, is not practical for every aspect of my life, but it is for my ‘Brooks Review’ life — where the work I do here can, and will, wait until it is done.
This is not to say I will output less, in fact I hope to output more. But I hope to (once again) output higher quality writing and podcasting, and far less lower-quality crap that I just wanted to check off my list.
And I think that starts with passion.
Yes, I mean the cliché idea of doing what you are passionate about. I mean writing and podcasting about the topics that are of interest to me and not the topics that are now popular in the “field”. I mean killing a post 1,000 words into it if I just am not feeling it.
I mean reading and writing about less news, less linked list crap to try to spur a healthy amount of page views for my ego.
Passion to do what I want without fear.
None of this is to say that I am in any way not proud of the work I have done on this site, or elsewhere. But it is an acknowledgment of two things:
- I know that I can do better, and I want to be known for the quality of the work I do, above all else.
- I want to eliminate the self-imposed pressures of trying to just get as much stuff shipped as possible, even if it means not enough proofreading. I would rather feel the pressure of wondering if what I just did is truly ready to go out on its own in this world.
This article, by the way, isn’t for you, it’s for me. It’s a contract that I am making with myself.
You can help by holding me to it.
Thanks for reading.