It’s been a while since I’ve done a manic monday post. Today was especially frustrating, maddening, annoying, many other “ing”s and just plain MANIC. So I thought it was fitting to sit down and quickly write about my experiences today and how they might apply to the daily practice of architecture.
Today’s theme is patience.
If you know me, you know this has not always been a strength of mine. Quite the opposite in point of fact. I will say that it takes a bit to get me going. I’m generally a pretty chill guy and most things I can just let roll of my shoulder and I keep moving forward. But, on rare occasions I find myself getting incredibly intolerant and impatient with certain things about people. Mostly this boils down to a complete lack of patience for ignorance and no sense of responsibility. Today was “one of those days” where I seemed to be surrounded by one excuse after another, one delay after another and one pointless meeting after another. In short I got nothing done, but I looked really busy. And that makes me lose my patience quickly.
Now, the business of architecture is most often described as the management of people and their expectations of a project. This includes clients, consultants, colleagues and that guy that keeps forgetting to give you a pickle with your damn lunch order!….And managing those people requires both patience and grace. There are times however when both are in short supply and you simply run out to the end of your rope and want to strangle something or someone. What do you do then?
This was the situation I found myself in today. What did I do? Honestly, nothing. That may sound strange, especially coming from me, but sometimes nothing is the best thing you can do because the alternative will likely involve some explaining to the authorities….I mean…uh. Nevermind. What was I saying?
Oh yeah. Patience and grace. You can not truly manage people unless you can manage yourself and your reactions to other people and the situations you find yourself in. If you find that you have run to the end of your rope and you know you’re about to do something stupid the very best thing you can do is nothing. Because doing nothing gives you time to properly assess your own feelings in the situation and decide what the best reaction is to the situation or towards the person across the table. If you can manage that one moment you can find your way to manage the people and the situation properly and move forward.
Sometimes doing nothing is the best way to win over on a challenging and frustrating day. Sometimes that little bit of patience and grace, even if only for yourself, will mean the difference between success and failure. So, next time you find yourself in “one of those days”, just take a breath and remember that you can only truly manage yourself. Do that and you win.