It’s that time of year again!
Labor Day Mattress Sale time?! No.
National Chicken Boy Day?! No.
Herry Monster’s Birthday?! No.
It’s Back to School time and this marks the 21st edition of #ArchiTalks.
Back To School
Since this month’s topic is “Back to School,” I started thinking about this transition time, what it means to kids and what it means to parents and really, what in the world we should take from all this. What have we learned?
If you have kids, they’re getting older. If you don’t, they’re not. Seems pretty simple. Is there something we can all take away from Back to School sans kids or not?
Our kids are in middle school now, so the start of this school year seemed like it would be pretty anti-climatic … but it wasn’t, really. There are always new experiences, new things to learn, new things to worry about. At least that’s what our minds tell us. Have we learned anything?
All this contemplation, that and the severe dehydration from coaching two baseball games in 90 degree heat and 85% humidity, got me thinking about … baseball.
I work with a lot of pitchers and batters. By the time these players get to high school, they think they know what they’re doing … but they don’t. Well, they do and they don’t. That’s the problem.
It’s just like that first day of school where all the new experiences and lessons and worries weigh on our minds.
These players I coach get frustrated when they can’t throw strikes or can’t hit a curve ball. To be honest, I get frustrated when they can’t throw strikes or hit a curve ball too! So, I take another trip to the mound or pull another batter aside.
I have a pretty standard question for these times: “What are you doing?”
Now, if you’ve never played baseball, the laymen’s translation to that question is something along the lines of “What have you changed? What are you doing now that’s different than when you were throwing strikes or hitting the curve ball?”
A perfectly good pitcher or hitter can go completely off the rails by thinking they need to change something. Maybe they saw something on tv or maybe one of their friends told them to try something or maybe they started compensating for something.
It doesn’t matter. They changed something and now it’s not working. It’s amazing how deep a hole they can dig.
Just yesterday, I had a frustrated pitcher tell me: “It feels like when I hop like this I’m losing a little bit of my control.” Now, I don’t want to sound like Mr. Obvious, but …
The remedy for whatever the answer to “What are you doing?” is often: “Let’s forget all that and get back to the basics.”
Let’s Get Back To The Basics
First day of school jitters can often be remedied by getting back to the basics; remembering that we’ve done this before, that we have the friends and skills and bravery to get us through.
Whether you’re an Architect (maybe like you) or you help Architects market their services (like me), we can dig some pretty deep holes (pun intended).
How many times this year have you chased a shiny object, taken your eye off the prize, forgotten what got you to where you are?
Don’t get me wrong, there’s always room for growth and improvement, but what have we learned?
In my little corner of the profession, there are endless conversations about Facebook and joining the Builder’s Association and “How do I convince someone that our firm is the best?”
What ensues are always questions like:
Why do you do what you do?
Who do you do it for?
What do they care about?