Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The importance of meticulousness

It sounds like a boring topic, but this is what it takes to be real good. As I get older and older, I realize the difference between those who are the best, and those who are not. It's not a matter of talent, but a matter of meticulousness.

Or better put, those who dedicate themselves to being the best, to mastering their craft, will do better in the long run against people who are more talented, but less driven.

That inner drive is something that has taken me a long time to learn, and is part of all our maturation process.

Today has been a good day, I just had job interview at a nice company, and I was again reminded how important craftsmanship is over talent.

It may sound contra-trendy, but it makes sense.

Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, Red McCombs, may have some talent or genius, but their success is more do to their drive and persistence.

In each of my jobs and careers, and I have had many of both, especially at my old age of 41. People my age, have had to deal with the change in job culture, instead of people having jobs lasting 20-40 years, staying at the same company, retiring with great pensions, we have to deal with changing jobs frequentally to keep moving up the ladder.

I don' t know if that's because of the transformation from an industrial age to an information age.

So times and people change, sometimes for the better sometimes not. The key in my mind is what can we learn from it, how can we improve where we are.

I think one thing I do, that I'd like to pass on, is that I use mental imagery of craftsmanship and persistence, when I am in doubt.

I think about ancient japanese swordsmiths, perfecting their sword over however many months and years it took to create a beautiful and efficient weapon. They had a lot of pride in their work, and since their name, reputation and life depended on it. They would live or die by their work.

I also think of at times, of my father, as a pediatric dentist for 30-40 years, dealing with whiny kids, who demanded perfect care on their teeth, to create a better and healthier future. Imagine the patience and dedication it takes to be the best, because only the best is acceptable to him...

What kind of images motivate you to stay or move towards the best?

What motivates you, who are your idols of craftsmanship?

What books do you read to remember your best work?

Thank you.