There’s a difference between cutting corners and not turning them; to cut a corner is to take a shortcut, to fail to turn one is to face a wall. And some walls must be walked around, the time it takes to scale them simply not worth the benefit, the cost being too great. I’m speaking in proverbs but I refer to my work.
The past three days I have beat my head against a wall in the way only an engineer can. The enginnering being web engineering, but whether the medium be code or steel, square pegs do not fit round holes; and sure, were I more skilled I would be able to solve the problem at once, but I am not.
Every man must make great from his own share of good, conforming to his limits rather than bending to them. At the heart of the matter is the question of inherent neccesity. Is problem X of inherent neccesity to solve? If not, there need be limits to the amount of time wasted on it.
At thirty I am goal driven as the migrating whale, called to waters beyond the horizon by something bigger than myself, bigger than my stubborn inclinations. I’m learning that self-mastery includes mastering even the best of intentions; as much as I would like everything I output to match my mental conception, I simply don’t have the time to be Michaelangelo. Some ideals simply aren’t neccesary. This is the art of living; to know that doing your best requires a degree of comprimise between what is possible and what you can do. This, I suppose, is practicality. Something I’ve never been big on.
I’m an idealist – but I’m coming to see that it’s better to be a doer than a dreamer. I met a man tonight who has been writing his book since 2000. Sixteen years and he never went around a wall.
I’ve often quoted Joyce, but the longest way round is not the shortest way home. The shortest way home is to limit the points between two distances.
The Buddhists have a framework for right speech consisting of three questions:
Is it true?
Is it kind?
Is it neccesary?
If a thought meets these essential requirements then it is worth speaking. But what of my engineering problem? Might I have my own framework I may use to determine if the thing is worth doing? Surely.
Is it neccesary to completion of the goal?
That’s it. The buck stops there.
The answer in my case being no. So, it will go on a prioritized list pending surplus time and money. That’s called pragmatism.
My books will be my Sistine Chapel, my businesses simply the financing.
I intend to put this lean capitalist principle into use immediately. For while we all have problems to solve and needs we wish to meet, there do exist more important principles, bigger pictures.