“Working out the kinks today will make for a better tomorrow.” - Fortune Cookie

A conversation earlier this week highlighted that there are times when a fast response isn’t the best one. As one gets older, it’s easy to look back and ask, “How might I have handled that better?” Of course, the only real value in doing that is to learn and do better for the future, rather than engage in disappointment in your past actions.

The trouble is that it is so easy to rush through a task, or a piece of writing. As someone who writes to a deadline, and has to produce a lot of content, I realize how much of a rush I’m in all the time. The to do list never gets shorter, and the goal of that may be to keep one busy and unreflective on what’s happening. But the reason for a long to-do list that keeps filling up, no matter how fast you complete a task, could be something else.

No Shortcuts

Add to this the bit of wisdom I stumbled upon later in life…“There are no shortcuts.” If you want to really learn something, put the time in. You have to embrace the suck aspect of every job to get the pearl.

That’s why I like this fortune cookie quote at the end of my meal today. Take the time to work through the kinks, those problems and issues, and do it, not only to complete the job, but also to learn as much as you can from the experience…to, as Henry David Thoreau put it, “suck the marrow out of” every experience.

That is quite a helpful piece of advice. As a young person, I’m not sure I was able to understand it. The reason why is the push to get from one thing to the next, to finish this job to get to the next. You never stop to study the door or the lock in front of you except to smash it or pick it to get through it.

Aside: When you play a video game, do you play to finish or to explore each level, even if it delays finishing the game? Your answer may well reflect your perspective on this topic. ;-)

A Better Understood Past, A More Rewarding Tomorrow

What experiences could I have had that would have taught me this lesson sooner? The list is a list of everything I avoided so as to NOT learn that lesson. Working out the kinks might get me a better tomorrow, but learning everything I could about each kink…that would have ensured a better tomorrow.

More Time Now

All that aside, I enjoyed the meal and the fortune cookie. And, going forward, I’m going to spend a bit more time on the obstacles rather than just finishing them to get to the next level.