While being inspired on Twitter one fine afternoon, a friend of mine started talking about how premium quality anything takes time to develop and build. We dove into a discussion about this, and how relevant it is today with the rapidity of growth, economies of scale, and the power of the exponent.
I asked her if she wanted to write something for the site, and she obliged.
It’s comforting to remember that premium quality anything takes time.
By Anna O’Reilly, 21st Feb 2014
My friend Ned picked up on a thought bubble I wrote for my twitter account, and asked me to expand on the concept within the context of strategies for success.
While considering how to convey the idea in terms of success, my mind kept going back to something I read from an obscure Buddhist text in my early 20s. The words I recall were something like the following: If you wish to become a master, you must begin by learning to sweep a floor.
The notes to the text went on to explain that sweeping a floor properly, along every edge and corner, requires that the sweeper pay attention to detail. The individual who aspires to mastery of the mysteries must first become a master of the mundane. Furthermore, a master must never forget to remain humble. Beginning the journey with a menial task is an excellent leveller to yoke the wily ego. It’s the ego in the end that spoils quality.
The ability to create premium quality actions or articles in any medium requires that the mind of the creator is refined. Quality thinking demands attention to detail, method, logic and discipline without which, abstractions of the imagination become meaningless. There is a correlation here to the link between the concepts of limitation and freedom.
And so, the experience accumulated between learning to sweep a floor with thoroughness and discipline, and the creation of a premium quality work of art, craftsmanship, literature or theory, takes a lot of time.
Getting back to my original statement, it is comforting to recognise that quality anything takes time. In general, the human world around us is demanding and fast. Much of what is produced and promoted is neither premium quality nor considered beyond the value of immediate profits or benefit. In short, many products are shabby and thoughts are half-baked at best.
Those with a taste for quality resonate to a different frequency, dance to a different beat. We expect high quality thoughts and action from our relationships, our work, our governments and ourselves. It’s about context and taste. It’s about noticing the dirt in the corners of the floor and the dust along the skirting. Don’t worry if your project is taking time, it’s supposed to take time to get the best.