I have read a lot of useless crap in my 20-some-odd years of literacy. I have also read a few things that have positively touched my soul.
Steven Pressfield wrote an amazing little book called "The War of Art" about how Resitence tries to keep us from bringing the best within us to the world. The incredible lessons of that book came in terribly handy this week as my faith in the mental and spiritual side of my work was tested.
Our year started off a bit slow and expensive, and we have been just flooded with great projects lately. Our internal systems of job expense tracking, material management, and project notes are really evolving now, but are nowhere near what they out to be for me to leave town amid 4 big projects. Nevertheless, spring break and the second annual Concrete Decor show came up, and Shelly and I had planned to attend for months. I knew I had to go. I have always known the real value creation in our work comes from our specialized knowledge and our network of fellow artisans, but knowing that and stepping away from business for a week when things are finally really cranking are two different things.
So we kept our faith and went. Did things run perfectly in my absence? Of course not. However my team did rally to make some raving fans, and nothing was really ruined. Most importantly, I was able to have amazing conversations with guys I have looked up to in my industry (Mike Miller, Tom Ralston, Rocky Geans, etc.) and meet some new people to really learn from (Dru Blair, Nathan Giffin, Thom Hunt, etc.). Back to the Pressfield reference, I found that that just before I found some real nuclear fuel in a conversation, I would be confronted with a fire to put out back home. When I pressed through Resistence's efforts to keep me from growing and contributing at the highest level, I would then be rewarded with a pearl of wisdom, or a real reason to run the good race. In the words of the good prophet Greg Graffin "I seek a thousand answers, I find but one or two/I maintain no discomfiture, my path again renewed!"