By SIMPHIWE MAKAPELA
Its Monday morning. Your alarm goes off. You wake up, for the 3rd time. This is after you've been snoozing since 5am, your normal time to wake up. Its only in snoozing mode where we can convert 5 minutes into 55 minutes in a "blink" of an eye. "Oh my!" You think to yourself. You only have less than 30minutes to get to the Bus Stop that's located 10 minutes away from your yard. Your internal 'Time-keeper' confirms at the speed of light that you have exactly 20minutes to finish up what normaly takes you 60 minutes. "Damn it!" You think - while you jump out of bed as though you had just sat on a needle. You spend the next 10 seconds making up your mind as to whether you should dive into a cold water bath ... Or to even bath at all. Its mid-winter. So you dismiss the cold-water bath suggestion immediately. Now there's the challenge of, "do I take my regular warm bath or ...?" If yes, this means you have to rush to the kitchen to warm up the water with the electric water Urn for at least 20minutes since your geyser broke, a week ago. "Nope, I'll go for a kettle," you decide - as you reach for it thinking that you'll just take care of your face and abdomen.
[FAST FOWARD]. Its exactly 20 minutes later. You are dressing up. You were "kicked upstairs" (promoted to a Supervisory position), barely a month ago, at a Call Center firm. You must get there first, to open up. Twenty five minutes later, you rush out of the house (yes, fully dressed). You jog your way to the Bus Stop and you are lucky enough to spot the bus negotiating its way through the rush hour traffic. Its 6:30am. You are now comfortably inside, sitting down and panting heavily due to excessive running. You've calmed down now ... Until reality hits you ... THE KEYS TO THE BUILDING! You forgot them at home. By that time, the bus is on the highway. "Dammmmn!" You shout, throwing a mini tantrum.
Now back to reality. The scenario above, is a great metaphorical depiction of the reality behind rush. More often than not, we are more susceptible to forget, miss or skip an important part of any process if we are under the influence of hastyness.
There is no way better than the patience way. What is true for the aforementioned, is even truer for the creative and innovative process. No matter how quick an idea lands in your mind or brainstorming session at the boardroom table; patience, or the speed at which that idea is developed, will seperate a well-thought-through solution from a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" kind of idea.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, and its accomplice, time. Patience does not mean, "be slow, ignore the pressure, just take your time, you're the one in charge." NO! Patience can be the ability to forgive yourself for not getting things right the very first time. Patience, in the creative context, is the ability to allow time to add that touch of maturity in your idea the same way a bottle of quality wine becomes even more pricier after a lapse of time. The Patience Way works hand in hand with thorough preparation. If it were possible to philosophically and perhaps prophetically analyze failed business ideas, one would probably be able to record findings of premature production. Some ideas that hit the air with hype and die down as quick as a plane with dysfunctional propellas - do so because of lack of growth either on the idea itself or the idea holder needed some growing up to do.
Of course, "getting a solution or an idea," so eloquently said some gentleman, "should be like sitting on a needle. It should make you jump and do something about it." As clear as that sounds, it shouldn't be a "thumbs up" for rush jobs. I am not advocating slackyness. But I am simply trying to uphold excellence. Excellence is a work of serious art hence the reason creative artists never finish their work even upon submission. If one ought to artically maneuver one's way around solutions, then the ability to patiently join dots has to be employed. One must allow process to finish its course.
However, our response time will, in most instances, be critical - just like the scenario of the gentleman who woke up late. How do we solve his problem? We have to make sure he wakes up in time. But how then do we deal with situations in our lives that require a faster response time
PATIENCE UNDER PRESSURE
From a medical angle. Physicians are constantly faced with the challenge of saving lives under pressure - where a person is pulled out of a severe accident and rushed to the hospital by paramedics and every act has to be practiced at the speed of light to save the life.
Question: According to the widespread belief of the word patience: "take your time" kind of perspective. Will the physicians save the day? Yes? No? Maybe? I don't think they would! Under such conditions, every second of delay is a setback to the patient's life. And more often than not, a great deal of sense of urgency is vital. But this, then, opens up another important argument. The term is Responsibilty. We, linguistics, define responsibilty as an act of "responding with ability."Patience, in tight angles, workwise, requires skill, or the ability to respond with foreknowledge and the technical know-how. When a terrible car accident survivor is rushed into the hospital with speed, only qualified, experienced, level-headed, good and reputable physicians are called in to be responsible for the patient's life.
In the world of deadlines, there will be more instances where each and every ounce of a second will matter. Suppose a construction project is running behind by a dangerous amount of time. We know the procedure. The client will call and want to find out how far is the building process not because he is impatient but time, in the world of construction, is money. Plant-Hire firms will lease out a machine to a construction company for 2 weeks irrespective of how they will decide to use it. But common sense even in that space will advice that able workers only, ought to be entrusted with the machine so as to speed up the process with great precision and ability.So yes, innovation, in many respects, cannot be short circuited by us mere mortals. However, skill, and familiarity with issue at hand, will most definitely come in very handy in situations where there is no ample time.
Review some of your personal life's failures and analyze whether or not you were well equiped for the event or assignment. Yet again, review some of your most tressured successes, and find out why you flowed regardless of the amount of time that was allocated by the challenge.
We constantly owe it to ourselves to promote a thinking that encourages patience, preparation and ability in order for us to creatively sail over the challenges of our times. An understanding of believing that we are all creatively gifted in different domains, will spur us further and make us more effective in the 21st Century.