Sunday, June 14, 2009


shinichi maruyama

During SXSW Interactive 2006 I was caught waiting in the first morning registration lines that spiraled around several levels of the Austin Convention Center. I was amped and ready to go AND I was in line. Waiting. Waiting some more. I did have my iPod with me so I was not unhappy, but I was not very patient either.

At SXSW that morning, I was confronted with stupid lines, registration computers that didn't work and standing in one line to PAY and a 2nd line to get my picture taken and then milling about (no line) waiting for the morning's 1.25 hr task, the badge! I tried to keep my joy about me even when I got to the front of the second line, right next to the 1st line. I didn't even have to ask "why." I was sublimely arriving.

And thus I coined my state of mind as continuously arriving at patience. Once I came up with the phrase it became a rally point for me in all sorts of uncomfortable situations. Skip forward to my current state of affairs.

<confessional mode>

  • I'm overweight
  • I drink a lot of coffee
  • I drive like a mad man and like it that way
  • I am quick to interrupt (I call it passion, others might experience it as rude)
  • I am not all that nice at times
  • If I think I'm right I often stop listening to other view points

</confessional mode>

So today I take evasive action. And one of those steps was to swam laps in the pool for the first time in years. (I was a competitive swimmer in high school - 100 meter freestyle)

And I will work to return to patience with the following actions:

  • I will listen for more than 50% of every conversation
  • I will save my "ideas" and wait until the appropriate time (it's okay to say, let's come back to this, I don't have to offer my solution right away: see 'teachable moment.')
  • I will channel that pent up frustration into tennis matches, swimming laps and writing
  • I will consider every twitter snipe twice before sending it.

and most importantly...

  • I will take a 20 time out each morning after the kids are gone, to center and plan my top-3 for the day. Everyday.

I'll let you know how it's going in a bit.

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