… is ignorance.
Really, it is. And to be frank, it took me a long time to come to terms that the cause for most pain points I saw in my career and my business was directly related to the shit I had no control over. So why in the world did I let those things bother me so much, why did I allow my day to be consumed or ruined by things that I had no chance in hell of affecting… likely at the cost of the things I actually could work on to directly improve myself, my partners, my customers, etc? Caring? Stupid? It’s too hard to call.
For example, and you can quickly scroll through more than two years of posts here:
I’ve been reporting MAPS piracy since we’ve been a Microsoft Partner, not a stitch of progress for years (until maybe a year ago). Microsoft Licensing has sucked as long as we’ve been offering it. MCSE, MCSA and MCP credentials have been allowed to dilute to the point of being worth less than the paper they were printed on. And don’t get me started on the lack of release quality, testing and not to mention the apparent non-existance of performance tuning.
And that’s just Microsoft! You don’t want to see what choice words I have for Bell South, T-Mobile, HTC, Dell, HP, DHL, US Postal Service, airlines and all the other external parties that caused me grief over the years. I had to deal with them. I did not have to let them affect the way I went about things.
For me, 2007 has been all about letting go of things that I had no chance in hell of affecting. I hope you can take the same advice and apply it yourself. You have customers and clients, right? Think about spending time with them and on them, instead of being a martyr for the greater good of mankind. Think about focusing on your craft, your business, your profession and the things you have direct control over. Let go, let go, let go of the negatives done by third parties because you can do far more good when you focus your time on what you produce.
As you lower your expecations and unrealistic notions that you can actually affect someone to the point that they will change, you will start to feel much better about the changes that actually take place. For example, I’m extatic about the fact that businesses can no longer obtain MAPS if they don’t pass a test confirming they are an IT shop. Perfect? No. But it didn’t cost me any time and its good news coming my way. It feels better than a victory and it took a lot less effort (well, none).
There is constantly this nagging discussion in the background to define who we are, take advantage of who we are to influence someone or something to act in some way, get a definitive stand on something.. in the end ending up a pointless debate leading to no decision, no action and no execution.
So whatever is pissing you off, whoever is crumbling your paper, whichever external factor you “hope, wish, need” to change.. just ignore it and take some of that time, capacity and passion and think of a way to pour it into something that you can actually point at and say “I know it ain’t perfect, but I think this makes things a lot better”
Or sit on your ass and wallow in misery about how life ain’t fair. Your call. I’d rather be happy.