Slow Down

Are you constantly on the go? Slow Down!

When I was in seventh grade I got this extra credit assignment in my math class about monkeys. Three monkeys are on an island with a huge bag of bananas. But it was unclear how many bananas were in the bag. That's what I had to figure out. At the time, we were doing basic algebra with one or two variables. I brought the assignment home and asked my dad (an engineer) for help.

He started writing equations down for everything we knew (it was a wordy word problem). I'd never seen so many variables. I had no idea how we were going to solve all these equations, and he wasn't using x and y. He was using T sub 1, M sub 2, etc. I was lost.

But I heard one phrase about 40 times that night.

“Read the problem. Stop. What do you know? Write it down.” 

He said it over and over again. I never got to read the whole problem at once because we kept “finding things out” and writing down random equations down. But he was hell-bent on teaching me real math that night (even if he did show me on the computer later that night how we could have written a program to solve it in 5 minutes).

Four hours we worked that night!

“Read the problem. Stop. What do you know? Write it down.” 

We got the problem solved. I learned algebra that night. For real. And I fell in love with how computers could solve problems even faster. But I learned something far more important that night.

My tendency is to move too quickly. To make assumptions. To get going before I know everything I need to know. And to skip past useful information.

Want to have success in 2013? Slow down.

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Chris Lema
Chris Lema has been working with WordPress since 2005. Over the years he's been a blogger, a speaker at WordCamps, a coach for WordPress product companies, and the founder of the conference for WordPress business owners, called CaboPress. Today he's the VP of Products at Liquid Web, where he manages the world's first managed platform for WooCommerce stores.

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