fast, right, or cheap

choices.  life is full of them.  design + construction is no different.  there is a saying i picked up early on in my career while looking over a set of plans on a tailgate of a contractor’s truck at a soon to be new construction site.  he stopped, looked at the owner + said “do you want it fast, right or cheap?  you can pick two.”  everyone stopped + digested what he said.  then the owner of the soon to be project responded with i’ll take all three…while everyone got a good laugh.

this lighthearted moment at the start of a construction project that i helped design has stuck with me.  it was true then, it’s true now + it doesn’t just apply to design + construction.  we have to decide daily: do we want to invest our time into things that are instant + give immediate gratification or things that will last. 

the world we inhabit today is full of things that are fast + cheap.  we can see it from the clothes, food, items we buy + buildings we inhabit.  when you have to have something right now + you inevitably have a budget; you get that level of quality.  what if we all just slowed down + got what was right?  for one we’d all be a lot less busy + maybe we could go on that extra walk with our family, have that sit down dinner, sit + actually ask + listen to how everyone’s day went.  in that slow down we would inadvertently -but not accidentally- be getting more for our money as well.  being brave enough to buck the trend, choosing right + quality may take some getting used to, but it will be a reward that will outlast + outlive any instant gratification.  

there is a theme i will touch on a lot here in this space.  having something intentional, authentic, + lasting requires patience….time.  in a time-is-money society this is so incredibly hard to grasp + even harder to accept.  however, once you start to realize just how good right is, you can then make the decision to have the patience to wait for it. 

you can’t rush a good brisket, good beer or whisky, or a tree to produce old growth wood any faster.  those things require resolve, patience + the right amount of perspective.