When it comes to most things in life, we’ve been programmed from a young age to have an immediate need for tangible goods without delay. I remember when it was common to wait weeks for parts to arrive.
How times have changed.
Today, if that shiny new turbo takes a week to show up, you’re calling to find out what’s taking so long. In the parts business, quicker is indeed better, but that mentality doesn’t carry through into everything we do.
Building and repairing cars and turning wrenches isn’t mindless work, it requires thought and proper procedure, but so few of us actually take the necessary time needed to research, diagnose or put together automobiles. The result is an abundant amount of cobbled-together, poorly running cars in our scene. I get that we aren’t all rich or privileged and have to work within our means, but there are right and wrong ways to do things. If you actually, truly, sincerely think about what you’re doing, then 8 times out of 10 it’ll be done right. When you rush, the results are questionable.
My brother, who’s in his early 20s, is a prime example of someone who is in a hurry all the time when working on cars. I’m usually left to fix or come up with solutions to his projects gone wrong because he didn’t step back to think before getting to it. He has the capacity to solve the problems himself or not even get into the situations he does, but his urge to rush through the job is his Achilles’ heel. Just the other day, I had to tell him to stop, slow down and think for a second when I saw he couldn’t be bothered to go back to the toolbox for a proper-sized socket, a 14mm — instead, he decided the 15mm was good enough. You can guess what happened to the bolt. The socket got stuck and it took longer to hammer off than it would have to go to the toolbox for the right socket.
He’s not completely to blame for his lack of patience — the whole world is constantly demanding we do things quicker and smarter while being more efficient, but there’s got to be a limit. At some point, we have to remove ourselves and say, wait, I need to really think this through before I move forward.
I think the art of patience develops mainly with age, but just like my brother, I’m hoping I can instill some insight so this habit becomes ingrained into you sooner than later. It doesn’t take much to turn a wrench — however, figuring out a problem and fixing it does. So before you dive headfirst into an install or repair, take a moment, think about it and then work. I guarantee that you’ll accomplish more with fewer headaches and a job well done.
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