February 14th, 2012

He finished going through my work, and said into the phone, “Janet, could you hold on for a moment?” He covered the receiver with his hand, and I leaned forward in my chair. “You know, Frank, after looking at this…” My eyes widened. Okay, here we go. Finally, some honest feedback. Something other than “looks great.”

"Needs more love," he said to me. "Okay, Janet, I’m back. Sorry for that, just have a student in here." He waved his hand to shoo me out of his office. He wished me well on my trip and said that he would see me next week in class. He smiled.

"Needs more love." Best damn advice I’ve ever gotten. You can keep your practicality and your action items and your take-aways. You can have your instructional advice, your recipes, your prescribed steps to fulfillment, and your ladder-climbing. I’ve got this: this little gem of insight from a man who taught me so much. The only thing that matters is that we care more than we already do about the people and places and projects that we give our time and attention. We’ve got to believe in the stuff.

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@timhackbarth

The sub-par, yet slowly improving missives of Tim Hackbarth, man about town in Austin, TX.