Just this morning I started reading Matthew Kelly's book The Rhythm of Life, and I can already tell that his insightful writing will have an impact on my life. But it got me to thinking about "choices." Kelly's premise early on in his book is that life is a series and compilation of choices. Periodically we can look back and see the value in our lives based on the choices we have made.
So much of my work through the years has centered around the same issue. The choices required for building a home are not necessarily life altering, but most often they do impact the lives of family members. Is it red or green; smooth or rough; big or small; new fresh and sleek or rustic; does it go here, or here; hot or cold; technologically advanced or old school...the list goes on and on! It can be totally overwhelming! Often we become paralyzed with possibility (see 3/3/11 blog).
Without reading ahead I can almost sense where Matthew Kelly is going with his book. What do you want out of the project - can you clearly articulate the feelings, emotions, and desires that need to be satisfied for this project to make you happy? Can the successful completion of the project make you happy? Kelly advocates getting in touch with yourself so that when faced with choices, you make good ones.
Every picture you see on this blog represents a series of choices. Color and material preferences have been identified in each of these photos creating a symphony of decisions which resulted from a myriad of potential choices.
Without having spent inordinate amounts of time preparing a "sermon," let me share a few thoughts about maximizing the process of building and navigating through the sea of choices.
- Assemble a "world class" team of people that you feel very comfortable with that have a knowledge of the building process and can help you navigate through thousands of choices. Because the disciplines of building interrelate (architect, builder, structural design, interior design, and landscape design) I advocate building your team early - it will save you inordinate amounts of time and money.
- Take a personal inventory. Ahead of beginning the design process understand what your really like, and what you really don't!
- Take a family inventory. Understanding what your family likes and their expectations for the building process minimizes surprises.
- Be fearless! Just like those multiple choice tests we used to take in school when you don't know the answer, usually your first instinct in correct. Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and most of the mistakes can be fixed.
- Don't waiver! If you've done your homework you will be making good decisions. Just because two elements of a large picture don't match when you choose them, they are just that - two elements of a much larger picture!
Trust the team you have assembled. If their core values and sense of style appealed to you enough to select them in the first place, probably their guidance will reflect the project parameters which you established at the start of the job. Remember: Hold things loosely, and people tightly! The choices you make on design and construction of your new home or remodel represent "things," and "things" are not worth holding tightly!