Rule Number Three


Do It Right Or Do It Twice. This is my third rule and it has served me well over the years. Whenever I’m doing a task of a repetitious nature or something delicate which requires full concentration, I repeat rule number three as an inner mantra. When Mark Knopfler came to Shangri La to record the “Shangri La” album, his engineer and co-producer, Chuck Ainlay had a few reservations about the technical compatibility of the existing studio wiring with the digital equipment he was bringing in. His concerns became veified when we began to interface his equipment with the recording console through the patch bay. Our entire studio was wired “out of phase” with current recording standards. As we were under the gun to get set up, we did the best we could with adapters, but I knew that as soon as time permitted, I would have hundreds of solder points to rectify. Chanting rule number three kept me focused and ensured that I only did the job once.

My belief in rule number three is based on two things. First, human beings are made up of approximately 70% water. Second, water seeks its own level. Now I know that you are saying to yourself, “What the hell does that mean?” Well, (pun not intended) water flows downhill according to the laws of gravity. It takes the shortest possible route…it goes wherever it is easiest to go. And when it finds a level surface, it can’t seem to make up its mind on a direction and meanders until it loses impetus and evaporates. If water is channeled or focused, it can be a powerful force for change, witness the Grand Canyon for example. Now as a human being, and recognizing that my body, organs and brain consist of 70% of a substance that has the ability, when focused, to be a powerful force for change, but can, when unchallenged, lay about idly until consumed by the air around it, I have come to realize that there are choices to be made. A puddle in the driveway is the essence of laziness. It will bask in the sun until it is absolutely consumed by its own ennui. But wash your car in the driveway and see how energetically the runoff charges down the gutter, happily clearing away the pavement.

Rule Number Three represents my concept of staying focused on a task until it is finished. It is the difference between executing repetitious actions mindlessly just to get them over with, or concentrating every drop of water in me to see to it that a Grand Canyon is created.

Try it. When you need to do three sets of six reps at whatever weight you’re working with, when you need to get in an hour of boring scales, when you absolutely have to completely rewire a studio…say it. Say it aloud until it becomes your mantra…Do It Right Or Do It Twice.

One Response to “Rule Number Three”

  • Anonymous

    Very true. Many times I wish I could go back and realize this before having to do things multiple times!

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