Take the Time

Earlier this week, I spotted a notification on the Twitter account for The Meteor Chef. It was from a long-time fan sharing a post about a talk I’ll be giving in New York City on the 17th of this month. There was a problem, though: the post was in Spanish. Curious, I popped the text into a translator and saw something endearing “I wish we could go.” The author, Z, was sharing the announcement with a friend in his country, Panama. Out of curiosity, I got in touch with him and asked if there were any events closer to him where I could speak.

After a bit of back and forth, it turned out there were. One is coming up in May and Z connected me to one of the organizers. Eventually, the offer came up: “I would like to have you on DevConf as a speaker.” At the beginning of the week, giving a talk in another country wasn’t even on my radar. But, simply by taking the time to reply to someone and ask if anything was possible, an—awesome—opportunity popped up.

This was a quick but important (two-for-one) reminder: always give a damn about people and don’t be afraid to ask. If someone is taking the time to pay attention to something you’re doing, always take the time to respond. Always give them your attention. The tiniest interaction can brighten up another person’s day which is payment enough. If you’re lucky like I was this week, a series of interactions over time—there’s been a bit of rapport between Z and I before this week—might motivate that person to help you in a far bigger way later. Who knows!

Take the time, take the time, take the time. There’s no guarantee that doing so will magically turn into something, but all it takes is one. See where helping other people and giving them your attention can turn into something great later (though, don’t just do it because of this; actually give a shit).

A little bit of gratitude goes a long way.