Setbacks vs Hangups
As far as I can see there are two main types of gumption traps. The first type is those in which you’re thrown off the Quality track by conditions that arise from external circumstances, and I call these “setbacks.” The second type is traps in which you’re thrown off the Quality track by conditions that are primarily within yourself. These I don’t have any generic name for…”hang-ups” I suppose.
-Robert M. Pirsig
I was dealing with a big setback on the starter motor for the s12, having tried three separate starter designs and have still been unable to find one which fits correctly. It was killing my productivity, and it turned my mindset into an unproductive mass of pessimism. Everywhere I looked, I saw problems, not solutions.
When you’re caught up on a setback, it’s a good idea to find something else to hold your attention for awhile. Pick a ‘low-hanging fruit’ problem that will be easy to solve but has been nagging you. Whether it’s replacing that dashboard light that died a few months ago, or going through the vacuum lines to see if any are cracked or broken up, just find something that you can take care of to put your mind back into the right place.
Keep your low-hanging fruit easy to solve, and don’t stray from it (no matter what other problems you discover). The idea is to solve a problem to kick off the flow of accomplishment so you’ll continue to get things done. Your goal is to refill your reserves of Gumption, and prevent a setback from becoming a hang-up.