I met Jacob Vallo around 2012 during a meeting of creative thinkers and artists to discuss the storied history and potential future of the South Downtown neighborhood of Atlanta. We were like-minded, crazy idea generators from the start and became fast friends. Jacob has created and led many ambitious projects that live in the crosshairs of real estate, technology and the arts.
Jacob was kind enough to answer our question:
While waiting for a train, Jacob had a realization. Ironically, he currently leads Transit Oriented Development for Atlanta’s mass transit system, MARTA. He noticed that attempting to control something that is out of his control was a futile endeavor. The train’s arrival time cannot be manipulated by a personal desire for motion and a new destination. That particular moment drove a philosophy of embracing the small, free windows throughout the day.
Finding slack in the system isn’t lazy or unproductive. It’s actually quite the opposite. Josh Waitzkin incorporates this concept into his training and learning process discussed in The Art of Learning. I seek similar windows everyday, and they are a key element that feed my creativity, focus and sense of calm.
Waiting can be a frustrating experience.
It can also be a moment to harness slack in the system.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 0002:
“Keep your eyes open for those people and special things that happen during the day”
“See people as gifts brought into your life every day”
“The train is going to come when the train is going to come.”