Lesson Learned from Voting: Learning to Let It Happen

This morning, like millions of other Americans, I fulfilled my obligation as a citizen to submit my vote in the 2008 presidential election.

After months upon months of continuing punditry, debates, ads, campaigning, speeches, tweets, chatter, discussion, debate, satire and overt begging for cash, the sum total of the whole affair was completed (for me, at least) in a matter of minutes.

Wow.

There’s something very zen about the occurrence of “the event” after months upon months of work, planning, strategy and stress.

Like the Olympians at last performing in the race that actually matters, or the live performance of a band in front of their audience after countless rehearsals, or our launching a website after long hours planning, building, refining, and optimizing it, there becomes a point where you simply let go and watch what happens.

It happens. Then it’s over.

Then begins the period of analyzing the event — the athlete sees a video tape of their performance 100 times to work out the slip of the foot that made them .2 seconds slower, or the band remarks how they really killed that take of that hit song and how the crowd was just a little different from the one a few weeks ago.

And no matter how this election turns out, we know there will be plenty of people saying about what went wrong and right and how things could’ve gone differently and the mistakes that were made and what they’ll learn to do next time.

Luckily, with the web, we get a chance to make that event happen more than just once every four years… It happens every day.

And because of the nature of the technology, your website can (and should) change every day, too. Virtually infinite data is available at your fingertips to make sense of the event and how tomorrow’s event can be better than today’s. Changes are made quickly. Results are analyzed in spectacular detail.

While this level of analysis approaches the level of data burnout for most folks, it’s what we live, breathe and love. How many more gold medals would there be if gymnists could perfectly examine every single moment of every performance and try again every single day until they did better than ever?

The art is to do this without losing the charm of letting go. Letting it all happen.