Tuesday, October 2, 2012

on being masterful

Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. -Voltaire

Recently I talked about "better that what?" and the concept of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Though somehow I forgot to include the above quote. But I also feel like we shouldn't lower our expectations to "good enough." This may sound counter-intuitive but it's really not. There is a difference between good and good enough. While I do feel like you shouldn't let your fear of not being perfect get in the way of doing something, I also think that if you're going to do it, you should strive for mastery.

This is something I'm guilty of not doing most of the time. I get the "good enough's" and convince myself that whatever I've done must certainly be good enough and the best I can do. Usually not true. My husband, however,  is the king of striving for mastery. He prides himself on constantly being a student of everything he does. I want to be that way. Can you imagine how much awesome stuff you could do if you tried to learn and do the absolute best job you were capable of every time? We would probably go far beyond our own expectations. But it takes a lot of work and effort to be masterful. I think that's why I don't even try sometimes. And that's where "don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good" comes in.

It's like this:
I want to learn to take nice photographs. I should not expect myself to be perfect at this immediately and thus scare myself away from starting. But once I begin, I should constantly strive to take the best pictures I can each time I pick up the camera.

Sounds exhausting. But I also think it's a mindset. It never even occurs to my husband to do a project or a job half-assed. It's just not the way his brain works. Others of us (*ahem*, me) may need to train ourselves to think this way. And even though it is a lot of work, it's so rewarding to look at the task you've just accomplished and be proud of what you did.

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