Monday, February 22, 2010

Looking for a balance point

There is a balancing point we need to find in life between the realization of perfection and complacency of good enough. Some were between these two traps is a place where we can push ourselves and grown, tack pride in what we do but still do things and finish projects without endless tinkering. In this golden space of quality productivity confidence grows, work ethic increases and we can find happiness.

Good enough isn't. When we are working on a project and we look at it and say that is good enough what we are really saying is I could do this better but I don't want to put the effort in. That is a unacceptable attitude to have for any project we have put our time and energy in to. Good enough can spread through our lives like a wildfire once you let it in on one project it will spread to the next and the next and the next. Then one day we look up and find everything we do is half assed.

The other end of the spectrum is just as bad striving to perfect each and everything we do wastes our energy. We put more time and resources in to projects then they require or deserve and we have nothing to show for it. Striving for perfection can be all consuming looking to make everything just right we become obsessed with a project or idea forsaking other things that were once important in our lives. One day we look up from our incomplete master work and fins that it is all we have, everything else is gone.

What we need to strive for is work that is to the best of our ability. Here we push ourselves with each project creating something we can be proud of, and possibly learning some new techniques along the way. Weather we are working on a project at the office, doing our homework, or working on our own development the goal we need to have is to work to the best of our ability. When we become more skilled we grow more confident in our abilities and thus create a greater scents of self confidence. When work becomes rewarding, a place of success and pride we work harder, and we greet our projects as challenges to be overcome and bested rather than adversaries that will destroy us. These victories and growth in self confidence along with the scents of reward at having achieved something we can take pride in breed happiness and satisfaction.

So how do we find this balancing point?

Have expectations: When starting a new project, in those first few moments when inspiration and excitement still flourish, write or what you want to achieve. Later this will give let you see the target you are shooting for and give you an idea of the end point of the project. Be realistic in the expectations you set, these should be a guard against good enough not a phantasm tempting us in to the perilous realm of perfection.

Have a deadline: Setting a deadline will help keep you from over working an idea or process and straying too far towards perfection. Deadlines can be stressful so make sure you set realistic time frame for completing the task. If we front load to much stress into a project often times this will kill our enthusiasm for working on it.

Know what we are capable of: If we know what our best work is we can use it as a gauge to test our current efforts against. We can also use this knowledge to help us plan how we want to develop new skills.

Look for the balancing point where you can be proud of what you do without letting the quest for perfection consume you.


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