Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It's Perfect! Or is it?

Ask me what my daughter is like. My response would be - she's perfect. The hair - perfect. Her smile - perfect. Her two little feet - just perfect. Her crying, not sleeping, pooping through clothes - all perfect.

Yet anything I produce is never perfect. The presentation deck that I wrote yesterday - not perfect. The 10,000 line program that I coded at my last company? Not perfect. The Latin Chicken that I made 3 weeks ago - excellent, but not perfect.

Why is that I can look at my daughter as perfect, but no work I do is perfect? Is it because of my love for her? Is it because I cannot really consider anything I make myself  perfect, because that would be vain?

I think there is a strong correlation between seeing things as perfect, and happiness. Imagine a vacation - you are on a beach in Hawaii. The sun is shining, and there is a rainbow in the sky. Would you be happy? Probably. Why? It is because you accepted things as they are. You did not think that the rainbow should be a little to the left, the weather just a little warmer, and the stupid people should get off the beach so that you can enjoy it alone. No. You accepted it as it was, and that is what gave you happiness.

So now that I have rambled on and on, let me come to my main point. Accepting things as they are gives you happiness. It also might drive complacency. Solution? Accept the outcome as it is, but invest in the process. I am not one to quote religious texts, but this one is important - this is from the Bhagvad Gita. Lord Krishna tells Arjun 'Karam Kar Phal Ki Iccha Na Kar' - which translates to work, but don't expect outcomes, and get disappointed when you do not get what you want. So that slide deck? And that speech? Work on it with your heart and soul - that will give you true happiness. The outcome - will pretty much be immaterial.

P.S. Credit to the book "Are you ready to succeed" for most of these lessons

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