Tolerance and Good Enough

There’s been a word document with the title of this blog open on my computer for the last week because I’ve been waiting for the right time to be able to write this. Ironic since the topic of this blog post is to not worry about perfection and to just make something.

This is the first blog post I have published in quite some time. I haven’t stopped writing. I just haven’t published anything. At this moment there are 8 individual blog posts sitting in my drafts folder. Most of them are somewhere around 75% complete. This is a perfect example of one of my more negative qualities. I have a really bad habit of starting something, getting a decent level of momentum and then I hit a stage in the project that requires a degree of fine tuning and focus. Or I’m missing a single part that will cause the project to be “temporarily” shelved until such a time as I can devote appropriate time and resources to completing it. With work-related tasks, this isn’t as difficult of a hurdle for me to get over due to looming deadlines and the fact that other people are typically waiting on me for delivery of whatever project that I’m working on. For personal projects, this is a much tougher hurdle for me to get over. because after all the only person who it affects on this project if I don’t get it done is myself. And if I could take a little bit more time on these projects; things like this blog, or an Instagram post or the concrete coffee table in my basement, I could make it “perfect.”  Of course, this pursuit of perfection is futile because an artist or craftsmen’s greatest critic is always him/herself.

So these ideas and projects keep getting put off because when I get home I’m mentally out of steam and the last thing that I want to do is rack my brain over how to work an idea past whatever mental block that I have developed regarding this project. So instead I just sit down and watch Netflix or Youtube videos of people going out and accomplishing something that they want to do instead of pushing forward to grow my own skillsets and mental abilities. most days this strategy works pretty well, but I’ve begun to encounter a problem. My half-finished projects are beginning to pile up. And it’s starting to get crowded in here.

One of my favourite podcasts to listen to is ‘Still Untitled: The Adam Savage Project’ which is a podcast that features former Mythbuster Adam Savage. Most of the time it’s just him and some coworkers sitting around and shooting the breeze for 30 minutes. but occasionally there are episodes where they address something that seriously impacts the way that I think about the world around me. one of those times was when Mr Savage said that “Knowing the difference between tight and loose tolerance is perhaps the most important measure of a craftsperson.” In context, what he was talking about is knowing when it is that you need to have something done incredibly precisely, and when you can get away with something just quickly slapped together as well as everywhere in between.

In life, there are times when we need to stop and take the time to make sure that something is done perfectly. But it is not always necessary. For my hobbies, in particular, it is not as important for me to pursue the absolute pinnacle of perfection. Not every picture is going to be worthy of being displayed in an art gallery and these blog posts aren’t going to be considered for a Pulitzer award. It is ok if they are imperfect. So my plan for the next month is to clear my queue of outstanding projects before I start taking on other projects. Because it is better to get them out into the world for people to than just sitting collecting dust. Simply because I didn’t want to put in the time to finish something

 

Forging Ahead

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