My husband and I were recently playing around on a friend’s home putting green. He was putting balls from one end to the other, intentionally missing the holes. His reasoning was by aiming for the previously hit ball you weren’t filling up the holes and the balls all remained ready for you to keep playing.
A little while later he moved to another part of the green to practice hitting out of a sand trap. The first ball he hit went three inches from the hole. The second gently rolled past the first and sunk in. I jumped for joy and congratulated him because I was thoroughly impressed. Truly doesn’t take much 😉
His response was, “It would have been good if that was where I had been aiming. I was trying to hit the other ball.” My response was, “That’s a musing!” I don’t mean “amusing” as in funny, I mean – a musing I could write about.
How often are we heads down and focused intently on a project or issue and thoroughly annoyed with the outcome only to find a couple little gems and beauties along the way?
It’s the potter, at the wheel, striving for the perfect piece. Every curve, lip and foot have to be just right. They spend hours practicing and patiently working to hone their craft. Many pieces will be thrown away and yet others, if they’re lucky, may find homes with people who see the beauty in an added bump, lump or stump.
The wine glass below illustrates my point. It’s my cousin’s. She bought it at a local artisan fair because she loved it and it’s my favorite vessel for any libation when I’m at her house.
The idea that if we miss the bullseye we lose the game is a fallacy. Sometimes we just need to get on the board.
Years ago I was at one of my boys’ Parent-Teacher conferences. His teacher was completely puzzled and impressed by the kid. He showed boredom in the classroom and she often wondered if he was listening. One day she gave an assignment and told the kids to “think outside of the box” and stretch their ideas. When she asked my son about his project, he was so outside the box it seemed he was in Siberia, and yet…he was fully able to explain how he got there.
While the answer wasn’t what she expected, he received an “A” for following directions and demonstrating competence. In short, he tried.
There have been plenty of times I’ve worked on a project and told myself, “I’ll just add this one more thing and be done.” Pushing a little harder, going a bit further. Then, when I stepped back to look, that one more thing was one thing too much and what was “well enough” would have been perfect.
The saying goes, “You are your own worst critic.”
Give yourself a break.
Take a step back.
What beauty can you see?
Where did you actually succeed and do well?
And where would you like to improve?
What can you do next time to help encourage the progress and still embrace the journey of getting “there”.
Look at the beauty outside of the box you’ve created and perhaps you’ll find that close enough is actually perfect.
Jay had a great hit out of that sandtrap. We were chatting about a deeper subject and thus he was distracted from truly focusing on the put. The ball ended up three inches away from where he aimed instead of three feet. My opinion is obviously one of success, regardless.
The other side works too. My son was confident in his project. He did the work and was able to defend his decisions and direction. What she thought was wrong was actually a student following directions. She just had to see it from his perspective.
Think of your latest challenge.
- If, in your mind, you “fell short” what growth did you experience along the way? And seeing that growth, did you fall short? Or did you actually achieve something beautiful?
- Whose expectations are you attempting to live up to? If they’re not yours, how can you let go of theirs and embrace your own?