Ok so I messed up…I didn’t write 500 words yesterday. Fack. I am sorry Kelli…I have failed you! However, I decided to use this as a point to grow and diverge from old bad habits. I used to be and still am to a degree a perfectionist. Old Rabah (weird referring to yourself in the third person) would have quit the 30 day commitment seeing it as imperfect and incomplete.
I did not and will not quit because I realize now that in my pursuit for perfection I was sacrificing production…a lot of production. In a weird way, production produces perfection. The more often you can ship the more user feedback you can get the higher up the curve you get understanding the job to done. Hence, the more user satisfaction and value created. Real artists ship.
Nothing will ever be perfect, but I now see that as blessing, rather than a curse. It gives me a target that continually changes and reorients to my present preferences, desires and dislikes. This is one of the reasons I think so many really wealthy people or athletes are so devastatingly unhappy. They conquered their mountain.
Their mountain was a large amount of money or winning an x tournament or y title. Once you are at the top of the mountain, there isn’t anywhere to else to go, by definition, but down. Hence, the secret is to have the ability to reset your course. Climb another peak, climb a higher peak, but always reevaluate your mountain. Make sure you don’t get to the top and if you do go climb another. Be like a dog chasing a car. Because perfection doesn’t exist.
With that being said, I have anecdotal evidence to support the Production over Perfection hypothesis. Today, I was climbing at Austin Rock Gym (my fave rock gym in Austin) and was just climbing out of my mind. Just bananas. I have been for the past few sessions. I don’t know if it is the new rubber or chalk, but I am just a different beast now. I am projecting problems I once thought impossible. Such a rad feeling, but then I realized.
I have put in work. There were sooo many sessions I was getting shut down by really turdy problems, while my climbing partner Brenda would flash everything. So I believe I have finally hit a “cosmic powerup” for all the work. A reward for grinding 2-3 times a week for a while.
I never stopped. I never gave up. I thought in actions not outcomes. Go climb today versus be able to flash a v4. This then kicked my mind into overdrive on the subject of Stoicism and the mentality that The Obstacle is the Way. I know I mentioned this book in a previous post, but I am telling you once you can get your head around the Stoic philosophy everything becomes a challenge or game. This also aligns with the teachings of Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.
So in closing, learning to do stuff is really hard and for a lot of worthwhile things time consuming. The universe doesn’t pay out on time or linearly, but it will balance it’s accounts. Often times the resistance will give us excuses or cause hardships that derail our goals and put us off course. It is ok because the only way the resistance wins is if you quit. Don’t quit.
TL;DR Production over Perfection. Think in actions not outcomes. Stoicism is rad. Flow daily.