Good Effort After Bad

Day 118 Week 17 Q2 Saturday, April 29, 2023

NGS Intro

Sometimes you have to just throw away what you were working on. I know it hurts and feels like a waste, but sometimes, correcting, fixing, and editing is simply not worth the effort.  Now I know that none of us are paralyzed by perfectionism, right? But sometimes, it really is not worthwhile to attempt to rescue something. You don’t have to throw it away, you can keep it for reference to see what you did wrong and what you did right. But there is a reason. Professionals can do things much faster than amateurs. Professionals have had more practice and have also already thrown away a ton of stuff.

Sometimes, you just need more work to get to the point where you can do something that does not need as much rescuing or perfecting. This is the reason musicians practice instead of just playing. You might say this is just for classical musicians, not rock musicians because they do not have a practice routine. This is not entirely true because if a rock musician is on tour

 performing five or six shows every week for several hours each, they are practicing at least 20 hours a week even though they’re getting paid to practice, and that is what professionals do. Professionals get paid to practice.

What about the in-between? When you are not yet fluent enough to communicate smoothly? Two extreme choices could be to go back to the drawing board and keep practicing, and another can be to put it out there and see if it’s really good enough because perhaps you’re not an accurate judge. Several professors of mine at Juilliard have told the class that it is not our job to determine how good our work is.  It is our job to do the best that we can.  As a young engineer working at Bose Corporation, Amar Bose, the chairman of the board, told me the same thing in other words. Whenever I went to him with a new idea that had to be worked on immediately because of the window of opportunity, he laughed and said, it is not your job to find windows of opportunity, it is your job to be the best in the world.  He said that if you were good enough, you created your own windows of opportunity and it did not matter when you got to the party if you were the best one there.  

He said that he founded Bose corporation after there were 75 loudspeaker companies in the market. Eventually, the gross sales of Bose Corporations exceeded their combined revenue even though the number had swelled to 300 loudspeaker companies by then.

Learn to navigate the waters between doing the best you can at the moment versus the best you can imagine doing, for you will never be able to do things the best you can imagine. There will always be room for improvement. This is what makes you a creative outlier, you can always imagine something better. But you do not always have to pursue something better when somebody is waiting to buy your product or your artistic outpouring. After all, it is just a snapshot of where you are at that moment. And if when you are at that moment makes you feel like you have to toss this project away and start again, then it is your responsibility to do that as long as you don’t throw away everything all of the time and then be left with nobody at work at all.