This awareness was born out of my continued struggle to lose/maintain a lower weight as I age. Finding an app to track food resulted in an abundance of nutrional component breakdown by day based on the foods I ate.
A lot of information. Showing me one important thing. While I have learned to eat much better and “cleaner” than in my youth, there is never a day when all of the nutrients, vitamins, protein, carb or fat levels are the same. Some days I don’t get enough of this vitamin or that protein. Sugar is low but salt is high. Not enough vitamin B6. Too much potassium. Going far past the number of calories consumed or my level of macro nutrient consumption (total protein, carb, and fat levels) into a much more detailed analysis shows, that we can never fully consume everything that is good for us on any given day.
Food itself is not perfectly additive. Diets can never exactly deliver the complete nutrients our body needs in a day. Food has too many rough edges – incomplete nutrients in one type of food – too much nutrient in another. Which then leads me to ponder “is this true for other things”?
Let’s think about this with respect to people. Talents, interests, skill level, level of empathy or patience, knowledge, experience, humility, passion, grit, or commitment all vary in each of us. We most likely over-index in certain areas and are deficient in others. We too cannot supply everything needed every day in our relationships, work organizations, or even parenting. Nor can others. Rough edges exist within each of us.
Planning, goal setting and problem solving have just as many rough edges. They too can over-index in areas we choose to focus on while missing other things that might be important. People talk about 2nd and 3rd order effects – most not thought of resulting in surprises, new challenges, or imminent failure.
Working groups certainly qualifies. The melding of different people to work together is always challenging for exactly this reason of rough edges. The imperfect combination of strengths & weaknesses in the group can pose leadership or alignment challenges.
How do we describe rough edges in real life? We call it imperfection. Describing it many times as falling short. The existence of rough edges proves that perfection can never be attained. Using food and diet as a shining example of this truth.
What is important to understand is that combinations drive life and experience. Never the individual alone. To assemble better combinations requires us first to see the rough edges within as well as around us. Building our patience and grit the more we understand this nuance.
Requiring us to always be vigilant while, once again, choosing wisely.