I am not a perfectionist nor do I look for perfection in anything either given me or that I work on. But there has been something that been evolving within me, recently, that is far from my earlier days.
When I was younger, there was a feeling of satisfaction when something was done. Seeing the report that someone made. Finishing the spreadsheet with the analysis. Implementing the process that will solve the problem.
The same held true for work others had done. Everything completed meant that we could move on. Our understanding was complete. A truth had been revealed and substantiated.
Finding in myself this new attitude of unfinished surprised me recently, for it no longer believes what was told to you in the paragraphs before. All of my work and those of others, I now believe deeply, could always go a little bit further.
That our analysis is simply based on our experience, biases, and knowledge. If this is true, than I find myself asking what is missing? Are we solving the right problem or looking at the situation correctly? How else could we look at this “thing” we are working on? What could be added or synthesized with another idea that would make our analysis, project, or solution just a little bit better?
What if we took a different approach with different assumptions? How can I make this paragraph clearer with less words? How much of the work I did or what I was given represents the attitude of “needing to finish something quickly” as opposed to great work that was done with deep thought?
So I am beginning to find that my attitude of unfinished serves me well. It slows me down to think about what either I have constructed or, again, what was given to me.
What is missing? What brick could be added? Why was this color used? The questions are endless and are not meant to lead to indecision. Rather it is a tactic that has served me well in achieving better, more effective answers to the questions that are asked.
As this slowly becomes more of a habit, it is beginning to feel more natural. It shouldn’t take days or weeks but simply a couple of hours to stop, reflect, and test ways that you could make an idea, a conclusion, an approach, or a solution just a bit better.
Trying to find what is missing and unfinished, is that lttle thing when done right, that can propel us so much further. And I have found that most won’t take the time to do it.