Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Less Than Perfect

It's about me again today !

Even though I know I am far from perfect, there's a big corner of me that absolutely hates being Less Than Perfect. I do get a lot of stuff right but it's those little errors and missing of things that bite at my soul.

Things like - we had one of those meetings today where we talk all day about the most important assumptions about all corners of our business. That's really important, as lots of decisions get made on those assumptions and it really helps if everyone is working off the same assumption ...

Why's that important ? If I'm going somewhere on a business trip with someone and we both make the assumption that the other is handling the transport, then both of us are in the poo because neither of us make arrangements. It's like that with these assumptions but on a much bigger scale.

I handled most of the arrangements today - for getting data to people who need to see it. It's sensitive data, which means we have to keep it away out of prying eyes (lol - management of information is a weird subject in our place, openness fights with confidentiality). That sensitivity means you have to react fast to get everyone looking at what they're supposed to. We sometimes don't get that right.

So why am I beating myself up over this ?

One of the workbooks was wrong. It contained a fraction of the information it should have. My fault, shoulda checked what got uploaded to make sure it was the right one. Dunno why the wrong one got uploaded actually. Fixed that yesterday (bit late) and it gave me the excuse to give a little info burst about today.

Silver lining. But ... less than perfect again. A more perfect me would have added another little snippet of info that would have helped a lot of people out. As well as the Proper Place, I put the info somewhere else (hidden) too so our team could see it. I coulda put the link in yesterday's info burst. Thought about it, didn't do it. Why ? I dunno - less than perfect.

Note taking too - we've got good capture of what was discussed but I know I miss stuff that I should catch.

And things like not thinking up the good ideas in the meeting but having them pop up after it's finished.

Enough about the meeting - I hope everyone else thought it went well. I'm always very tough on how I see how I do things, because I see all the little mistakes and mark myself down on them.

There's lots of other areas where that Less Than Perfect gets to me. It's a critical factor in why this skin condition isn't repaired yet. The worst area is still the back of my knees. It has improved to the point where it's smooth enough to run curling stones over (I've been waiting ages to use that analogy !) but they're sore again now. I could probably fix them right up by using treatment gunk but ... I want to be free of the need to use treatment gunk.

One of my flaws is that if I see an imperfection on me, I'll attack it. Which is one reason the skin problem got as bad as it did, because by worrying at it, I'd make it worse. I have to maintain the discipline to let it heal on its own. It's improving ... just still very slowly.

Actually - I shall stop being stubborn about avoiding use of the treatment gunk. I'll put some on in a minute. Honest.

My memory is Less Than Perfect too. It used to be near photographic, albeit not perfect. Damn near perfect recall but not complete. I can't trust it now, that's a lingering after effect of Nose Job 1. But ... I know about that flaw, accept it and manage it. It's acceptable to say "I can't recall but I'll take an action to check", even better to have anticipated the memory issue and brought supporting info. Today's supporting data involved having a live feed to the database we were reviewing. That worked better than anticipated. Perhaps I've sparked off a standard procedure for the next reviews ?

The memory thing is part of a deeper symptom, I'm definitely not as capable as I was before the Nose Job incident. Or is just that me thinking that and therefore making myself less capable. Self doubt can be crippling.

This psychological tendency gets me in the cricket too. Leaving the anger when dropping a catch aside, I'm a danger to myself when that happens as it normally leads to an anger fuelled power throw and then a scream of pain as my arm tries to follow the ball. Nah, it's more the slight fumble which means the difference between perfect fielding and average fielding. Doesn't matter if the batsman would have been safe anyway, I just aim for that perfection. And that self doubt slows you down and brings out the fumbling.

There's a certain purity to perfection. Although there's also a certain coldness to it.

Perhaps perfection is not the goal to aim for. Perhaps the aim should be a certain degree of perfection, leaving room for a little bit of clumsy randomness.

Think of music - with people like Bat For Lashes, the stage performance of Laura is far more powerful than the album performance. The imperfections add to its power. With Goldfrapp, I think their Seventh Tree album is their best because it sounds totally natural, Head First sounded forced and manufactured. Just compare Road To Somewhere (which is a thing of beauty and one of my favourites out of 12,000 in the library) and Head First which is also great but although closer to "perfectly made" ... I prefer Road To Somewhere. (notice how the crowd aren't getting involved in the Head First video)

Similarly - I'll avoid the manufactured pop we get bombarded with in favour of these more gifted artists with far more character. The charm in the character far outshines the perfection of the production.

Yeah - I get stuff wrong. But I hope I get a lot of other stuff right. And along the way, I'll have a lot of fun getting the most out of the imperfections. We own our flaws, as well as being a drawback we should see if we can turn them into assets.

And I'll close with something that actually isn't in that 12,000 song library - something Perfect. Oh look, their Very Best of is going for £3.99 on Amazon MP3. Uhoh ...

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