Solutions (repost)


Escher, Reptiles

Don’t be afraid to explore;
Without exploration there are no discoveries.
Don’t be afraid of partial solutions;
Without the tentative there is no accomplishment.

Indecision and procrastination are corrosive habits. Those who wait for every little thing to be perfect before they embark on a project or who dislike the compromise of a partial solution are among the least happy. Ideal circumstances are seldom given to anyone for an undertaking. Instead there is uncertainty in every situation. The wise are those who can wrest great advantage from circumstances opaque to everyone else.

Wanting everything in life to be perfect before you take action is like wanting to reach a destination without travel. For those who follow Tao, travel is every bit as important as the destination. One step after another : That is still central to the wisdom of Tao.

Every day passes whether you participate or not. If you are not careful, years will go by and you will only have regrets. If you cannot solve a problem all at once, at least make a stab at it. Reduce your problems into smaller, more manageable packages, and you can make measurable progress toward achievement. If you wait for everything to be perfect according to your preconceived plans, then you may well wait forever. If you go out and work with the current of life, you may find that success comes from building upon small things.

Deng Ming Tao, 365 Tao

I used to be very perfectionistic and a procrastinator. These days, perfection is no longer a concern for me, and I tend to do things rather than put them off. The biggest reason for this change for me was actually because of having children, because I no longer had the time or energy to do things to perfection!

I grew up with two mixed messages on perfection. From my mom, I would hear the “four A’s and a B” tape, questioning why I had gotten a B even though all my other grades were As. From my dad, I would work on house projects with him and if I made a mistake, it was, “Well, only you and I will know about it.” It took a long time to get over the perfectionistic message and accept that making mistakes was all right, and part of learning.

There are no perfect solutions to the problems in our lives, no matter how much we long for them. Better to do what you can and work to make it even better than to believe you can’t do anything at all.