I’m a huge Seth Godin fan, always in awe of the plethora of wisdom he manages to pack into one pithy post. I save them up, building a collection I can draw upon for inspiration as life, personal and professional, pushes in.
Recently I looked back at What’s in the box? The point of the post is to make us question our quest for perfection and all the needless worrying we put into imagining everything that can possibly go wrong. Godin encourages us to worry less; just open the box and see what’s in it. Good to consider. Yet this presumes there’s a filled box to be opened.
When we’re in reactive or firefighter mode, we must open the box. The contents must be dealt with, generally with some urgency. So, definitely, perfectionism gets in the way. There’s simply no time for it! But, what about when we’re in proactive mode, building our own projects?
A Greater Challenge Than Opening the Box
Filling and delivering it! This means coming up with useful, delightful, meaningful content your recipient will consider a true gift. Once you’ve got a nicely filled box — a good gift — it’s time to deliver so the donor’s “feel good” can begin. Alas, this is where the concept of “done enough” vs. “overdone” can rear its ugly head.
Imagine This: You plan to send some cookies to your college sophomore. You make a batch of gorgeous macarons. Then you worry they’re too fancy. The next day, before putting them in a shipping box, you decide to add some chocolate chip since they’re ‘safe’. The next day you decide, as long as you’re bothering to ship these, you’ll add some brownies and oatmeal because then there’s some to share with roommates. The next day you realize it’s almost Valentine’s Day, so they’ll probably expect some heart-shaped sugar cookies. Now you’re getting into the “project-ness” of this endeavor, and decide you’ll make a few more kinds so it’ll be a really spectacular presentation! Great fun, yes… but, what has happened to the macarons by the end of the week?
The Old Stuff Gets Stale
While it’s true sometimes things are not ready for prime time, the reverse is also true.Details