A lot of people hide behind perfectionism, thinking that the results when they apply themselves make up for the fact that they don’t usually apply themselves. And you know, I get that. It’s tiring to go at everything full throttle. That’s why I’m one of those under-performers. That is why I’ve lazily relied on talent for pretty much my entire life, without building much on the foundation those natural affinities represent.
The point here though: it’s a big part of why I don’t have a whole lot to show for any of my efforts. Perfect work doesn’t mean a goddamn thing when people only get to see it once in a blue moon. So people can say that quality is better than quantity all they want, but it’s not true. The more you do the more your quality (as a person) gets exposed, good or bad, and that can be uncomfortable. Even if it’s only privately, where you’re the only one that can see it.
Having talent in something doesn’t guarantee you any lasting success. It means you can have quality results without much real effort, sure, but it’s hit and miss. The same thing goes for over-achieving and under-performing; you can do the best on those rare occasions you do decide to apply yourself, but that’s still not liable to get you very far.
The more you do the more opportunity you have to evolve.
It doesn’t matter if you start out with talent or not. What matters is that you start, over and over again. You can rely on talent and praise quality, live by that, stack the odds against yourself… or you can come to terms with whatever talent you have (or lack) and go forward from there, gaining whatever you need as you go. The former minimizes opportunities to grow, to break limits, to learn. The latter maximizes it.
You decide, which is really the better choice? I say, given enough time (and more importantly, passion), the skills and the experience will make up for any initial lack of talent or quality. The passion will make up for it. What you become will eventually overshadow what you were.
The desire for quality (especially in a natural-born perfectionist) is always there, it goes without saying. So putting it on a pedestal is really only an excuse for not getting anywhere in life. It’s easier to point at something and blame it for your shortcomings than it is to deal with those shortcomings. Not so easy to let that come naturally, allowing it unfold of its own accord, while you focus on exposing (if only to yourself) those areas you’re lacking in.
It’s not exactly easy publishing this particular post. The quality of it isn’t something I’ve thought much about, I haven’t really edited it or looked it over much, and maybe I’ll even show myself to be a little less graceful in the art of communication than you thought I was. But at least it’ll be out there, said, another step forward. Whatever skills might be lacking… will either stay lacking or they’ll be honed along the way as I continue onwards.
Gem for the Reader
Something is better than nothing, and more is always better.