Last week my husband and I went to one of our favorite local restaurants.
Bellying up to the bar, we grabbed a glass of wine and ordered dinner. Our restaurant, which always served beer and wine, was now serving “craft cocktails.” Interesting, I thought.
Looking over cocktail menu, I noticed there were some pretty fancy drinks in there. Sipping my wine, I started watching the new bartender. There was a LOT going on with the cocktail making. Poof! Orange peels being lit on fire, bitters and shots flying through the air, some sort of gourmet infused cherry situation, lemons being squeezed on demand and a lot of shaking and stirring. Funny thing, even though there was a lot of activity, not a lot of drinks were being completed. They took forever!
Time and time again, the servers came over asking about their drinks. It seems that these craft cocktails were taking too long to be crafted and the customers were getting antsy. (Word to the wise, give the nice people what they want when they’re hangry and thirsty and slowly back away.) The bartender needed to get help, she just couldn’t get it together.
This seems like a great lesson in our everyday lives, right? Not just for tending bar. Don’t we sometimes get so bogged down in the minutiae and the goal of perfection that we’re slow to—or never get to—the finish line? There’s sweating the small stuff and then there’s SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t do our best, because if there’s only one thing you should take away from me is that I always want us to do our best. What I’m talking about here is when you overanalyze what you’re doing, when you think it to death. Let’s call it analysis paralysis. Perfection isn’t perfect if the job doesn’t get done. In fact, I think that’s probably the opposite of perfection. (Oh, now we’re getting deep.)
Maybe now is the time to pull down that project you put aside that you just couldn’t get to the finish line. Take a step back and really think about what you need to do to get it going. It could be as simple as having a fresh perspective. Make a list of what needs to be done. Broad strokes here, people! Again, we’re trying to avoid analysis paralysis.
I know you’re going to be surprised to hear that this article did not take me months to finish. Which is weird as you’re basking in the excellence and glory shining up from your screen, right? So tell me, what opportunities do you have right now? Are you struggling to finish a project? Stop aiming for flawlessness and strive to do better, improving as you go.
Do your best, stop trying to be perfect. You’re not. I’m sorry, despite what your spouse or your mom said, you’re just not. For sure I’m not, and some days I’m even ok with it.
(That Aristotle is NOT making my point for me!)