“I wish you no harm… but I hope that you nail something perfect at first try,” was a statement I published these days.
Sarcasm aside, it’s a somewhat absurd reality: when things go great at the first attempt, the resulting joy has a very short lifespan.
Let’s remember together: Which things that are really worth it, you do only once?
It’s like making lasagna.
You are not going to do it just once … you will try several times until you make it the way you like.
But if your lasagna comes out perfect on the first try, what are the chances of it coming out like that next time?
Surely you will think: “If my first attempt went like this … with a little experimentation it will be even better.”
Because that experimentation, that trial and error, is innate for all of us.
The problem is that if the first iteration went so well, the next (possibly failed) iterations could frustrate you a bit.
“Ah, it didn’t work out as well as the first one,” you’ll say again and again.
Something like that was proposed by the philosopher Francis Bacon in the 16th century. At that time, the scientific community had a strong detractor: The Catholic Church.
What was the conflict, after centuries of harmonious coexistence, and even the Church’s approval of scientific advances?
The answer: these advances began to question the Bible.
The struggle between both was asymmetric since one defended a religious dogma while the other defended a progressively evolving knowledge.
Hence, the Church had no problem with scientific ‘trial and error’… until they began to lose believers.
For Bacon, that concept of knowledge in constant evolution was fundamental; but for that to happen, it was necessary to combat what he called “Idols of the mind”, like these:
– Social norms
– Dogmas of all kinds
…Then, the merit of a sixteenth-century scientist was to have the stiff upper lip to go against all kinds of obstacles that society imposed, to see the world really as it is.
What does this have to do with our first ‘perfect’ lasagna attempt?
That first ‘perfect’ attempt becomes like dogma for us. An archetype against which we have, ironically, to fight.
Much better is when we screw up and understand that our project is going to require a little more effort than we thought.
That’s when we decide to allocate more resources and dedication. And that’s good.
Best of all: being prepared to screw up, you will act faster because you won’t worry much about the first outcome.
For all this to work, it’s critical to overcome that initial frustration.
Don’t be so hard on yourself; step back and try to see what went wrong.
Think of that first failure as a blessing that will drive you to continually improve.
… and when you think you have reached ‘perfect’, you will have the ability to see small branches that will lead you to further increase your knowledge … and your power over your circumstances.
(Because knowledge is power … but you have to work it like a muscle).
Pretty much like the muscle of Body Language skills.
I wish you much success!
Jesus Enrique Rosas
I can read your body language and write a story about it.