I was once told, “Work always turns out the best under pressure.” I second it.
Because, ‘no pressure’ often leads to complacency and, a lax in attitude, not for everyone, but for a majority. And looking closely, it actually works. The margin for error calculated is low. Exactly why deadlines are there to remind that Time is of the essence and, punctuality comes first, leaving perfection behind in the second place.
Well, that is exactly where I will stop. Punctuality side stepping perfection is precisely where I will agree to disagree with what I began my opening lines with. Don’t remember? Read the first line.
So, when I started my stint as a content writer, I was introduced to an ocean of material and, a typhoon of words! All my confidence of being able to write took a beating when I took about a week to write my first article – Lyme Disease Rash! (YES, THAT WAS THE FIRST ARTICLE I WROTE AFTER JOINING) and, it took me a week to understand why it was horrendously difficult to write short and crisp and, ridiculously effortless to write long long nonsense!
The first lesson I learned there was,
1. There is a deadline.
2. And, then, there is perfection.
3. And, striking the balance between the two is every content writer’s nightmare.
We had to write minimum three articles per day. And it is here, I noticed that while deadlines were matched a hundred percent, the perfection always fell short by a credible percentage.
For me, ever since I have never ever been satisfied with the outcome of my thoughts on my word pad. It is like that annoying feeling in the back of my head that screams “God! This could have been way better!” It is that feeling after writing the dreaded board exam when you suddenly remember, “Hell! I could have answered that alternatively too!”
There have been nights when I would be awake writing a 400 word article on cloud computing, trying to pitch in as much as possible from the seamless web of information I am provided with. It used to be crazy. Because, There would always be some point, albeit minor that missed the eye but, will surely catch the hawk of a client ! Even after getting the blessings of client, my brain was somehow rewired to believe that, “Damn! This could have been better! Just needed a day more!”
On certain days, the regret of not having given that 110 percent was greater than all those sleepless nights, days of utter neglect towards family and, many missed moments of being able to watch mesmerising sunrises and sunsets! Sad. To me, that is sad indeed. And, I perhaps was a very very sad person then. Sadly.
It was at that time, my father noticing my agitation towards certain things not working in a certain manner I wanted, advised me, “You, my daughter are falling into the trap of Zero Error Syndrome. It seems good initially but, let me pass on something that Life taught me. Zero Error Syndrome is a termite. It will eat you up. Don’t let it play your mind. You can strive for the best. And, you must! But, there is always a fair 10 percent chance that things may not work the way you want them to. And, the ability to accept that there is a force above us that also has its hidden agendas, will help you understand why perfection is an illusion. Sometimes, it is a huge palace of illusions!”
Over the past one year, the lesson has been made crystal clear to me. Maybe, because I have been subjected to situations and idiosyncracies of people where Life taught me to be in control even as nothing was in control. My health issues were another story altogether. Our family doctor back in Bharuch took a look at me and, said bluntly, “You need to relax. And, you need to breathe. It is perfectly ok to not being able to get the outcome you desire only because you gave a 100 percent and, Murphy dropped inunivited. Because Life is not perfect either. And, perhaps the reason, the only reason why it is beautiful too!”
Did the pep talk help? I would say, with some medications. But, it did.
And, surprisingly when I found myself tolerating murder of creative freedom and, somehow sailing along with a team, totally disillusioned with the leadership, I found my tolerance. Ironically, I found my tolerance where I least expected to find. It was as though I found it when I was on the verge of unleashing beast within and, suddenly the beast calmed down by itself. A faint whisper was there – For people and seasons, both change for better, for worse. 😉 And, timings are always a surprise!
So, where did that tolerance come from? Tolerance, a word I have hated since childhood. I have wondered given all those heated arguments I had with my father then, every time he advised me, “How did I tolerate situations and people from last year? How?”
But then, I am my father’s daughter. And, I put on my TamBrahm hat and figured that out! IT took me a year of circus I never wanted to be a part of, to understand that even in a circus, there is always a margin for error, an error that can never be predicted or, controlled.
And then, we are humans at the end of the day. They say, even a human symmetry is skewed. The left side and the right side of our body are not exactly symmetrical.
That explains why Zero Error Syndrome can cause so much of pain? Because even though one can always attempt to bite more than one can chew. Sadly, digestion is a totally different story!😁
P.S : I have nothing against perfectionists. Perfection is an important goal to achieve. But what worth would it be if one has to bleed and worse, cut others for it?
Something to ponder over.