Friday, January 25, 2008

Something Rather than Nothing

A NEW BLOG: And I promise, no Latin this time.

One of the many self-proclaimed radio gurus (the experts we are supposed to learn our job from) has said,"It's better to do something than to do nothing," countering the fear jocks sometimes have of taking on-air risks.

Nota Bene: If you have ever listened to our show, you know we have no fear of taking risks. Sometimes it might be better if we did.

VIOLATION: Apologies. The Blogger Police have just caught me using Latin after promising I would avoid ancient langugage in this blog. Oh well, mea culpa.

Where was I? Oh, yes: the philosophy of doing something rather than nothing that I said was promoted by one of those radio expert guys -- well, he's right. Pay the man and give him an important title. Only, it's possible he doesn't know how right he is.

One of my life struggles has been perfectionism. I used to think that term applied to me was a compliment. It isn't. Perfectionism is the tendency to spend much more time and energy on something than it is worth. I could spend all day trying and I'd never look like this guy (who is that greaseball anyhow?), so what's the point?

My point is that I have often been paralyzed because of the perception of a lack of time or energy or focus or resources. The feeling is that, to do the job right (which is "perfectly" of course), I must have/be/get/take something I currently don't have. Therefore, I will wait (Ah, friend of Perfectionism, welcome to the party, Procrastination!) until I have more...

And here's the deception: more usually never comes. I have a stack of books to get to when I have more time. Forget that: I have books I want to write when I have more education, more skill, more time. This is the paralysis analysis.

Here's more (hang with me, I have a point). What if we do have enough? What if there's enough time, skill, etc. to do the thing we have been putting off? The perfectionist thinks he can then perfect, but it isn't so. There is only one Perfect One. Everything his creations create is imperfect. The perfectionist vainly labors under the false assumptions that a) he is able to overcome his own internal imperfections, and b) that we want him to wait until he does before we savor his work. Good artists are a counter-illustration. Have you ever watched an artist work and felt frustrated that what she thought was finished wasn't really perfect? Yet the WHOLE turns out to be better than if she's allowed you to tinker with the parts.

Is this making any sense? Here's a better illustration. Last week I had enough time to do a thought-through blog. Write. Edit. Re-read. Re-edit. Post. Yet when Carmen read it, she found it nearly unintelligible, and it's not her fault. My Lord, I used Latin terms, technical words, and it was even longer than this one! This post will probably turn out to be at least as good, to at least some of the readers, and it's completely off the cuff (no time). I chose to do something rather than nothing.

This week was great on The Morning Cruise. We had laughs, tears and surprises that make us, not to mention our audience, remember that life is unpredictable, that it's good to remember your humanity. I just thought I wanted to share that with you. And I wanted to share the fun video that we did with Matthew West. Take a minute (actually seven) and watch 60 Seconds with Matthew West. And then, right after you watch it, take a minute and do SOMETHING you have been putting off, laboring under the whip of perfectionism.
(I just realized I don't have the ability/time to upload the video here. Maybe I should wait... Oh well, just follow this link: Morning Cruise TV.)


Donika said...

Bill, I wanted to say thanks for posting this blog. It was what I needed to hear today. Thank you. God Bless you! Donika

S Himes said...

Wow. Does this mean I can start doing "my list" of things I've been waiting for the "Idiots To Do Book" on?

Bill Martin's Personal Ramblings said...

Go for it Scott, you have my blessing!

Unknown said...

Thank you Bill! I suffer from perfectionism, too and "used" to use it as my shield to hide my insecurities. :) I really need to read this today, GOD BLESS YOU!