Monday, July 23, 2007

Mistakes and Imperfections

We may have at sometime repaired or built something. It may be a patch in the ceiling from a leak, a touch of crazy glue for the sole of a shoe or built a deck for the house. But it wasn't perfect and we can see the patches or mistakes.

They stand out to us as if there is a spotlight on it for all to see and we are sure that everyone else can see them to. We can treat mistakes we make in our lives the same way. Certain that everyone can see them and are focused on them.

When we start to think like this then it is time for us to go and look at houses that are made of bricks. When we first look at the house we think that it looks great. We admire the appearance and the color and think that we would like a house like that.

However close examination will find one, two or five bricks that are not perfectly aligned or exactly the same shade of color. No matter how long we look we will not find one perfect house.

Those imperfections and mistakes give each house a uniqueness all of it's own. Shouldn't we treat our mistakes and imperfections the same way?

Your thoughts?

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12 conversations:

Comedy + said...

We should, but this is a tough one. I sometimes beat myself up over things that I can't change. If I can't change them, then why do I bother? Well, I don't know the answer to that.

I guess we all just want to be perfect, or next to perfect. We try to be and do our very best, but since we are human there are flaws here and there. Another great thought provoking post Peter. Have a great evening. :)

Peter Haslam said...

Nothing wrong with trying to do as well as we can Sandee just need to step back and see the whole picture from time to time to keep our perspective

pearl said...

I tend to do this with my relationships but also feel I get trapped in too much of analysis/paralysis cycle!! The concept could fall in the similar vein as forgiveness I think.. it is also hardest to follow but ultimately a life saver in a lot of ways!! stop by sometime to say a hi Peter!!

Peter Haslam said...

Yes Pearl I have you in my reader but I will get over. Thanks for your addition

Brad K. said...

We need to evaluate the impact of the mistake. If the cost to fix is more than the value of fixing, the probably let it be.

If the mistake interferes with the ability of the project to reach it's goals, then a fix is a better strategy than leaving it.

Sometimes a mistake, evaluating the impact of a mistake, or evaluating a fix, will give rise to new thoughts, insights, or previously unseen opportunities. These should be valued, even if it is determined that fixing the mistake is better for the project.

Bricks are set in mortar. The mortar is usually set fairly thick to allow room to replace broken bricks, cracks in mortar, or install changes later. Not all systems are build with that allowance for non-impact variations.

So, absolutely. Sometimes we should leave the mistake be. I was told that IBM crafted the technical phrase 'feature' to mean 'A bug we aren't going to fix'. This was a college professor, in class.

Peter Haslam said...

A very interesting perspective Brad K and makes sense in it's context.

Random Magus said...

I fall into the category you are writing about. I'll find myself obsessing about mistakes which are glaringly obvious to me because I pay the most attention to them. Other people might not even have thought about them, as they would probably be thinking more about their own rather than dwelling on mine.

Shine said...

Sometimes it's the perfectionist symphom - we can get very annoyed with a minor mistake - exactly because it's minor and therefore we think that we shouldn't have made it...

Peter Haslam said...

Random Magus what has happened is done we can learn from it but we cannot change it. We can change it's meaning for us. We are human and thus we make mistakes. That is part of being human and we cannot lock ourselves away from life

Peter Haslam said...

Shine why do you even consider it as a mistake. Life is not predictable hence it does not work out the way we expect. Have a laugh and enjoy the fact that we cannot control life. That is it's essence.

Michael said...

Well yeah...interesting analogy, as I used to buy houses as investments.

All houses have major flaws. You have to sell around them.

Harbor City Real Estate said...

Humans cannot be perfect and if we were perfect we'd never be humans in the first place. Just as the well laid example of the different set of bricks the imperfections in our lives makes each of us unique because not all encounter the same type of mistakes. These mistakes makes us more wiser but we should also remember that the same mistake cannot take place twice in that case it'd be a bad habit.