The day after Christmas, I had eye surgery for a blocked tear duct – minor since it was out-patient, major since it involved general anesthesia, painkillers, antibiotics, drops, ointments, ice packs then warm soaks, sleeping with an elevated head and not bending over or lifting more than ten pounds – WOW. That’s a lot.
I looked pretty awful the first few days after surgery, but little by little, the swelling went down and the bruising diminished. I am writing this wearing my contact lenses and, as you read it, will be on a plane flying cross country exactly one week after the surgery.
Why the quick recovery? Because I followed ALL the instructions.
I was precise about what to do four times a day and for how long. Precise about every aspect of my recovery because my experienced surgeon knew what would create a successful recovery, and I believed her.
But precision isn’t always necessary. In fact, sometimes it can get in your way. For instance, the week before Christmas, my dear friend Martha was in town from Vancouver. We decided weeks before her arrival to have a dinner party for eight that we would cook together.
Even though we had decided the menu, we found additional inspiration when we went shopping the night she arrived. As I began making a pesto with pistachios, mint, and parsley, I decided to change some parts of the recipe to better complement our other dishes. Whether or not to add the cheese (to the scalloped potatoes) didn’t matter. I didn’t have to follow the recipe precisely!
Some things, like tuning a piano, making a surgical incision, landing a plane, or handling toxic waste, require precision. If we are imprecise, then we will fail, and serious consequences will result.
However, in most of life, precision isn’t required. Good enough is – well, good enough.
It’s tempting when we start a new year to believe we must be precise or perfect at everything we do. We don’t. Rather, we can follow that wise adage: Never let the perfect get in the way of the good.
Give yourself and others the grace to seek precision and perfection only when it’s really needed. You’ll free yourself to do more and to Live Large!
Until Next Tuesday,
P.S. If you haven’t read Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next yet, the eBook version is on sale for only $1.99 until January 12th, 2018 throughAmazon/Kindle! Make sure to let your friends and colleagues know about this incredible deal!