Do Something Badly

Maybe even this!

My new favorite source of things to learn is Gretchen Rubin, a researcher and writer with a focus on happiness, one of my favorite topics.  Her twist on the solution to the paralysis of perfectionism, the impulse to let the perfect drive out the good, is to allow yourself to “do something badly” and she covers this in one of her delightful podcasts.

This made me think of things that I do badly and with great joy.  Running is right up there:  I have no problem with being the last runner in a race, and I have plenty of experience with that.  I was a bad drummer until I noticed that the difference between good and bad drummers was that the bad drummers called attention to their mistakes and the good ones just kept on drumming.

Now I need to apply this important lesson to this blog.  I have dozens and dozens of notes of things I’ve learned, waiting for that perfect time to write them perfectly.  I would love to shift to just sharing them with you, as they are, written well or badly, revised or raw, long or short, but DONE and here for you to see!

What about you?  What do you do badly?  What can you do try to do badly?  How can that bring you joy?  Write in the comments below or send me a note and I’ll post it for you.  But don’t wait until you have the perfect answer!


5 thoughts on “Do Something Badly”

  1. I don’t think there is enough room for me to list all the things I do badly, but I’ll try to hit the highlights: Dancing, singing, any kind of art or crafts, and public speaking. I do take joy in laughing at myself and laughing with others at myself. So I’ll keep on doing these things badly and laughing! Thanks, Jane for another amazing post!!

  2. Something I do badly is home decorating, and so I end up not decorating, and that makes me sad. I look at Pinterest and have hundreds of ideas but I never try them because I know they’ll never be Pinterest perfect. I have a small (like really, really small) spare space that I’m going to make into my (really, really small) office. My husband has offered so many times to paint it, to get it started, but I delay him because I want to find the perfect paint color, and have the perfect desk on-hand, and have pictures ready to hang, and have an idea of where to hang them, etc. And because I can never do these things perfectly (and all at once) then it’ll never get done (or started, for that matter). I should just let him paint (even if the color ends up not being perfect), and then work on finding the desk (even if it’s not perfect), etc. Then I may actually have a space that is mine, for concentrating on work, before I retire! Thanks for the inspiration to get this done, even if it’s not Pinterest perfect.

  3. See also: Julia Child, you said that you should never apologize for your cooking (in my terms, don’t let cooking badly stop you from cooking). Instead of saying “sorry, I burnt this” say “I think next time I will take the onions off the stove sooner.” Build on progress, rather than waiting until it’s perfect (this applies to dancing and office decorating too!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: