Your Way Is The Only Way

“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

There is no perfect, or right, way to do anything in life. Yet, it’s this fear of failing to achieve perfection, or do things exactly right, which paralyses so many people. We hold off on taking steps towards our goals or doing what we really want to. We spend too much time researching what others do and how they do it, and end up going nowhere fast ourselves.

Life is all about learning. We learn new skills or acquire new knowledge. Then we apply what we have learned. When things go well, we learn what we need to do more of. When they don’t go according to plan, we learn from this too and adapt our approach. Simple really, when you think about it. Feed your brain lots of good quality information, apply that knowledge by putting it into action and let the results inform you of the best way to complete the task at hand.

Also worth bearing in mind is that we are all unique. We have all been shaped by different circumstances and, as such, all view the world slightly differently. It stands to reason, then, that when we undertake a task, we all do it slightly differently. This is also true of situations when the steps and actions required to complete the task are all the same. Some will change the order in which the steps are tackled, spending more time on some than others. Some will even look at the whole process and question whether there is a better, easier or more efficient way to carry out the task.

Take, for example, an essay writing task given to a class of 14 year old schoolchildren. As a class, you study the instructions and the process together. Every single student is as clear as they can be on what they have to do and how. Yet, when it comes to actually planning and writing the essay, they will all tackle it in their own way. This is completely natural. They work to their strengths in order to produce the best result which they are capable of.

As adults, we can learn an awful lot of good things from children, and this is among them. We need to spend less time looking at how somebody else completes a task which we are attempting, and more time just putting the work in.

In short, you just need to take action and learn from the experience. Stop researching the details or trying to plan for perfection. All that really matters is the work. Take the task at hand and tackle it in your own way. Work to your strengths and make it yours. If you conceive a more efficient solution, try it. If it fails, just go back to square 1 and start again. If it succeeds, however, people may start adopting your approach.

You will never paint like Picasso, write like Hemingway or sing like Whitney Houston because you are not them. You can study their processes and copy them, but you will never produce the exact same results. Focus instead on yourself, and what you can do. Then, do it to the best of your ability, consistently. That is the way to get things done. Your way.

 

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