Undoing Knots Has Its Rewards

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Some folks I know are hyper-detail oriented, and I have mixed feelings about that. On one hand, attention to detail generally makes things come out better, and is a trait of most highly successful people. On the downside, slavish attention to detail sometimes makes people obsessive and unable to ever be satisfied – “perfect is the enemy of good”, as the expression goes.

When I get a knot in my shoelaces, I secretly rejoice.  If I’m in a hurry, i have to wear another pair of shoes that day, but when I have some time, I will attack the knot with patience and determination. Careful, close examination will reveal where the knot is going and patience and determination will allow me to ease the lace out of that knot. I will triumph, and I will rejoice in my tiny victory.

In one shoelace knot, I put the offending shoe aside without rancor, and went about my business, but also got to return to the problem and solve it. I look forward to coming home to that silly knot!

In music, patient attention to detail is always rewarding. Note the use of the modifier “patient”.  It is actually incredible that you can try to learn a song, find it impossible, but keep trying, day after day, and have the song become quite doable – unraveling like the shoelace knot.  The shoelace knot does have that one “aha!” moment, but the progress in the song is in miniscule increments, that seem imperceptible on any given day. But measure in weeks, the progress is there.

Real life often seems to conspire to deny patience and calm when solving challenges. Some stuff comes at you so fast, you have to do rapid triage into “do” and “can’t do” categories and live with the results.  This stressful state often carries over into periods when you need not be stressful – it’s just hard to shake.

That’s when you take a deep breath, put on your close-up glasses and patiently unravel those darned knots.

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