Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bits and Pieces

Excellence is doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well.

John Gardner
When you get right down to it everything we do is ordinary. All of the great achievements in the world are backed up and prepared by a thousand details all of which must be performed expertly. The player who carries the ball across the goal line can't do it unless the other 10 members of the team perform their functions well. It requires team work.

An orchestra also needs every musician to perform his or her function with excellence even if the score sometimes just calls of an accompaniment to a soloist. That's team work.

Think of the tiny details a chef or a surgeon must get right in order for the result to be excellent. Those details may be carried out by one person but it also requires team work; a team of one.

We all want to get to the results as soon as possible, but we have to enlist in the basic details along the way. The best way is to learn to love those details, a painter claiming his brushes, a teacher carefully reading and grading papers or preparing a lesson plan, a musician tuning his instrument.

One afternoon I was watching a trombone player getting ready for an orchestra rehearsal. First he ran up and down scales, then he played combinations and exercises to get facility, All of that took about an hour of great concentration. If a particular exercise didn't please him he went back over it until it did. He accomplished all of that before he even looked at the music he was going to play that afternoon. You can't just fall out of bed, have a coffee, take the instrument out of its case and expect to play Beethoven.

I doesn't matter what you are, a writer, a painter, a technician, a mechanic, a carpenter, a doctor, a teacher, an athlete. a scientist, an astronaut, you have a stack of details, of ordinary things that must be done and done well and with enjoyment. The enjoyment comes with knowing that if you do everything right the final result will be excellent.

Weekend Contest
This contest is open for the next 9 days.

Choose as many numbers as you want and fill in the blanks
Winners will be posted on the evening of April 4.
The decisions of the nasty biased judge are final. Prizes will awarded on the basis of originality and whatever makes me laugh.

On the first day of April my true love gave to me

Good luck


Trees said...

I sent my responses to you in email, Db, was not sure where to post them.

Beth said...

Yes, often the mundane is vital to a quality finished product!

I sent my entry to you in an email. :)

Big Mark 243 said...

If you take care of the small things, the larger things will take care of themselves!!

Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

I agree that excellence takes a team, but I think it always requires a team. An artist does not produce a masterpiece unless it is appreciated. A surgeon is not successful without a patient. An inventor is not successful if the device is not used. Interesting post that provoked some good conteplation.

Rose~* said...

Ah yes - it takes far more time to get ready to paint a room, than the actual painting. All that preparation needs to be done, if you want a decent finish. Great post, DB - turning ordinary events into extraordinary thoughts. ((HUGS))

Trees said...

Great post Db, always thought provoking and so right, it takes so many things or persons and preparation before the final product or person trying to achieve the excellence comes to fruition.

Lori said...

My son, 20, is a bit of a perfectionist. I'm going to print this out and have him read it.

Bonnie Bonsai said...

I do so agree!