Perfection and structure

I was born in Germany, and as everyone tells me I am supposed to be structured and process driven. At work I am actually, but too much structure and strict processes drive me crazy. I need freedom to do what I feel is right, rather than following step by step instructions to get something done. Funnily enough at work I am running operations, and my biggest focus is creating and implementing processes, and I am good at it. 🙂

A few years ago I thought I had to become a certified project manager to understand the theory behind running a project. Oh dear, was it dry, and overly prescriptive. The book alone (PMBOK) has close to 1,000 pages and every process has a sub-process and dozens of steps and sub-steps. Really? Yes, you need structure when you are managing multi-million dollar projects, but does it have to be that contained?

I am much happier when things are not that pre-planned and structured, but when I have the freedom to do what I want to do in that moment. My private life is not really process-driven. Yes, I do have to do lists (hand written and I have now moved to Asana) and I follow them, but in the day to day I prefer to be open what the day brings.

The best example is cooking. I love Masterchef and love watching it, but I couldn’t do their crazy recipe challenges. So much detail, so prescriptive and no room for improvisation. I love cooking when I can create something with the ingredients I have – mostly without a recipe.

I usually buy groceries from the markets or my local organic co-op. Depending on what I get, I might have something in mind already and then look for inspiration from recipes on the internet. But only inspiration it is. Once I have seen and read them, I go rogue. 🙂

And most of the times it turns into something delicious. Yes, maybe not the most beautiful dish (I am not that great at plating), but definitely tasty. I am not striving for perfection in the kitchen or in my life. Perfection makes me nervous and overthinking is not he best thing to do. I rather enjoy life with everything it throws at me.

And there is beauty in imperfection. The Japanese accept imperfection in their view of wabi-sabi, a concept I am just starting to get my head around. Wait for more to come …

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