The combination of “nit-picky perfectionist” and “creative” can be a hazardous mix. The “creative” side is always seeing new ideas and new ways of doing things. The “nit-picky” side can see little glaring imperfections in the creative output that are so minor that no normal person would even notice. Properly fueled, these two characteristics can create a self-perpetuating cycle that is harder to stop than Congress on a runaway spending spree.
As you might guess, I understand this syndrome on a very personal, first-hand basis. A good example occurred last weekend, when I spent an entire day cleaning up some obvious cosmetic problems on the CaseStudies web site. I had done some layout changes a couple of weeks before, but it still wasn’t “right”. The buttons weren’t quite the right size, or in the exact location they needed to be. It was annoying me so much that I just had to fix it. Hours later, I asked Sharon, who has a great eye for layout, for her opinion. I had to point out the changes to her – she didn’t even notice them. I spent the whole day on something that nobody else on the planet would notice – now that’s great time management!
I was discussing this syndrome earlier this week with a trusted counselor, who advised me to start applying the “So What?” factor to every task or project that I take on. It’s deceptively simple: before beginning a task or project, envision the goal or finished product, and someone looking at it, saying “So What?” Then, answer their question – and listen to your answer. If you can’t give them a good, convincing answer, it’s time to re-evaluate whether this task or project is worthy of your time.
It’s not as easy to do as it sounds. Things that I’m sure are important, when processed through the “So What” filter, may not be so important at all – but I still feel as though they are important. To effectively implement the “So What” factor into my decision making, I have to change my way of thinking – not always an easy task, but necessary.
So, you go to church. So what? So, you say you’re a So what? So, you’ve got a lot of “stuff.” So what?
Can your faith pass the “So What” test?