The Danger Of Mediocre Solutions
I have come to find that the biggest inhibitor of excellence is not the questions we can’t answer nor the problems we can’t solve: those still hold hope of being resolved. The biggest danger however lies in the problems that we do solve, but not very well. In doing so, we put them off our minds and go on with our lives, usually without coming back to them and wondering whether they are the best and most optimal solution.
This notion first occurred to me when my brother came to visit and stayed with me for a week. I had a cute little drawer where I kept all the products for my (oh-so-fancy) skin care routine. One of the bottles was taller than the others and didn’t fit in the drawer properly. Thankfully, (clever me) realised that if I held down the top of the bottle in a diagonal motion while closing the drawer, it fit! So that I did, again and again.
Now, when my brother arrived, (stupid him) he struggled heavily with that drawer. So much in fact, that I proudly obliged and helped him close it multiple times. Until one day, one mind-blowing day, he got so angry with the damn thing, that he picked the bottle, almost threw it out the window (or at me, he never actually confessed), and put it back in the drawer, simply laying it down horizontally (oh-so-f****ing-clever-him).
My, my… I slowly approached the drawer, and tried to hide my amazement (not very successfully, I must admit) while smoothly and effortlessly opening and closing it. I quickly realised that I was almost drooling and putting in evidence my stupidity, so I composed myself and went to bed with the little pride I had left.
How could I have not thought of that? Such an easy solution… A solution I’m intelligent enough to come up with on my own, but… but I didn’t. I simply didn’t. Because I came up with another solution, a solution that in this case was mediocre. Dang.
I laid awake, wondering about all the other meh-solutions I had come up with. All those areas in my life where I was able to come up with a much better solution and simply didn’t. It didn’t take me long to realise that I would never be able to uncover all of them, since I’m blinded by my own so-so solutions. But I will forever know I don’t know. And to make matters worse, even if, in a theoretical world, I were to know about all of them, I would never know I knew.
And that, my friends, is where my thinking stopped; because I arrived to a hair pulling loop with no solution. Just like life and its meaning I guess. A futile quest.
Now will you sleep already!
A millennial girl,