Thursday, April 11, 2013

To Be or Not To Be: Excellent

After listening to an inspiring speech about the importance of striving for excellence in life, I decided to revisit my daily routine.  From being on time (arriving before 10 am), to looking presentable (wearing jeans and a Mail Chimp t-shirt), to staying organized (27 post-it notes sporadically scattered), I realized my casual work environment was starting to get the best of me.
With each passing day I learned more about work, life and Texas, but still felt like I wasn't able to put forth the whole hearted passion I knew I had. Since there’s no better time for change than the present, off I went to begin changing. And it all started, at the Walmart.
 Cart in hands, with swift navigation and a detour at the holiday sale aisle, I finally made it to the jackpot: home storage. Since moving to Texas I decided to go for a minimalist themed bedroom to stay cost effective.  Fortunate for my wallet, unfortunate for my cluttered room with shoe piles, clothes piles, and 'everything else' piles.
“A cluttered room is a cluttered mind”- A life coach once said in a True Life MTV episode. 
I figured investing in a desk would be nice, on account of my low rise Ikea bed isn’t exactly an ideal workspace. I found a few more things and opted for ones with minimal screws because that much manual labor was not looking too hot.
Feeling motivated, I channeled my inner Bob-the-Builder and put on my tool belt to begin constructing. I started with the desk and enjoyed the great pictorial illustrations and various baggies with parts.  I wondered if people actually counted them before starting.  Already late in the evening, I felt willing to take my chances. That Walmartwould not do me wrong.
Speeding along and almost halfway done, I felt confident and wondered about people that messed these things up.
“That would suck,” I pondered as I inserted hand screw E onto board G.
At the final step I become a bit frazzled as to why the parts were not going together like the picture. Ohhhhhhhh yeeeeeaaa-because I did step two wrong and now there’s a part upside down 10 steps back. Beautiful.
Looking back at the instructions, I saw a minor detail that I missed the first time. Huh, I thought. Must be why I need to start being more excellent and paying attention to detail.  Once I finally got it, I was borderline sweating but ready to take on the next one. 
Up next was the shoe rack. Looked simple enough. Twisted some things here and there and Wah-La! I have a shoe rack.  That is lopsided? What the….
Ohhhhh yeeeeaaa how could I not see I attached one part incorrectly in my haste to build this oh-so-simple project. That attention to detail thing again. When looking at the sum of parts it all made sense, not so much during the step by step process. 
Upon reflection, I realized this struggle with semi-homemade furniture mirrored my current daily struggle.  I know what I want to do, but to get there takes time and tact. Sometimes it takes making simple mistakes for a better understanding of the bigger picture. And that’s okay, you can rebuild Walmart furniture.  You can mess up a spreadsheet and fix it again.  As long as with every mistake, you get a little more excellent.
Because in this weird post college life we live, it's the working world from here on out. So we've got time to learn the lay of the land before we can be excellent at it. Cheers to that mis amigos. And Happy Holidays, may 2013 bring excellence to all that you do. 
And if the new year brings you furniture, pay attention to the instructions. Or get an engineer boyfriend to do it for you.

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