Instead of New Years resolution bullshit – no doubt disillusionment has already set in by now for those who’ve broken them already – I want to explore something pertinent to our daily endeavours. I came across the following in a blog by Vicky Frazer which I’m now blatantly stealing as it struck a chord with me:
“Comparison is the theft of joy, and it destroys us if we let it”
Think about that for a moment. In this age of Instagram, Pinterest, google images and facebook we’re bombarded with information and images. Given our preferences, history, likes and the algorithms designed to feed us topics and updates of relevance to our own field/areas of interest (e.g.- sexy garden designs, planting schemes, etc), one can be forgiven perhaps for feeling a touch inadequate by comparison, insecure or indeed downright jealous and depressed. Theres always someone* or something better/smarter or simply way ahead of what we are capable of producing.
(*does not apply to incoming American presidents)
I’ve never been a fan of starting our car registration plates with the year for example. I’m sure it drives sales though. Or for example my 2 kids, both plenty bright thank God, both firmly believe they are ‘bad at art’. Academically sound and sporty they can’t and won’t try ‘cos they see their efforts as crap compared to some peers/ what’s out there.
Or in the adult world there’s a danger, for example, when it comes to porn. Although not real as such it sets up unrealistic expectations so the real thing suffers by comparison. Eh, so I’m told.
Getting away from nudity and sex and back to the landscaping world the same principles and dangers, in my opinion, apply. I’d be the first to confess to inadequate feelings when admiring other people’s work (in Gardens, not porn…c’mon!).
Whether it be at Bloom or Chelsea, magazine features or the Facebook posts of gardens done by peers. Yes, you can appreciate the beauty of and learn from such perfection but let’s face it, it can, even subconsciously, undermine ones faith in ones own ability to produce excellence.
Aaaaaaand the solution is … I don’t know! All we can and must do is our best. In the time and budget constraints pertaining. Some people are naturally and annoyingly cocky and this issue doesn’t bother them. For the rest of us the challenge is to just soldier on striving to improve and to continue to learn.
I’ll leave you with a business philosophy that has served me well and is in fact written large and cellotaped to my desk – ‘DONE IS BETTER THAN GREAT’
If I didn’t believe that I’d never be bold enough to write the odd blog.
P.S. Fair play to me. I haven’t smoked a cigar since 31st Dec. Although Mark Twain said giving up tobacco was easy. He’d done it hundreds of times.