Saturday, August 21, 2010

Emotionally Perfect

Sometimes we work so hard to be perfect that we end up being imperfect.I realised this today in the strangest of places- my kitchen.It all started with my desire to resume cooking. One and a half months of Gurgaon and settling down had taken its toll on my culinary skills. Then came the bigger challenge. When you are with someone who is undoubtably one of the world's best cook and has mastered both the art and the science of cooking, the going gets tough.

I decided I had to be perfect. Trawled the net, actually went on a dizzying spree of recipe hunting for a fish curry. Dived into blogs, notes, recipes,websites, FB pages- you name it. Took print outs of half a dozen recipes and mulled over them. This became a project bigger than my current office one.

Started off the process, armed with recipes and riled with nervousness. What if it doesn't turn out great? What if it is not perfect? What if I fall short? I got so worked up that my face was whiter than the fish scales.

And then it struck me. Why am I losing my confidence? Because I was trying too hard to meet non existent benchmarks. I realised that my benchmark was my own cooking and not what the best recipe books said. That's it. Went about with a hum on my lips, chopping, frying, tasting... and finally purred with pleasure when it was declared the best fish curry ever tasted.

What a wonderful lesson. Not to be stressed by performance pressures. This can only end in performance anxiety. Our benchmarks should be our own. And in a funny way, all our benchmarks definitely match up to the universal benchmarks as well. So if the end delivery is a great meal, one way of delivering is a superbly cooked perfect meal. Another way could be a not so perectly cooked but made lovingly- like mum's cooking. Which always is perfect and is always voted a best meal, no matter what. Because it comes with so much love.

Emotions, feelings go into whatever we do. Whether it is a curry we cook, a project at work or a relationship. We can go about doing things like clockwork, meeting standards and benchmarks and also doing fantastically well. We can also go about doing the same work with lot of passion and energy and love and do equally well when it comes to the end objective or delivery.

And to my mind, the second way can in fact score a little more at times- at least when the end objective is about happiness and satisfaction. For nothing shows more in our performance than the emotions and intent behind it.

Happy weekend everyone:-)

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