Small Steps = Big Impact

Quantity beats quality!

What do I mean by that?

Everything will become clear.

But first of all, I have a short story for you:

The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple:

  • on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds* of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. (* 1 pound = 0.45 kilos)
  • Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, grading time came and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

(Extract from the book “Art & Fear” by David Bayles and Ted Orland)

What does the above story tell us? Quantity leads to quality.

In other words, when we focus too much on perfection, we’re too afraid to take action. We stand still. Not moving. We’re on the road to nowhere.

But, if we’re ready to “get our hands dirty”, keep on making mistakes, facing our fears of “what if” and practicing consistently, then we’ll reach that final destination: quality.

We just need to keep on showing up and taking the small steps day by day.

So, which small step will you take today towards your big goal in English?



One last tip: my journaling programs are an effective way of gaining confidence and taking small steps towards quality :).

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