Walk Slowly, but Never Backward

On the first day of class, Jerry Uelsmann, a professor at the University of Florida, divides his film photography students, into two groups.

Everyone on the left side of the classroom would be in the “quantity” group.  

They would be graded solely on the amount of work they produced.  

On the final day of class, one hundred photos would rate an A, ninety photos a B, eighty a C, and so on.

Everyone on the right side of the room would be in the “quality” group.  

They would be graded only on the excellence of their work.  

They would only need to produce one photo during the semester but to get an A, it had to be a nearly perfect image.

At the end of the term, he was surprised to find that all the best photos were products by the quantity group.

During the semester, these students were busy taking photos, experimenting with composition and lighting, testing out various methods in the darkroom, and learning from their mistakes.

In the process of creating hundreds of photos, they honed their skills.

Meanwhile, the quality group sat around speculating about perfection.

In the end, they had little to show for their errors other than unverified theories and one mediocre photo.

It is easy to get bogged down trying to find the optimal plan for change: the fastest way to lose weight, the best program to build muscle, the perfect business model.

We are so focused on figuring out the best approach that we never get around to taking action.

As Voltaire once wrote, “The best is the enemy of the good.”

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Have a blessed day!

Warm regards,

Paul "your number one fan" Bocco

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