It’s the journey, not the destination.
I’m going to talk about quality and the journey to it being the equivalent of a 22hour Ryanair flight that keeps circling trying to land you back where you boarded but the pilot is not sure they can.
Quality or rather the pursuit of it has brought me happiness, a career path, an ethos on life, a focus, friendship, a crippling self-deprecating outlook and a feeling of ‘imposter syndrome’
“The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” – Aristotle
I have for the best part of 7 years focused on coffee, starting off as a hobby to now owning and running a café.
My interest has led me to study physics, chemistry, mathematics, sensory analysis, tasting, experimenting, horticulture, networking, teaching, consulting, pull apart equipment… the list goes on.
These things have never come naturally to me and I struggle to understand many aspects of it but the challenge is compelling.
For some time now I have been convincing myself that the destination, quality, was just around the corner and I would say things like;
‘Ah, after I get this new water filtration system I’ll have it’
‘My burr alignment must be off again, I’ll stay late and sort it’
‘I have palate fatigue, I’ll be grand in a bit’
‘The flow meter is blocked, I’ll raise the pump pressure for now and unblock it after closing’
This is constantly happening.
So the opposite of the ‘imposter syndrome’ is ‘the Dunning – Kruger Effect’ that can be summarised by a quote by Charles Darwin;
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge."
In essence this means the less you know the more you think you know and the more you actually know the less you think you know.
I am not saying that I am a person of low ability nor an expert (yet) but I am either stuck in purgatory in this middle ground circling trying to figure out where to land or this pursuit of quality has left it impossible to reach a destination.
I am undoubtedly not alone in this. I believe there must be countless people with similar thinking across multiple different practices. Let me know your thoughts.
a) Quality is relative to your experience and once you pass the inception point of the journey the 0 to expert line extends indefinitely
b) Quality is a compromise and you shouldn’t let excellence get in the way of good enough
c) You are not destined to enjoy the fruits of your own labour merely be a vessel to strive for excellence for others
d) Be better
e) You have arrived – you just haven’t realised it
f) Very nice (read in Borat’s voice)
g) Go to therapy
h) Step back and focus on the accomplishments
I don’t know where this leaves me. All I know is tomorrow I am going to try harder, be better and try reflect on how far I’ve come and the many occasions that my efforts have made someone’s day better or tastier and that whatever my journey is that it is greater than me.