"I suck at this!"
That's my niece muttering in exasperation as we folded bed sheets together. She couldn't quite get my instructions how to go about it, and since she wanted the task done quickly, was doing it wrong.
I admonished her when she kept huffing that she was doing a terrible job of it. She argued it was the first time she was folding sheets that's why she couldn't get it right. And that's precisely why it will take a bit of time to complete the task properly.
So, when we're made to perform a task initially, it's expected that it will take a little longer than someone used to doing it. But it doesn't mean we can't do it properly given a bit of patience.
And that's the root of problem. Most young folks choose want they want to do, especially when it comes to menial tasks or chores. Since they'd rather not take on such tasks, they want it done and over with as fast as they can.
Often, they really do suck at it precisely because they don't care to follow instructions, or do it step by step. To them, chores are an annoyance, oblivious to the values these teach us.
It doesn't help that there are so many distractions for them, foremost of which is the Internet, and the myriad of things they do there, many of them mindless stuff but which inundates their brains until they get addled.
For the young people today, chores or small tasks are unimportant and whether they're done or not is inconsequential. If they will grudgingly accept orders to do these, they think of all sorts of hacks to finish quickly.
They miss the point that certain things have steps to get these done in the most efficient way. And they can never see how important small details are in the grand scheme of things.
I'm all for hacks. But there are tasks that still turn out better or the output as it should be when done using a longer process.
Yes, I grew up in a generation when there was particular order to doing things, and I guess that's what helped develop my logical mind, so it now seeks order in the way I have to attack tasks and get them done.
Who doesn't want to finish work expeditiously? But not at the expense of quality or efficiency.
When doing anything for the first time, there is usually a learning curve. Unless we've seen it done previously, we tend to do it slowly, step-by-step, to make sure we do it right.
If we get to do it perfectly after the first try, hooray! Otherwise, there's always room for improvement and we should strive to get better at it, even the most menial of tasks.
Think of making a cup of coffee using a different kind of beans for the first time. Sometimes, we'll get it spot on in one go, but mostly, it's trial and error until we perfect the blend of coffee, sugar and cream.
Let's set aside pride and ego in doing menial and simple tasks. The proud perfectionist will really be annoyed if they can't get it done right the first time. Or they'll dismiss it as some stupid task not worthy of their time and effort.
In this day and age where everything can happen in a snap, or be done with the least amount of effort, save for pushing buttons or pulling levers, it can be frustrating for people so used to this everything at your fingertips kind of life.
But it is also said that you can only begin to apply shortcuts or use hacks and be successful with them if you know how to complete a task using the long process.
Every individual is wired differently. Some are skilled at one thing but inept with another, others can quickly figure out how complicated things work but are clumsy when it comes to doing something very simple.
And it is these differences in intelligence, skills and competence that should tell us that we can't expect to be perfect in everything we do ALL OF THE TIME.
It is an openness to learning, the patience to discover the most efficient way to accomplish things, and the humility to accept imperfections that builds character and molds better individuals.
Let's stop thinking we suck at anything we're only trying for the first time to cover up our ego, or to escape a task we really aren't interested in doing to begin with. Sometimes, you'd be surprised at what you can accomplish if you just focus on doing things right, with patience, instead of going through the motions just to get it out of the way.
Lead image is an original photo