Participant Forum: Strategies for Success

Strategies for Success

Peggy Berk
Strategies for Success
by Peggy Berk - Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 9:19 PM

A very long time ago a friend shared a parable with me.  It was back in the 60's, so naturally the main character was a guru.  But of course it might be a priest, a rabbi, your wise grandparent or, perhaps even more likely, your therapist.  And it goes something like this:

A man is searching the world for the meaning of life, specifically how to grow as a human being and find happiness.  After a long searching journey that has taken him halfway around the world, he comes upon an aged guru high in the Tibetan Himalayas and poses the question to him.  In  response the guru takes out a teacup and begins to fill it with tea until it is overflowing,  now running down the mountain wasting the tea that the guru continued to pour long after the cup was full. The guru then poured out the tea remaining in the cup and once again starts pouring.  But this time he stops when the cup is half full.  "That," he said, " is the secret!"

I've been in the world of design for a very long time. Way back I did page design and  then later graphic and web design and ultimately interior design.  What every one of these design endeavors had in common was that you could't move forward successfully without a lot of information and ideas, but alas, you often couldn't move forward successfully carrying all of them with you.  Successful design can rarely accommodate all of our ideas.  I found that if I started a project already  knowing  where all the pieces would end up, filling the entire puzzle ahead of time, I rarely got there.  Inevitably, there would be some unforeseen issue or obstacle, and then trying to stay the course when the plan was already "full" left no real room to embrace and incorporate new and often better ideas.  

Design is creative and dynamic.  And letting go of some of what I thought of as good ideas even before I started to commit to a particular course in order to keep the process dynamic was often difficult for me.  However,  in my experience, it is the best way to realize a successful design.