Explorers of Imperfections (GWTW300)

I had so many plans for this episode and they all fell apart. I thought about special interviews or a retrospective episode with my favorite quotes from past episodes. I tried to schedule my heroes for a conversation. I thought about sharing words from the audience about what they’ve learned from the show. Instead, what arose from the ashes of my expectations was a reflection on what the past three years and 300 episodes has done for my life and work. There have been some awesome moments. But what I’ve enjoyed most has been exploring the imperfections: The botched edits; the missed calls; the awkward pauses; and the uninspired moments. This is where growth occurred. I found my voice in the willingness to make mistakes and keep moving forward.

Quotes from The Three Marriages by David Whyte:

“In a very personal way we are marrying not only a person’s ability to love and take care of us, but also that person’s particular species of selfishness and particular form of egotism. It is only a question of time before these appear. One of the tests of finding the right person is to ask ourselves if this is the particular form of selfishness and egotism we can live with. Considering the difficulties of marriage we might post the question on a grander scale and ask if this is the particular form of insanity we can live with. A sign of possible success is our ability to answer in the affirmative. It means the chemistry is right, and also that we are looking not for perfection in our partner but for a mutual exploration of imperfections” (p. 269).

“…very few particular days are actually preserved unique unto themselves in the amber of memory. In many ways the settled intensity of a good work is very similar. From the outside very little seems to be happening, but in good work we return every day to the desk or the workbench to push it along a little further” (p. 308).

“In good work we occupy a frontier between what has been done and what is about to be done, both giving almost an equal sense of satisfaction” (p. 309).

Five lessons I’ve learned over 300 episodes and 3 years:

  1. Flexibility is everything.
  2. The show is a mutual exploration between myself and the audience.
  3. It takes time to reveal imperfections and grow in spite of them.
  4. A vision for the future—something bigger and self-sustaining would be awesome—is in the back of my mind, but it still comes down to the reality of having to produce one episode at a time.
  5. Learning to relax and embrace imperfections is the biggest lesson I’ve learned.

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