The Parable of The Pottery Class

Hey friends,

Recently I came across this story which I thought was very useful to get over perfectionism maybe you will too. There are many iterations to this story so if you google it you will find a few different examples but they are about 90% the same.

It is called The Parable of the Pottery Class. So there was a Pottery teacher and for the sake of argument, we are going to call him John. One month John decided he was going to run an experiment with his class so he split them up into two groups and gave them the following instructions. The first group were the quality group and each of them were to spend all of their time making one pot for the whole month. The other group were going to be the quantity group and they were going to make one pot a day every day for the month. At the end of the month, a panel of judges were going to decide what the best pots were without knowing who made them or what group they were in.

The teacher decided he was going to examine the pots from the quantity group as they went along and so he did. Of course, the first few pots were awful then after about two weeks, they started getting a little better so the teacher asked them what they were doing to make the pots a bit better than before and they replied with nothing they were doing the same thing as always and they didn't think they were doing anything different and they didn't think they were making any progress at all. Then unsurprisingly the ones towards the end of the month were a lot better than the ones at the start.

The month is over and it is time for the panel of judges to decide which pots they deem as "the best". It may or may not surprise you that all the best pots came from the quantity group rather than the quality group.

This shows us that oftentimes when we want to do something we shouldn't be worrying about making it good. We should make it first and then make it good because the only true way to make it good is by constantly making it maybe testing and trialling new things occasionally. Nobody has ever gotten it right the first time so why try?

As we are all about applicability on this newsletter a way you can apply this is The Law of 100 and as the name suggests you do something 100 times before worrying about optimizing for quality for example write 100 blog posts, film 100 videos, tweet 100 tweets, draw 100 drawings, paint 100 paintings and so much more. If you are anything like me and a bit of a dosser and just don't like the idea of locking yourself into doing something 100 times then you can just make it The Law of 50 or The Law of 20 if that's more to your liking.

I hope you find this useful.

Have a great week!


Tweet of The Week

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Conor Nee
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March 26th 2022

❤️ My Favourite Things This Week

  1. No Homework - Was it just me or did teachers have this unwritten rule whereby they either gave no homework or they gave enough time to finish it in class. It was good.
  2. Prayer - This week Pope Francis consecrated Russia and Ukraine with an excellent prayer I never got a chance to say it yesterday so I will be saying it tonight. I even tweeted a quote from it when I looked at it briefly.

✍️ Quote of The Week

Under our control are our thoughts and actions. Not under our control is everything else, including fame, power, the behaviour and thoughts of other people, our property and our reputation.