But a reader recently reminded me of a brilliantly simple way to explain the whole strategy — something I’ve written about before in a different context, without even realizing how apt it was.
Maybe we should explain the problem first, so the simple solution will make the most sense. It goes like this. Defining emotional intelligence can be complex, but practically speaking, it’s often about shaping communication so as to avoid emotional pitfalls that distract from your goals.
The challenge? So many words and phrases have ancillary meanings that we don’t even think about. Sometimes they’re the exact opposite of the things we intend.
Most of us want to produce the best work possible. How do you pursue that goal?
One approach is to aim for excellence. You study everything you can about your area, read obsessively about top performers, and anxiously practice your craft with an eye toward perfection.
This is one common-sense way to pursue excellence, but there’s another option as well. You could just throw quality out the window and produce a lot of work without worrying if it’s much good. Which path will get you closer to your personal best?