Good form, bad form. Not much difference.
– Grandmaster Jino Kim
In martial arts, the pursuit of perfection with the knowledge of its impossibility is something that Masters understand, and yet despite it, encourage the continued journey toward it.
It turns out that it doesn’t take much to reach that close-but-no-cigar space. What would’ve been a beautiful and near-perfect form can easily be ruined by something as small as a foot pointed with the wrong angle, a loosely held fist, or even a moment’s gaze in the wrong direction and that all it would take to be better are the “small things”.
Is it also not so with many other an endeavor we undertake?
In music, the difference between harmony and discord is but a half step.
When driving, the difference between staying in-lane and veering into another is but a few degrees on the steering wheel.
Computer code having an operator in the wrong direction can mean the difference between a program functioning correctly and having complete disaster.
Cutting mere millimeters beyond a set point in surgery can mean the difference between life and death.
A single decision can change the course of a life altogether.
Electing one direction over another can be the difference between doing business well or also doing it right.
A choice to do right or the wrong can be the thin grey space between good and evil.
I’m not making a case for perfectionism here, because that’s unhealthy and unrealistic. Instead, the case is one of awareness and intentionality in the pursuit of being just a little better than we are right now. The idea that if we acknowledge opportunities to traverse the space between bad and good, or even good and great, then we can a step in the right direction from being just okay to better.
Perhaps the journey doesn’t require us to always “go the extra mile”. Maybe all it asks of us is to go the extra inch…to be a little kinder, to be a little more thoughtful, to be only a little bit better to ourselves and the people around us in each moment.
Maybe that’s all that’s required for us to be the difference between…