Making finer and finer distinctions

I've forgotten from which book it is, but I remember reading a definition of success which says that it is simply the ability to make finer and finer distinctions about things. With the life experience I have accummulated all these years, I greatly appreciate the wisdom of the idea.

Today, in trying to locate the definition from the Internet, my search came up with a few statements that are also very meaningful:

"The practice of criticism involves making finer and finer distinctions among like things, but it is also a way to ask fundamental questions about art and life. To pursue both of these functions requires a broad foundation in art history and aesthetics, as well as a wide-ranging knowledge and curiosity about contemporary culture."

"Detail is drawn out of chaos in a continuous process of refinement, making finer and finer distinctions, one after another."

"In the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book series the author talks about how to get smarter by making finer and finer distinctions about different subjects and ideas. The more distinctions one can make, the more they can drill down to the heart of the matter and come to a more educated conclusion."

"To get really clear about what you want you need to be wiling to continuously draw finer and finer distinctions. Here is a simple example. You say, "I want to buy a shirt," so you go to a clothing store with that thought in mind. Unfortunately this "vague idea" about what you want is not going to get you very far. To translate that desire into action you need to be willing to make some more detailed distinctions - do you want a dress shirt or a casual shirt? Long sleeved or short? What colors do you like? What fabric? What style? What exactly is the shirt for? Where do you intend to wear it? Etc."

"Even the simplest physical act becomes enjoyable when it is transformed so as to produce flow. The essential steps in this process are: (a) to set an overall goal, and as many subgoals as are realistically feasible; (b) to find ways of measuring progress in terms of the goals chosen; (c) to keep concentrating on what one is doing, and to keep making finer and finer distinctions in the challenges involved; (d) to develop the skills necessary to interact with the opportunities available; and (e) to keep raising the stakes if the activity becomes boring."

There are certainly more if one cares to dig deeper, but the above should suffice if one cares to learn the wisdom.

No comments: