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In order to create, one must first break

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If you consider the words of breaking and creating, you would think they are as separate in purpose and meaning as you can imagine. One denotes destroying, damaging or breaking up and the other word represents creation, development and growing. Rather than looking at them as separate, consider that one can precede the other. If we break, we can create…but you must break in order to create!

Let me share an example. There is a nice decorative plate in our house that had a matching vase. It was a beautiful, large and heavy plate. Well, a few years ago, my first son and I were playing in the living room and I wound up hitting it with a ball and the plate fell and broke into almost two perfect halves. The plate was broken and not as pristine as it was before. At first sight, you think of what you broke but with some quick fix crazy glue, the plate was put together with a very thin seam showing a break that was difficult to see. I was ratted out by my son and when I showed the plate, it was hardly seen as broken. At that time, I wrote the date on the back when we broke the plate. A memory created.

A few years later, my eldest son, who turned me in, wound up hitting the same plate with a ball and it fell over and it once again broke almost perfectly on the same line (karma does work). Once again, we picked it up, got a lecture about not playing in the living room, and a quick fix with crazy glue and we were back up and in order.

More recently, and in the same tradition, my youngest son accidentally hit it and it once again fell and broke. This time, it was a third break and it was a bit more of a challenge putting it together and now you can see the imperfection and blemish and it is no longer that perfect looking plate. One would think that perhaps it might be time to (a) lock up the living room from the three boys of the house and (b) to get rid of the plate because it is now visibly broken.

Wait, before we activate (a) or (b), let’s consider what we have. There is a broken plate but rather than looking at it as damaged and no longer worth keeping, it has created something far more valuable…what has unknowingly emerged now are memories of something that was created by my sons and I and how we created them. These are memories that are only known by the visible crack and the dates written on the back when the accident occurred. Instead of seeing the obvious flaw, what I see is the hidden memory that is now in place and when ever I see it, I smile. I think it is now the most valuable and perfect plate in our house because of the visible damage.

Out of breaking, creating something different emerged. This is also how entrepreneurs also live their life. They take the ineffective, damaged or broken and look for the possibilities and opportunities. Only by breaking do we realize what needs to be done to fix things. Without damaging, we may never realize the vast array of solutions that can happen.

What also resonates with me is how perfections can sometimes be desired and when you disrupt perfection, we might be disappointed; however, when you see the imperfection, it is far more important than the perfect plate. Without the imperfection it is just a plate. Now it is a plate with a history and it is only known by its imperfection. It is always too easy to see the world as needing to be perfect but perhaps we need to consider those cracks, blemishes and irregularities as equally or far more important. I can easily see the broken plate as myself. I am not perfect but those things that are not perfect are what makes me unique and distinct. Rather than focusing on the perfect me, I can say that the perfect me is inclusive of the blemishes. As individuals, we should embrace and appreciate those imperfections. So I guess in a word, I am cracked and that is what makes me unique and different and I am happy with that. The perfect me would not be approachable or enjoyable as company. Focus on the crack rather than perfect plate and see what you draw out.


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