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If You Want Something Done Right

Posted by terrepruitt on September 25, 2010

I think of Nia as something to help me learn things and sometimes adjust patterns, both patterns of movements and patterns of thinking.   Like sayings that we might have heard most of our lives, as in the one I posted about previously “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” you have probably heard, “if you want something done right do it yourself”.  Wow.  Really?  If. You. Want. Something. Done. RIGHT. Do. It. Yourself.  I actually wish I was that good, that everything I did, I did right.  That everything I did no one else could do.  Well, that is not the case.  I realized a long time ago this was not true.  I realized when I had a boyfriend that could do a lot of things.  But it was as if his brain worked opposite of everyone else.  He never approached anything like anyone else.  But then the end project would be pretty cool.  So I realized that he could do something right, it just wasn’t done my way.

Same thing goes with my husband.  He can do a lot of things and he can do them well, but he rarely does anything like I would do it.  Sometimes there are times when he is helping me and it needs to be done a certain way, say cutting a vegetable that is going into a recipe, so I will tell him that it needs to be chopped and not sliced—or whatever.  But sometimes I just need to walk away while he does something.  If he offers to do something or I ask him to do something, sometimes I just need it to get done and it doesn’t really matter HOW it gets done, I let it go, but I often need to walk away.  Not because he can’t do it right, but because he won’t do it my way.

So, this is just another one of those sayings that I don’t subscribe to.  What do you think?  Are you the only one that can do things right or are you the only one that can do it YOUR way?

8 Responses to “If You Want Something Done Right”

  1. niachick said

    Oh wow. This one hit a nerve. Great post though…you know I always love your blog posts. All of them. No matter what. But this one hit a nerve. And I have to thank you for it!!!

    I’m not a perfectionist…my dusty shelves and cat hair-laden carpets are tell tale signs of not being a perfect housekeeper. My desk (at which I sit at this moment) has papers all over the place…nope, I’m not a great deskkeeper either…but I can probably find whatever it is I need more quickly within the stacks of paper than I could if I filed everything.

    But I do like things done my way. If they don’t get done my way I tend to get a little edgy. Oh wait a minute…that’s the old me talking. That actually is the way it used to be. If stuff didn’t get done my way, I’d come unglued. I worked in the corporate world for 30 years; the last 20 were as a supervisor and anyone who worked for me (I hope there’s no one out there reading this that worked for me) can attest to that fact. You do it my way or you suffer the consequences. I believe I had the nickname of “hatchet lady”. Nice, eh?

    After retiring in 1999 and getting together with my husband who owns a small business, it didn’t take long for me to figure out that doing it my way was not always the right way. The employees we have in our business are more like family. The corporate mindset had to go out the window fast, which meant I had to change quickly. My husband runs the business with heart…after 30 years of being immersed in the head-heavy corporate world, this was like total chaos to me. But I’ve learned to let go. I’ve learned to see that my way isn’t always the only way and/or the right way.

    Nia helped immensely with this process. Nia creates space for change. When I first started teaching Nia I felt the need to make it perfect…the beauty of Nia is that perfect is in the process. And that’s how I choose to move through life in general now…perfect is in the process. I love seeing how I’ve changed, too. This blog post to which I’m replying with a very lengthy response brought that to point for me.

    I love my life. It’s so uncomplicated. The more complicated I try to make it, the more chaos there is. It’s not always comfortable being reminded of that on a daily basis, but it certainly keeps things interesting. And I love it when I get to do something someone else’s way.

    You’re a peach Terre. Thanks.



    • I don’t think “Perfectionists” are perfect — because there is no such thing. I DO think that they end up stressed because they try to achieve the impossible.

      With a corporate job, I believe that a new person needs to do the tasks as per the trainer’s (whomever that is) instructions—then once they know it, they can do it as they wish as long as they get the job done properly meeting all the required steps.

      Yes, Nia helps a lot. Especially it is admitted that it maybe a “stretch”. My Nia White Belt Manual says, “New Ways- It Can Be a Stretch!” But it is not meant to “create disharmony or fear.” And it goes on to say it is not meant to “agressively challenge who you are, what you believe in, or what you stand for.” But, I makes me think. As you said, it creates space for change. Nia is also very forgiving allowing us to be “perfect in our imperfection”.

      Although I might know this (the saying this post is about), sometimes I still think my way is better . . . and that is when . . . as I said in my post . . . I need to walk away, because it is not necessarily better. But also, sometimes there is experience and knowledge that can help a task be done, so sometimes there is a fine line.

      It is great that you love your life. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.


  2. Becky said

    Yes… mine is a control thing I think though. I want people to be proactive and “do” but then I want them to “do” like I want them to.
    It’s a bad cycle that I need to break for me and for them.
    Thanks for reminding me that I’m not the only one who at times needs to “walk away” and just let it happen.


    • Yeah, I guess it is a control thing, huh? I am not sure that I thought of it that way before. As I mention in a reply to a comment –experience and knowledge is gonna help with a task. –Let’s say for example I asked someone to cut some carrots and I let them go about doing it, but then as I watch them I wonder why they are cutting round slices, then I realized I forgot to tell them that the dish seving is long and that the veggies are going to be dipped. It is easier to dips carrot sticks than discs so interrupting them to allow them to change I think is fine. If the carrots were going to go in a salad and it doesn’t really matter HOW they are cut, but you LIKE them long then . . . . well, that could be a control issue.

      Sometimes we have to decide when to walk away and when to not. I will admit that even though I know someone is capable of doing it, if I know that I will not be able to live with the end result then I might interfere. When I “walk” away I have to be able to let go of the whole thing and not just the task at hand, do you know what I am saying? So it is tricky.

      Love seeing you here, B. Thanks!


  3. maulpartin said

    There are so many right ways to do things, and every goal can be achieved in infinite ways. For example, how many ways can you travel from Boston to New Hampshire? And which way is the right way? That depends on who’s behind the wheel…

    I know that I am not the only one that can do things right. We all have our own unique ways of getting things done. I guess it really all depends on the task at hand. If the task involved something like making sure my parachute was going to work, then I’d gladly let someone else that was more qualified do it for me. My way just wouldn’t be right because I don’t know anything about parachutes except that if they don’t open your in trouble, but if I ordered a burger at Mcdonalds that normally comes with onions and I was allergic to onions, I would have too look for myself to make sure the onions weren’t on there.

    I could just be rambling, and for that I apologize, that’s just my way (the right one for me) of doing things 🙂


    • Exactly. There are many ways to do things and many ways to get places. It just sometimes—for some people—takes a lot to let others do it their way. Other people’s ways aren’t necessarily not right. But as I stated in my post and some other replies I really have to be able to “let it go” and let is ALL go sometimes. I mean, sometimes even though I know my way isn’t the only right way, I want it done my way . . . .so I do it myself.

      To me, that is ok, but I just don’t subscribe to that saying.

      You ARE just rambling, (LOL!!) but no need to apologize, that IS your way and it is awesome. You made me laugh and it was a perfect moment. Thank you.

      You weren’t really rambling, I was just poking fun at you, ‘cuz I feel that is ok with you! *poke, poke!*


  4. suzicate said

    Ha, we live that same routine at our house!!!!!


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