I so love my friends. I love sharing this life with friends who get me. I enjoy our tangles of conversations over coffee or drinks that are stranded together with light-hearted laughter, colorful revelations, tons of love, treasures of time and loads of finesse.
Though sharing our beautiful life moments is always great fun, some of the most powerful blessings of friendship for me were found in broken places. In the pits. Those places where our heartaches and fears scream loudly and crave to be quieted by the understanding heart of a dear friend.
I happened upon a beautiful quote by Billie Mobayed:
When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history, it becomes more beautiful.
Webster's dictionary defines aggrandize as follows:
- to make great or greater; increase, enlarge <aggrandize an estate>
- to make appear great or greater; praise highly
- to enhance the power, wealth, position, or reputation of <exploited the situation to aggrandize himself>
Picture a gorgeous piece of pottery with a hideous crack in it. At first glance, you may see the flaw and even dismiss it as broken and worthless. But now imagine that same crack mended with beautiful gold. It is not ostentatious–it is proud and authentic. Read this Daily Fix post for a guide on how to mend your broken ceramics. I just had to create a graphic for this:
As I was reflecting on those cherished mending moments with friends, my mind turned towards my business. What if we were doing the same thing in our business when things break?
Consider the following two scenarios:
- You leave your automobile at Tom's Auto Body Shop for a paint job. The shop does a beautiful job–no drips, no scratches, no weird hairs stuck in the paint. The body shop perfectly delivered on their promise without problems or errors.
- You leave your automobile at East Loop Auto Body Shop, which also paints it beautifully. Unfortunately, some paint spilled onto the interior and there were some new scratches. The shop manager shows you the damage and explains what they are doing to fix the problem. They promise you, “I will not accept payment until this is rectifiedto your satisfaction.” They do a thorough and timely clean-up and then mail you a $100 gift certificate to your favorite local restaurant.
Which scenario would leave the best lasting impression? Could it be that your business, without mistakes, inadvertently makes you run-of-the-mill? Imperfections can be charming because they remind us of the authenticity and fundamental humanness of each other. Just as a crack filled with gold stands out from the perfect pots.
Are you hiding some imperfections and vulnerabilities that just might be your biggest assets? Is the fear of screwing up keeping you from doing your best work? Could there be some flaws in your business that should be aggrandized and celebrated?
I am grateful to my friends and experiences that have helped me emerge better, stronger, wiser and lighter.