Since I've been living in Pacific Palisades, I have been involved in a couple large and successful community events. In both cases the coordinators said, "Next year it will be bigger and better." As I heard this, I asked myself, "Why?". If you have a good formula that is working why is it necessary to improve it? If something is working, it indicates that it is as it should be. There is an old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I've learned this the hard way in my own ventures with my computer. The more I try to improve on that which works, malfunctioning is sure to follow.
Recently we went to The Golden Bull for dinner for my mom's birthday. We had a magical evening. The waitress Kiki is amazing. Not only does she remember what you regularly order but she even remembers your birthday. Without prior notice of our coming, the minute we entered the door she immediately had my mom's usual wine on the table for her and wished her a happy birthday.
While eating we overheard Phyllis Diller several booths down laughing her signature laugh. My brother and I smiled, remembering our fondness for the children's animated film the Mad Monster Party for which she starred. Upon leaving, we passed by her booth and were pulled into a long chat with her. She was so friendly. We learned interesting things about her career and show business in the days she was coming up. She's up there with Seal as one of the most engaging and warm celebrities I ever publicly encountered.
It was a very satisfying evening. We were treated well, ate well relatively inexpensively, and were engaged in a rare and stimulating conversation with Phyllis Diller. Nothing could have been improved upon. When I think of the adage "If it aint broke, don't fix it," I think of the Golden Bull. They have a good formula, and they know it. The decor remains the same as it always has, and they have not expanded, and yet they have a large clientele and are packed on the weekends. I respect their authenticity and the need not to step on the "bigger and better" bandwagon. They maintain a standard that satisfies their customers. It works.
My biggest frustration with this issue is technology. Whether it's Facebook or Microsoft or Mozilla--I see the same tendency to improve and increase size and features. I see that as they continue this path, their products' become successively less reliable. There really is an optimal size for any entity. If you surpass it, dysfunction will arise. It seems these days the unconscious adage is "If it works, break it."
I have decided to approach my life from one of respecting workability. Life since has become less stressful. There's no obsession to upgrade and improve so I don't spend money unnecessarily. I feel grateful that I have found things in my life that work when so little seems to. And rather than improve those things, I bless them.
There is nothing wrong with improvement, but when it becomes a mad obsession where a person or business feels "less than" if they don't upgrade just for the sake of upgrading, then there is no peace but only a frantic pace to keep up. This is certainly not an approach that is sustainable, sane, or functional.
If you want to experience something that works, I recommend an evening out at The Golden Bull. And if you go, please tell Kiki I say hello.
There is a saying that life has no need to improve on a flower. I count The Golden Bull as one of those flowers in the garden of life.