always insist on the beautiful

There’s always a thing or two you can learn from every person you meet, and at times they can be priceless. It doesn’t matter who they are, how old or young, what their status in life is, what religion they are part of, or which ideologies they subscribe to. If you truly listen — and often times more with the heart than with the head — you pick up a gem or two worth keeping for life.

In my case, it wasn’t the first time I learned something from a colleague. This fact is a source of happiness and inspiration, and gives me that much needed extra push when the seas I navigate turn rough. Being around people who are as committed as you in making a dent in the universe and on lifelong learning is truly priceless.

I can’t say what I received was unsolicited advice. Our discussion went from opportunities and challenges we faced at work to our own strengths and weaknesses both as individuals and as a group. Somewhere in the course of our conversation, I had praised this talented and determined individual for being consistently vocal about things we can improve while confessing that on more than one occasion I had allowed something below my standards to get past me. His response came swiftly, but naturally: “I think you must always insist on the beautiful.”

He had mentioned the movie where he got it from, but those details didn’t register. I got nothing even when I tried replaying the conversation in my head afterwards. No matter, the main message got across, and the realization that his words perfectly summed up my job description quickly followed — and stayed.

Whether you manage a person, a team or a company, insisting on the beautiful is part of your job to a great extent. From what to present to clients either as a proposal or a final product, to the kind of floor tiles to install in the office, there’s almost nothing too trivial when you care about achieving a beautiful result.

It’s a balancing act, of course. Do it too much and you either stifle the growth and learning of others, or risk tiring them out. Do it too little and you may find output that don’t align with your standards or expectations.

Always insist on the beautiful. Let those words liberate you from mediocrity, make you uncompromising in your quest for beauty, and refresh you in the long journey that still lies ahead. Allow those words be a perfectly valid reason when you need to assert what you truly know in your heart is beautifully appropriate. Make it a powerful tool to justify, motivate, inspire, diffuse or defuse.

How can beauty in itself be enough good reason? Because everything we hold dear is beautiful. Life is beautiful. Love is beautiful. If you believe in God, then you know Him to be beautiful too. And weren’t you made in His image and likeness, and aren’t you His co-creator? Then shouldn’t everything you create be as beautiful as it can be?

For beauty’s sake, insist on it.