완벽함이 좆나게 구린 이유 - Why perfection fucking sucks

Table of Contents

Translation

That's the sound of almost anything that needs to notify you in Korea.
이건 뭐든지 한국에서 알림이 필요할 때 들리는 소리야

Whenever a doorbell rings, whenever a large truck backs up, whenever a 역무원 let's you go through a subway
집 벨소리가 울릴 때, 트럭이 후진할 때,

gate because you accidentally went to the wrong side, whenever any of those things happen, you'll hear that sound…
반대쪽 지하철을 타서 역무원이 문을 통과시켜줄 때 등등 이런 일이 있을 때마다 이 소릴 들을거야

This song is one of the quintessential pieces of classical music heard all around the world,
이 곡은 전세계가 듣는 핵심적인 클래식 곡이야

but as it turns out, Beethoven, the composer of that song,
그런데 이 곡의 작곡가인 베토벤은

isn't as amazing as I had previously thought.
내가 전에 생각했던 만큼 대단한건 아니더라고

Now, I don't want to take anything away from Beethoven,
베토벤의 명예를 깎아내리려는 건 아닌데

I'm still pretty sure he's a musical genius, but as it turns out,
그가 음악천재라는데엔 이견이 없어 하지만

on average, the quality of a Beethoven musical piece is about the same as any other distinguished composer of his time,
평균적으로 베토벤의 곡들은 당시 잘나가던 여타 작곡가들의 수준과 비슷했더라고

the difference between Beethoven and his peers was that Beethoven was very prolific,
베토벤이 동료 작곡과들과 달랐던 점은 그가 굉장히 다작을 했다는 거야

so we only know of his amazing pieces, and tend to forget about his really shitty ones.
그러니까 우리는 베토벤의 엄청난 곡들만 알고 나머지 구린 곡들은 잊어버리게 된 거지

Averages can be a strange way to interpret data.
데이터를 평균으로 해석하는 건 좀 이상할 수 있어

If you roll two dice many times, on average you'll get a 6,
주사위 두 개를 여러번 던지면 평균적으로 6이 나오긴하겠지

but sometimes you'll get a 12, and sometimes you'll get a 2,
하지만 때론 12가 나올거고 때론 2가 나올거야

but if you roll the dice 100 times, you'll hit a 12 and a 2 many more times than if you only roll the dice 10 times.
하지만 주사위를 100번 던지면 10번 던졌을 때보다 12도2도 더 많이 나올거야

So when we think of Beethoven, we only hear his level 12 songs, and rarely his level 2 songs,
그러니 베토벤을 떠올리면 우린 그의 12점짜리 곡들만 생각하고 2점짜리 곡들은 아주 가끔 떠오르는거지

and really his average, just like any other composer of his time, was more like a 6,
사실 베토벤의 평균은 당시 다른 작곡가들과 마찬가지로 6에 가까웠을거야

it was just that he made a lot more musical pieces than his counterparts.
단지 다른 경쟁자들에 비해서 많은 곡들을 썼던 것뿐이지

The surprising thing I learned from this is that when it comes to creativity,
내가 이 사실을 통해 창의력에 대해 알아낸 놀라운 점은

it's not like magically you get this inpiration and make this great piece of work,
좋은 곡은 마법처럼 영감을 받아서 쓰여지는게 아니란 거야

it's more like you make a huge number of works, and some of them will be awesome.
그렇다기 보다는 많은 작업을 하다 보면 좋은 것들이 나오는거지

This really opened my eyes because I've really never been a creative.
덕분에 나는 깨달았지, 나는 창의적인 편이 아니거든

I studied Math and Economics in college and while there can be some creativity involved in how you come to your answer,
대학에서 난 수학과 경제를 공부했는데, 뭐 답을 어떻게 작성하느냐에 있어서 창의력이 좀 필요하긴 했지만

in the end, you knew what you wanted: the solution.
결국엔 답이 정해져있었지: 솔루션이지

There was no varying amount of correctness or quality,
답의 정확성이나 질에 있어서는 정도가 없잖아

you either had the answer or you didn't, and I actually really took comfort in that.
문제를 맞던가 틀리던가 둘 중 하나야 그리고 난 사실 이게 편했어

At my university, as is true of most American univeristies,
내가 다닌 대학에서는, 다른 미국 대학들과 마찬가지로

you were forced to take a lot of classes that are outside of your major.
전공이 아닌 수업도 많이 듣도록 되어있어

As such, I had to take this history class, and while it was very interesting, it was a bit frustrating.
그래서 역사 수업도 들었는데, 수업이 흥미로웠던 반면 짜증나는 부분도 있었어

The professor would just tell us to read a bunch of stuff, and said there will be an exam on the material.
교수님께서 우리한테 읽을거리를 주곤 그게 시험에 나올거라고만 말한거야

Now, honestly there was more guidance than just, “know these 5 books and we'll have an exam on them,”
물론 “이 책 다섯권이 시험에 나올거야”보다는 더 많은 지시를 주셨지

like he would tell us the subjects or something about the questions that would be on the exam,
주제나 문제에 대해서 이야기 해주시고 그랬지

but even as I took the exam, I would write a few paragraphs to answer each question,
하지만 시험을 보면서도 한 문제당 몇 문단을 쓰면서

and I had no idea how right or wrong I was.
이게 맞는지 틀린지를 가늠할 수가 없었어

My math exams were hard, but at least I knew roughly the questions that would be on them,
수학시험도 어려웠지만 적어도 어떤 문제가 나올지 정도는알 수 있었거든

and after I took the test, I'd know generally if I got the right or wrong answers.
그리고 시험을 보고나서 내가 문제를 맞았을지 틀렸을지도어느정도 알 수 있었어

Making these YouTube videos has been a very difficult thing for me.
유튜브 영상을 만드는 건 내게 굉장히 어려운 일이야

Making these videos is far more like those history tests than it is like my math exams.
이건 수학시험보다는 역사시험에 가깝거든

I have a general idea of what I want to say, but once I've said it,
전반적으로 어떤 얘기를 하고 싶은지는 알지만 뱉어놓고 보면

I'm not really sure if I hit the right answer,
내가 맞는 말을 한 건지 모르겠거든

and this feeling of not knowing if I made the video correctly, or if I made the video as well as I could have,
그리고 내가 제대로 영상을 만들었는지, 내가 만들 수 있는 최선의 영상을 만들었는지를 모르는 건

drives me fucking crazy, and also causes me to not make videos.
내게는 아주 환장할 일이야 그리고 이것 때문에 영상을 안 만들게 돼

In English there is an expression we have that describes my situation very well.
영어로 이런 내 상황을 잘 설명하는 표현이 있는데

We say, “Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good,”
“완벽함을 우수함의 적으로 삼지말라”라는 표현이 있어

which means don't let your trying to be a perfect at something stop you from doing something good,
이건 완벽하고 싶다는 마음 때문에 어떤 일을 하는 걸 주저하지 말란 뜻이야

and I feel like this is where I have been with making my YouTube videos recently.
요즘 내가 유튜브 영상을 만들면서 이걸 많이 느꼈어

I'm a lazy perfectionist.
난 게으른 완벽주의자거든

I want to make videos that describe exactly how I feel on a subject perfectly,
난 내가 어떤 주제에 있어 느낀 점을 정확하고 완벽하게 담아내고 싶어

and not leave out any ideas I've had on whatever subject I want to talk about.
내가 다루는 주제에 대해 놓치는 게 없었으면 좋겠어

I'm looking for the exact, perfect way to explain whatever topic I'm covering in the video,
내가 그 영상에서 다루는 주제를 가장 정확하고 완벽한 방식으로 전달하고 싶거든

but once I fail at that, because I always fail at that, I just get lazy and stop doing it.
하지만 그렇게 하지 못했을 때에는, 왜냐면 항상 실패하곤하니까, 그때 나는 그냥 게을러지고 그만둬버려

If I can't make the perfect video I just stop, and then I never even make the good video.
완벽한 영상을 못 만들면 그냥 관둬버려 그리곤 괜찮은 영상조차도 못 만드는거지

I let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and that's why I like to think of Beethoven.
난 완벽함이 우수함의 적이 되도록 두는 편이야 그래서 난 이 베토벤 얘기가 좋아

Beethoven produced so much work, and I'm sure he wanted to make every piece perfect,
베토벤은 엄청난 다작을 했는데 그가 이 모든 작품이 완벽하길 바랐는지는 모르겠어

but he must of realized he couldn't, so he just decided to make whatever he could,
하지만 그러지 못할 거라는 걸 알고 있었겠지 그래서 할 수 있는 한 많은 작품을 만든 거지

and he probably knew that in the end he'd make some really shitty pieces of music,
그리고 그 중에는 정말 개구린 작품들도 있지만

but also some profoundly amazing pieces that would last for hundreds of years.
동시에 몇 백 년동안 기억될 엄청나게 좋은 작품들도 나올 걸 알았을 거야

And it's not only the fact that I need to learn from Beethoven and not make the perfect the enemy of the good,
완벽함을 우수함의 적이 되지 않도록 두는 건 뿐만 아니라

I need to realize the format that YouTube generally offers.
난 베토벤으로부터 내가 일반적인 유튜브의 형식을 깨달아야 한다는 것도 배웠어

Making videos for YouTube is not like making movies or writing a novel.
유튜브 영상을 만드는 건 영화나 소설 작품을 만드는게 아니야

It's not that I'm supposed to try to make one big, giantic work that is perfectly done,
그렇다고 내가 엄청나게 방대한 완벽한 작품을 만들겠다 하는 건 아니야

it's more like I need to pump out large amounts of videos that will often times really suck,
그보다 많은 양의 영상을 만들어야 한다는 거지 그리고 그 중 다수는 졸라 구릴거야

but, hopefully, sometimes be really amazing,
그래도 그 중에 매우 괜찮은 것들이 있길 바라는거지

and I apologize for rambling on and on about myself here, but hopefully,
자꾸 내 얘기 해서 미안한데

you, the viewer watching this can take something away from this video.
난 이 영상을 보는 시청자들도 이 영상을 통해 뭔가를 얻어갔으면 해

We often get cliches thrown at us like, never give up!,
왜, 상투적인 표현 많이들 쓰잖아 포기하지말라는 둥

or you can do it, or don't let people get you down and other bull shit like that,
넌 할 수 있다 둥 다른 사람이든 뭐든 신경쓰지말라는 둥

but I like to take cliches and get to the heart of them and change them around a bit.
근데 난 이런 상투적인 표현의 진짜 의미를 파악하고 내게 맞게 바꿔서 내것으로 만드는 걸 좋아해

If you're a person that is undertaking some creative venture
만약 네가 창의적인 일을 하는 걸 좋아하는 사람이라면

whether it be making YouTube videos, or making paintings, or starting a podcast, or writing essays
그게 유튜브 영상 제작이 됐든 그림이 됐든 팟캐스트든 수필을 쓰는 것이든

or really if you find yourself working on anything that has no direct answer,
아니면 그냥 확실한 답이 없는 일을 하고 있다면

my advice to you is this:
내가 네게 줄 조언은 바로 이거야

make shitty work.
맘에 안 드는 작품을 만들어

Make a lot of shitty pieces of work because if you keep making shitty work,
맘에 안 드는 구린 작품을 엄청 많이 만들어 왜냐하면 계속해서 이런 구린 작품들을 만들다 보면

eventually, maybe you can make some piece of art that people hundreds of years from now will still be appreciating.
언젠가는 사람들이 몇 백년이고 기억하고 감상할만한 작품을 만들어낼 수도 있을거야

한국어

English

That's the sound of almost anything that needs to notify you in Korea. Whenever a doorbell rings, whenever a large truck backs up, whenever a 역무원 let's you go through a subway gate because you accidentally went to the wrong side, whenever any of those things happen, you'll hear that sound…

This song is one of the quintessential pieces of classical music heard all around the world, but as it turns out, Beethoven, the composer of that song, isn't as amazing as I had previously thought. Now, I don't want to take anything away from Beethoven, I'm still pretty sure he's a musical genius, but as it turns out, /on average/ the quality of a Beethoven musical piece is about the same as any other distinguished composer of his time, the difference between Beethoven and his peers was that Beethoven was /very prolific,/ so we only know of his amazing pieces, and tend to forget about his really shitty ones.

Averages can be a strange way to interpret data. If you roll two dice many times, /on average/ you'll get a 6, but sometimes you'll get a 12, and sometimes you'll get a 2, but if you roll the dice 100 times, you'll hit a 12 and a 2 many more times than if you only roll the dice 10 times. So when we think of Beethoven, what only hear his level 12 songs, and rarely his level 2 songs, and really his average, just like any other composer of his time, was more like a 6, it was just that he made /a lot/ more musical pieces than his counterparts. The surprising thing I learned from this is that when it comes to creativity, it's not like magically you get this inpiration and make this great piece of work, it's more like you make a huge number of works, and some of them will be awesome.

This really opened my eyes because I've really never been a creative. I studied Math and Economics in college and while there can be some creativity involved in how you come to your answer, in the end, you knew what you wanted: the solution. There was no varying amount of correctness or quality, you either had the answer or you didn't, and I actually really took comfort in that.

At my university, as is true of most American univeristies, you were forced to take a lot of classes that are outside of your major. As such, I had to take this history class, and while it was very interesting, it was a bit frustrating. The professor would just tell us to read a bunch of stuff, and said there will be an exam on the material. Now, honestly there was more guidance than just, “know these 5 books and we'll have an exam on them,” like he would tell us the subjects or something about the questions that would be on the exam, but even as I took the exam, I would write a few paragraphs to answer each question, and I had /no idea/ how right or wrong I was. My math exams were hard, but at least I knew roughly the questions that would be on them, and after I took the test, I'd know generally if I got the right or wrong answers.

Making these YouTube videos has been a very difficult thing for me. Making these videos is far more like those history tests than it is like my math exams. I have a general idea of what I want to say, but once I've said it, I'm not really sure if I hit the right answer, and this feeling of not knowing if I made the video correctly, or if I made the video as well as I could have, drives me fucking crazy, and also causes me to /not make videos/.

In English there is an expression we have that describes my situation very well. We say, “Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good,” which means don't let your trying to be a perfect at something stop you from doing something good, and I feel like this is where I have been with making my YouTube videos recently.

I'm a lazy perfectionist. I want to make videos that describe /exactly/ how I feel on a subject /perfectly/, and not leave out any ideas I've had on whatever subject I want to talk about. I'm looking for the exact, perfect way to explain whatever topic I'm covering in the video, but once I fail at that, because I always fail at that, I just get lazy and stop doing it. If I can't make the perfect video I just stop, and then I never even make the /good/ video. I let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and that's why I like to think of Beethoven.

Beethoven produced so much work, and I'm sure he wanted to make every piece perfect, but he must of realized he couldn't, so he just decided to make whatever he could, and he probably knew that in the end he'd make some really shitty pieces of music, but also some profoundly amazing pieces that would last for hundreds of years.

And it's not only the fact that I need to learn from Beethoven and not make the perfect the enemy of the good, I need to realize the format that YouTube generally offers. Making videos for YouTube is not like making movies or writing a novel. It's not that I'm supposed to try to make one big, giantic work that is perfectly done, it's more like I need to pump out large amounts of videos that will often times really suck, but, hopefully, sometimes be really amazing, and I apologize for rambling on and on about myself here, but hopefully, you, the viewer watching this can take something away from this video.

We often get cliches thrown at us like, /never give up!/, or /you can do it/, or /don't let people get you down/ and other bull shit like that, but I like to take cliches and get to the heart of them and change them around a bit. If you're a person that is undertaking some creative venture whether it be making YouTube videos, or making paintings, or starting a podcast, or writing essays or really if you find yourself working on anything that has no direct answer, my advice to you is this: make shitty work. Make a lot of shitty pieces of work because if you keep making shitty work, eventually, maybe you can make some piece of art that people hundreds of years from now will still be appreciating.


See also