The Same But Different

People often say that if both members of a team think the same then you only need one of you.

This occurred to me the other day when I was considering whether it is the similarities or the differences between me and my working partners that makes the ‘magic’* happen.

On the one hand I think common goals and aspirations are handy. Do you both want to win awards? Help charities? Earn money? All three? Your opinions in this regard will determine whether or not you are heading in the same direction and can help to inform every professional decision you make. Perhaps as an analogy, you might, as a football team, be happy to grind out bromidic 1-0 wins, or you might prefer the kind of open play that produces entertaining 4-4 draws. The commonality of purpose is what counts here.

However, to continue the analogy, a team with eleven strikers or eleven goalkeepers is going to be fucked. You need to combine your skills to bring about the greatest results. In economic terms this is referred to as division of labour, although the idea of a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts is the way most people think of this.

So you might, like me, be happy to eat the same meal day after day, take the same route to work and prefer routine over spontaneity. As far as I’m concerned, this leaves fewer things to distract me from more important matters – get the quotidian set and there’s more room in your brain for the flights of fancy (I believe Einstein wore the same clothes every day for this very reason. And because he was a lazy bastard).

On the other hand, you might like to keep your brain in the same creative mode all the time, trying something new in every single area of your life like a jackdaw with ADD.

Whatever suits.

Funnily enough, I always thought the phrase ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ was actually ‘familiarity breeds content’.

Read into that what you will.

*The definition of ‘magic’ in this instance is ‘stuff’.