The Exciting Monotony

A heart surgeon took his car to his local garage for a regular service, and ends up striking a conversation with a very skilled but grumpy mechanic.

“So tell me,” says the mechanic, “I’ve been wondering about what we both do for a living, and how much more you get paid than me…”

“Yes?” says the surgeon.

“Well look at this,” says the mechanic, as he worked on a big complicated BMW engine, “I check how it’s running, open it up, fix the valves, and put it all back together so it works good as new. We basically do the same job don’t we? And yet you are paid a lot more than me – how do you explain that?”

The surgeon thought for a moment, and smiling gently, replied quietly to the mechanic, “Try it with the engine running.”

A heart surgeon needs to perfect his execution. Unlike the mechanic, he doesn’t have the luxury of trial & error, of turning the ‘engine’ on and off during the operation. The precision of the task is what earns the surgeon a higher socioeconomic status.

The pursuit of perfection delivers handsome returns in all walks of the professional world. The quality that often differentiates achievers from the mainstream is not their innovative brilliance, rather the flawless execution of their routine tasks…

Perfection, Adapted, Skills, Style


  1. Perfection maters a lot in every aspect of life…. Nice Article …

  2. Good article!
    Seldom do we understand that each one of us has a unique skill…. Skills that needs polish and finesse…..

  3. Nice article Arun. Perfection of the routine task is the Key.

    However I was wondering if the mechanic returns to the doctor saying “But still surgeon, I can bring a dead engine back to life with my knowledge too”.

  4. Thank you for such a sublime post.
    As per my point of view, Perfection needs discipline.
    In life Mechanic have upper hand over surgeon, he/she can bring life in a dead (engine) but sadly surgeon can’t.
    Thanks again!.

  5. Jerald,

    Response to the statement is still in the above paragraph beautifully delivered by the following few words.
    “the luxury of trial & error”.

  6. Wow! Expressed so well! Thank you for the learning, Arun.

  7. Well Said & Nice Article.

  8. Nice learning.

  9. Nice article! We all are solution provider; in different roles. The value and impact that our solution delivers determine its worth; one of the by products being commercial success.

  10. Thank you Arun for sharing view. I agree, perfection in execution is highly demanding and nich skills, we can further add on. perfection with priority that too in crisis situation is much more demanding…. How often a mechanic get called for an emergency in midnight… How often Mechanic is compelled to choose the sequence of treatments for the cars…How often mechanic is compelled to avoid the treatment for the cars when he has solutions….

  11. Thought provoking article!

  12. Touchy though deep in meaning.

  13. meaningful thought.

Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Exciting Monotony - Arun Nathani Blog