The Pottery Class Parable. Is Quality Or Quantity Better? Maybe We Finally Have A Definitive Answer...

Productivity, making money, psychology hacks, mindset tools, tips, tricks and strategies.

All of these things and many, many more were behind my decision to start the self improvement community Full disclosure I haven't spent even close to enough time increasing the visibility of the community, I always thought I would let it develop organically and find some creative ways to reward users who post great quality content within its optimism charged space over time.

I drop posts there each week as the content I create for this space is not designed or optimised for rewards but to help a person who may be searching for answers, strategies or assistance at a given point in their life. As the fundamentals of success don't ever really change I view this content as being pretty evergreen.

I am delighted when others choose to increase the sum total of our pooled, collective knowledge and experience by posting there too but as someone with a limited upvote I am not best placed to reward the effort financially, but great content creators will find they gained a supportive new follower who takes a keen interest in their growth over time.

I believe that the space will attract many regular new users over time as it really is a beneficial topic which will become more and more relevant when we live in a post-covid world and survey the devastation that has been rained down on us from global governments.

What were described as stimulus payments in some nations will come to be known as paralysis payments because that is precisely what they will cause to the global economic system in a short time from now.


I didn't focus too h on the wealth part of the health, wealth and happiness triangle so far but will do so much more in the future as I envisage a huge need for a 2nd income for many families who never knew this was something they would ever have an interest in as we move forward.

All of that having been said, I have meant to share an anecdotal type story that gained and harvested the data from a pretty informal, laid back experiment that was conducted many years ago.

If you are a new blogger here or have zero experience of being a content creator before now, get comfortable, grab a coffee and listen up, Uncle Steven's got something simple yet special for you today.

The best part is that usually when I say that it means 12,000 words will follow, but not this time. One of my favourite things about the pottery class parable is that is incredibly profound in it's teachings yet absobloodylutely simple and easy to convey.

If you are a connoisseur of self improvement books & success content at all you may well have stumbled across this simple little tale and the message it holds but stick around for uhhmmm.... Free cookies, I will hand them out at the end, I swear!

Now between you and I while there's just the 2 of us here, this story has been relayed using a photography class, a videographers class, a knitting class and even a coding class so I have always had reason to query if it ever actually happened however after doing some research it was indeed a true story but has been hugely embellished and simplified for consumption and to create a potency in the core lesson.

However if you haven't heard it before I think you will find an authenticity in the central message that will likely resonate with you and it will likely feel like something you intrinsically know to be true.

A pottery class teacher who had been teaching students how to express themselves through the medium of clay. She had taught many classes over the years and this particular year she decided to conduct an experiment to test a theory that she believed she already knew the answer to.

At the beginning she segregated the students in to 2 equal groups and told them that for the first month of the course they would work exclusively to one of 2 specific briefs in order to make a flying start and learn to create quality work.


She announced that there was to be several prizes at the end of the experiment and she then continued to describe the focus of each of the 2 groups.

The red group would create a different pot on each of the 30 days of the upcoming month, you don't need to be Albert Einstein to work out that 30 days = 30 pots, simple, right?

The blue group on the other hand would spend a lot more time in the planning and design stage and would really be creating a vision for their pot... Yeah I said pot, singular, because their brief was to create the best pot that they could by the end of 30 days.

So I'm sure you worked out already that the 2 groups could simply be labelled no, not red and blue but quantity versus quality.

I can honestly see the benefit to each of the groups, one was getting 'hands on' practical experience and becoming familiar with the medium while the other was being given the opportunity to really spend some time planning for success, learning the design and visualisation process which is surely crucial to any artistic endeavour, right.

I won't bore you with many of the nuances that people often glean while re-telling this fabled tale of Q v Q.

Quality versus quality.

I will skip straight to the results which are fascinating yet in many ways unsurprising once they are extrapolated and brought out in to the light.

At the end of the 30 days the teacher declared that she would spend a day or two collating and tabulating all of the data presented from the experiment and by the end of the week, Friday she would award the prizes accordingly.

It was an absolute landslide when it come to awarding those who created the work that would only be judged on one simple metric, excellence. Every single prize bar none went to the group that created 30 different pots in 30 days.

Why do YOU think this is?


Well I am pretty resolute and unwavering in my belief that those who made a terrible pot on day one found ways to streamline the process and make tiny changes along the way and they were likely much happier by day 7. I imagine by day 14 they had a fairly decent grasp on what did and didn't work for them.

Th second group were visualising a process that they didn't truly understand at a gut level. Until the clay is mushy between your fingers you are only assuming how it will feel, how differing water content will affect it, what happens if the clay is overworked and it becomes too dry and begins to crack when it is being worked in to shape.

I don't even know if any of what I am saying is relevant, apart one brief flirtation with a pottery wheel 40 years ago at school when I was around 10 I know nothing about it. To be honest though, neither did the quality group, they could form a whole host of assumptions regarding what would and would not work but until these theories were battle tested it was all just that... Theory!

I think this has massive implications for anybody wanting to try their hand at something new. If success is the ultimate aim, get down and dirty with the detail and the reality of the task and start making mistakes immediately. Imagine how much refinement you can make by the end of 30 days?

I wrote a post long, long ago entitled 'Ready Fire Aim,' this was a play on the phrase 'Ready, aim, fire' Trying to aim before you understand where you and your skills are in relation to the target is foolish in many ways. Far better to get ready, fire, then begin to adjust your aim, either higher lower more to the left or right, makes sense yeah?

The reason I say this is a fabulous post to stumble across if you are new here. The simple truth is that your first posts are your worst posts. Even if you knock out your first post and feel pretty darn pleased with it, I guarantee you will notice small aspects of your writing that you like more than others and some that you aim to remove from your work altogether.

Don't spend the next month trying to create the perfect post, just write one, read it back, look for errors or clunkiness and give a small amount of editing, if you need to, but know this:

He/She who clicks on the 'post content' button the most wins!

If you are new here, I want you to experience this and I want you to begin receiving results and where necessary, feedback FAST!

It is unlikely that any of us begin any new endeavour with quality on our side but we can certainly make that exponential quantity curve work in our favour by just starting, refining, improving and continuing to go through that exact process.

Alternatively, we could sit with that 'almost complete' post open on the screen before us and tweak and change and refine and edit and change and improve for the next 90 days... But ya know we would have to label you crazy right?


If you are aiming to try your hand at something new, go do it, be magnificent and never be afraid to fail or mess it up in the short term. If you ever feel like sharing your mini victories or defeats as a lesson or a help to others then stop by and share your experience in the self improvement community

You will always be so much more than welcome. 👍😎

Thank YOU for taking the time to read my post and if you're one of those amazing people who like to hit the comments section... Then I doubly thank YOU!

Either way I want you to know that you are appreciated!

Keep taking the time to connect with each-other both here and in the 'so-called' real world and try and look after each-other, because as you already know...

Together We're Just Better.png


I am an incredibly proud member of #TeamUK I love the global community immensely, but it is nice to have a home-team banner to add to my posts. The banner was made by the inimitable RoastMaster General himself @c0ff33a If you are an active UK member and would like to be added to the teamUK community on Discord, just let me know 😎