Everyday Ramblings

Variation is Inherent

For work I’ve been reading this book on Auditing (The ASQ Auditing Handbook, 4th edition, edited by J.P. Russell), and as I was reading through my many notes last night, I stumbled upon this quote:

“Variation is inherent, it exists in all things.”

The idea behind this, at least as it applies to quality, is to remember that each piece on the assembly line is going to be just a little different; and that to determine if a part is of good quality or non-conforming, you have to define, not whether variation is acceptable, but how much variation is acceptable.

 I feel like the same principles could be applied to my day-to-day life. I don’t know about you, but I spend what is most definitely too much time trying to be like other people, trying to be this vision I have in my head of “normal.” I try not to get too excited about things in public, because it’s “not normal.” I try to make my hair cooperate on a daily basis because it’s “not normal” to come to work with stringy, unkempt hair, when all I really want to do is wash it, brush it, and forget it. I’ve obsessed and obsessed at nauseum, and at the expense of my mental health, to get down to what my doctor refers to as a “normal” weight (even though by his own admission I am otherwise healthy, and ALL of my labs are routinely coming back as normal).

“Variation is inherent, it exists in all things.”

It’s okay to be different. It’s okay to not want to be normal. It’s okay to be unique and a little rough around the edges–the statistics and science of quality systems says so.    

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