We are very good at calculating the odds and seeing two miles down the road. So good, in fact, that we are taking such calculus in mind in front of every decision involving work and investment of any kind, be that physical, intellectual, emotional.
And if the odds seem to be a little off, and there is no plan installed that will lead towards perfect, we are ready to throw in the towel before the game even begins.
This, almost always, translates into a losing proposition.
However, the genesis of the problem, albeit predictable at first is slightly more complex.
Chasing perfection is just another form of procrastination
Chasing perfection is to be admired at a number of levels. It speaks of greater ambition, a resolve to push pass expectations, dedicating a great deal of effort.
However, imagining the perfect scenario from a standing-still point of view is downright stupid.
And not the “oh-look-it’s-adorable” kind of stupidity either. It’s more like “driving-down-the-road-the-opposite-direction-till-you-kill-someone” type of variety.
You see, it is always easy not to engage if you “predict” that it will not going to work; Always easy to be satisfied with status quo if you are waiting for perfect, and perfect only.
It is a foolproof way of going through life, not investing yourself into anything really.
And the motive behind it is really two folded when you take a closer look.
On the one hand, being creatures of comfort, it serves as the perfect excuse as for us not to dedicate ourselves on something. On the other though, it is our innate discomfort from knowing that what we do can be done better.
Do not be afraid to be imperfect
I’ve seen many of my friends postponing the date when they will finally start to work out simply because they haven’t yet found the perfect routine. Others though, hide behind not having the perfect circumstances, the perfect timing, perfect know how.
They all want to jump in into a routine that is way over their head.
Just go through some Google stats and see how many times the phrase “Brad Pitt workout routine” has been searched. And these are usually people who never had their foot placed into the gym before. So instead of starting with something and progressing gradually, they all want to jump right into the most complex, most demanding, most advanced training regimen.
Same goes with diet. No one ever starts by cutting off unhealthy food from their diet one bit at a time. It’s always all or nothing. A losing proposition once again.
Here follows work, projects, career, relationships, business, skills… It is always either everything or nothing.
But, you see, there is some definite beauty in the process of gradual progress. Beauty that majority of people will miss simply because they were either too lazy to start and stood behind the notion that it’s better to stay still until the perfect opportunity occurs, or because they were afraid to start from something fragile, imperfect, inchoate.
I’ve head many people read my article on how to lose 10 pounds in one week, and my guess is that most of them didn’t even lose 1. Why? Well, because many of them probably continued to browse the internet, and decided that the perfect bulletproof method is still out there somewhere, and they cannot find it. So instead of starting off with what they got, they postpone for the following Monday.
Even the giants started small
The fastest runners too began by just jogging the one mile distance.
The NBA stars, all of them, started with trying to reach the basket.
Steve Jobs started Apple in his parent’s garage.
Everything, everything that is now at its peak was once only an inch from the ground.
I remember when we started this blog; it was with lousy design, no readers at all, content that I now find underdeveloped, lacking substance, far from perfect…
But it is only(and I must stress this again, only) because we were diligent enough, and ready to see pass imperfections, that this site managed to reach 30.000 readers monthly, and is continuing to grow producing content that, I would like to believe, gets better and better by the day.
It is not perfect now either, but the fact that it is growing from one week to another, is a great indicator when the long run is being concerned.
Many of us are used to consuming, not being bold enough to create. And over time this grows into affinity towards bashing other people’s work, forming a false picture that their own work will be extraordinary, only they are waiting for the perfect moment to start creating.
But there is never a perfect moment. And every start is less than perfect; far less, in fact.
The change in perception makes a change in attitude
Nowadays, starting with some online marketing and web development projects more aggressively, I’m getting deep into the niche. And it will surprise you to know that one of the most common questions that beginners in the field ask is how long it will take till they actually see results.
And when you tell them that in most cases it takes somewhat more than a year, they quit.
You see, no one is willing to witness imperfection and start growing something from the ground; even more so when the epilogue is questionable and slightly unpredictable.
You will see the same people asking about how long will a workout program start producing results or how long will following a certain diet plan make them healthier or skinnier.
No one is ready to start anew and care to make progress. And nine out of ten times this is where the magic happens – the real results, the real success.
Once you understand that it is better to be imperfect and invest into something rather than waiting to be perfect and never bothering to start, your attitude changes, in the sense of being ready to risk, being ready to work hard, being ready to make something.
Start slow, start now
Like I said, there is a definite beauty in the process of gradually progressing.
There is this definite beauty in upping the ante and pushing your limits more every time you try. But it all begs for a start, a base, a foundation. Regardless the fact that it is imperfect, underdeveloped, lacking the “winning formula”. You start from somewhere and it only gets better.
“A year from now you will wish you had started today” ~ Karen Lamb
Avoid regret by accepting and willing to be imperfect; by willing to start, to see something all the way through from the very beginning.
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ~ Earl Nightingale
I enjoy my imperfections and all my failed attempts. It is because of them that I always have the room to improve and strive for greatness.
How about you?
Image credit: By sweatheart2911