The Problem with our Pursuit for Perfection and the Life-Changing Practice of Good Enough’


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with Lynne Cazaly
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    Entries in expectations (3)


    Go for excellence not perfection

    Excellence says 'good'. It's the act and output of excelling with good qualities in high degree. Yet some parts may not be excellent and these we hope will be the parts that don't really matter or those that can be improved over time.

    My mother, Shirley, put a little sign in our family home years ago that read: ‘I may not be perfect, but parts of me are excellent.’ This is what it's about! Parts of our project, task or activity could well be admirable, impressive, grand and outstanding. And other parts...may be less than that.

    Industries that have established 'Centres for Excellence' - in my local region - include Science, Child and family health, Disability, Railways, Youth mental health, and Automotive.

    These sectors know that everything isn't perfect but parts of them are excellent; the parts that matter.

    They want to improve and get better with both the parts that are already excellent and the parts that need to be a bit more excellent!  

    Let me know what you think. Could you go for something like ‘iterative improvement’ or ‘progressive excellence’, rather than trying to make things perfect?


    Worrying if you're doing it 'right'

    Worrying if you're doing it 'right'. When we write something, share, do, show, try something new, we can be worried about whether we’re doing it ... ‘right’.

    What is ‘right’ anyway? Is it about meeting a standard or expectation ... our standard or expectation? Or is it about meeting the standards and expectations of others?

    It’s surely a conditioning from our upbringing or our school years where the reward and validation was for correct and right.

    Our fear of getting it wrong can be powerful indeed: not wanting to look foolish, not wanting to be seen as unprofessional or not wanting our reputation to take a hit.

    Rather, today, we can be encouraged and rewarded more by our effort, by trying and by getting out of inertia - that state of doing nothing or perhaps, nothing new.

    If we stay safe and only do the things we do well - our party tricks - we don’t learn. And most of all we don’t adapt so we stay relevant, employable, progressing, doing meaningful things. Worry less about 'right' and focus more on getting going and improving or iterating over time.

    Is there something you're worrying about doing 'right' at the moment? 


    Everything doesn't have to be amazing!

    Everything doesn’t have to be a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Writing a blog, preparing a report, delivering a presentation? Tidying the cupboard, cleaning your desk, working out what to wear today? Watch out folks! We pile an incredible pressure on ourselves in today’s crazy world, trying to make the quality of what we do amazing.

    But do you know what? Everything doesn’t have to be amazing.

    Some things yes, but everything, nope. So cut it out. Cut out the stuff that you’re putting extra effort into trying to make it ‘amazing’ because you could be on a path to never-never land that doesn’t deliver an amazing feeling or the hoped-for amazing results.

    Rather, set a standard that you’re going for and then when you’ve reached it, you’re done.

    Oh, and save your amazings for weddings, birthdays, celebrations, holidays, experiences, special things, time with people … whatever the things are that are really, truly important to you in this life of yours.

    >>Are you trying to make something a little too amazing right now... when 'good enough' would be good enough?