A few months ago, we bought a new Honda Pilot. It was shiny new and right off the truck. It had four miles when we first looked at it. Even though it was brand new, the carpet under the driver’s side seat was a little “worn” looking. There are little air vents for the people in the middle row that protrude through the carpet. For some reason, the carpet was cut a little uneven. We didn’t notice this immediately. When we did, we felt as though the car was not good enough. We got over it after a few days and are really enjoying our new car.
Mark Twain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I realized our concept of “perfection” goes well beyond the cars we purchase. As a writer, I know all too well the traps of perfectionism. The “perfect” blog post is still being worked on and will never be read, the childless parents are waiting for the “perfect” time well into their forties as nature slips away, and that “perfect” vacation is still only a brochure. Confusing good enough with perfection is worse than its distant cousin: confusing bad, with good enough. At least the bad work gets shipped and gives the world something that it can fix.
Perfection rarely gets shipped. This isn’t because we don’t have talented people working among us. It’s because we are people and people are not perfect.
Whatever it is that “perfection” has hostage, ship it today. A 90% perfect blog post today is better than the idea of a 100% blog post tomorrow. Write two 90% posts in the next two days and that’s 180% perfect. Letting go of perfect gives you the real opportunity to transform your idea into something very real. Ideas are a lot like clogs in the shower drain. A lot of people have them, but they are only significant when they are in the shower. Let go of perfection and grab on to action.
What perfect ideas are you holding on to?