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Progress not Perfection

Focus on Progress instead of Perfection

Everyone seems to strive for perfection.  They want everything to be perfect.  I have found that perfection is an illusion.  There really isn't a perfect anything.  There is good and bad mixed together for everything in our lives.  Because of this, trying to be perfect or have the perfect solution is pointless.  Instead shift your focus on progress and improvement to get you closer to achieving your goals.

If you are working on a project at work, project for school, or even working to achieve a personal goal, being a perfectionist creates the tendency to procrastinate because you want it to be perfect.  I used to procrastinate quite a bit and found that the reason was simple.  I wanted it to be perfect and kept putting it off until the last minute because I was obsessed with it being just right.

The other day I attended a fantasy football draft and I noticed something.  The other players weren't interested in year to year progress.  Every year was looked at independently and they were determined to find this years player that overperforms.  They took enormous risk to try and determine who the best choice was.  If you are set on earning a million dollars, most financial experts will encourage safer investments and hard work.  Those that wait tend to gravitate towards extremely risky investments and wonder why they aren't any closer to achieving their goal than they were 10 years ago.  Taking on risk should be done strategically not because you want it immediately and you want it to be perfect.

Having an all or nothing strategy might work occasionally but it is much more important to understand that improvement is what is important.  Move closer to your goals rather than hoping it all happens instantly.  Our society seems obsessed with instant gratification and we often sacrifice true improvement over a chance at more.  Take a different approach.  Start to focus solely on improvement and get away from needing everything to be perfect right away.

In order to achieve great things, emphasize the process that will lead you to success.  It is much better to work step by step towards your goals than taking extreme risk and hoping for a positive outcome.  Real success takes time, it doesn't come overnight.  I encourage you to start to view improvement differently.  Instead of trying to move towards perfection, start to adopt the mindset of progress not perfection.