Perfection worship – there’s something about it that just feels right. The issue, as with any choice, is that there is a serious trade-off – the moment you choose to engage in perfection worship, you become an excellent critic, an accomplished talker.
The moment you see a problem or opportunity and roll your sleeves to take action, you learn that the first required step is to shun perfection. That’s because perfection doesn’t really exist. Every initiative that we lead is littered with our biases and reflects our values, character and personality. Perfect work doesn’t move people. Humane work does. Humane work, by definition, is full of heart and imperfection. It won’t work for everyone. But, it’ll move some and that will make it worth it.
Critics are fantastic problem spotters as they can always pick out the pieces that are imperfect. As a doer, you’re going to run into critics every single day of your life. Put yourself out there and there’ll be people who’ll tell you why they hate your work. Pay no attention.
If they care, they will attempt to fix it. And, when they do, they’ll realize your work was perfect all along – in ways they weren’t able to comprehend.
One of the challenges with attempting to ship a blog post every day is getting comfortable with “good enough.” Every once a while, there comes a day when I feel very pleased with the post of the day. On most days, however, it is just a struggle to get something “good enough” out of the door.
As I write this, I realize I make it sound like I was a recovering perfectionist. That wasn’t the case either. It is just that, when I imagined myself writing on a public blog, I imagined a thought-through blog post edited to perfection. Now, I’m just comfortable with the fact that, on most days, the grammar isn’t perfect and that the sentence construction could have been better. Good enough.
That is the trouble with not shipping. It makes you chase ideas like perfection that make it impossible to ship. It takes away all attention from the stuff that actually matters – learning to write, learning to observe, improving your creative process – and focuses it on stuff that doesn’t – perfection, adulation, etc. It results in too much pressure and makes it easier to do nothing. It just feels safer.
But, it isn’t of course. Good enough is what sheds light on the way forward. We only get better with practice. And, we need to practice with good enough till our good enough today becomes the perfection we sought yesterday.