Wednesday, November 2, 2011

You're Not Perfect. So What?!?

I run into so many people who talk about things they'd like to do (whether that's lose weight or write a novel or fill-in-the-blank), but they just don't have the right situation. If only there was more time in the day, or if only I didn't have so much debt, or if only I didn't fill-in-the-blank holding me back. I know it's easy to fall into this trap, because I've done it too. None of us are perfect...but you know what, who cares?

Let go of perfection
Believe me, I think there's nothing better than rolling up your sleeves and putting in some hard work. And yes, you should always be trying to get things done the best that you can, but sometimes the pursuit of perfection holds us back from our pursuits of accomplishment.

In the world of poetry and art, I know that some of the most "perfect" pieces can also lean toward the boring category. In fact, I could say the same about ice skating and gymnastics routines too. And architecture. Heck, it's the imperfections that really makes something unique and special.

Start now
Don't let your imperfect situation keep you from doing great things. Starting today, think of one thing you can do that you've been putting off. If it's writing a novel, spend 10 minutes today sketching out an outline of rough plot points. Then, devote another 10 minutes tomorrow (and so on).

If it's losing weight, just cut out one bad habit this week. And then add one good habit next week. Then, try doing one of each (cutting and adding) during the third week. Over time, the momentum will build.

Will you have off-days and off-weeks? Most likely.

Life is like the stock market
With all the problems in the economy right now, using the stock market as a metaphor is probably dangerous territory, but it's true. If you invest X amount of money in a diversified portfolio of stocks, the value may go up and down drastically over a short period of time, but in the long run, you always end up with more. Meanwhile, if you don't invest, you just end up with about the same or less (because it's being spent).

The same is true with our goals. Start investing in your goals now. There will be ups and downs, successes and failures, but over time, you will end up gaining more than losing. Don't wait for the perfect time to start, because that time is always now.


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Unknown said...

I know I am not perfect and I cringe when people exclaim "Perfect" it is such a high point on the spectrum, so it must have an equally low point at the other side.

Anonymous said...

This is something everybody needs to hear again from time to time. Thank you for the reminder. I have been writing everyday but because I am looking for work I feel guilty whenever I am writing and not finding a job, but it is important to keep at it or eventually I will have a job and then I won't have as much time to write.

Robert Lee Brewer said...

For me, Bwendo, most of the things I think are "perfect" have quite a few unintentional imperfections.

th3scribbl3r, it is important to carve out that slice of time each day. Keep at it! And good luck with the job hunt!