“Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps you from being done.”
—Bre Pettis & Kio Stark, The Cult of Done Manifesto
It’s been said that the desire to achieve perfection is borne out of fear more so than accomplishment. The conditions are not perfect; I will not begin. The manuscript isn’t perfect; I will not present it. The song isn’t perfect; I will not upload it. The program is not perfect; I will not ship it. Whatever it is you’re working on, there is a degree of perfection that you work to achieve at which point all the world will fall to their knees in recognition of your greatness.
Or no one will, because you’ll never release it.
“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
“Fear is the mind killer.” I could go on and on with quotes addressing the fear aspect, but the idea is to turn the focus away from fear. Fear is a factor, and it has to be faced, yes. But you have all you need within you to make that happen. And you have to draw all of that out in order to overcome the desire for perfection. If you want to make progress toward absolutely anything, you’re going to have to overcome the desire for perfection and instead adopt the desire to produce. You must do. And do and do and do some more.
Your home gym will never be complete. Work out anyway. Your manuscript will never be satisfactory. Shop it anyway. Your song will never sound the same on every stereo. Upload it anyway. You can edit and edit and edit again, but you’ll eventually arrive at a point where you must work/shop/release it as it is, or never do so at all.
Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeping you from growing through the work you do. After all, “Done is the Engine of More.”
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