Perfectionism Is The Enemy Of Done
Posted on October 14, 2014
My teacher once said “Perfection is the enemy of done.”
That stuck with me for a long time. This morning, for whatever reason, that thought came right back into my mind and I expand upon it. He is right…perfection is the enemy of done. When you try to make everything perfect and constantly leave the thing unfinished because it is not perfect enough…it can completely disable your ability to actually finish it. But here was my thought.
Perfection is the enemy of done, but don’t let “done” destroy your efforts towards perfection.
To be able to do the best you can with what you have…and then to try again and again to make it better is an asset not a liability. Eventually, you are going to have to put your work out there for the world to see, but you should do as much as you can in the time you have to make it the best possible thing you can create. I learned that with my first book.
Would I make some changes to the process if I was doing it all over again now? Yes of course. But I tried to make it as perfect as I possibly could have back then and this is all I could ask for from myself.
Psychologists have this phrase called “pillars” that stand for things that people have that they think they need in order to create. For instance, a writer might only be ably to write with a $300 pen and will not write if he/she doesn’t have it.
That is a prime example of a pillar. Because without that pen, they cannot write. However, a writer without a pillar who understands that creation is the most important part of the game will write with anything and everything around them. Hemingway used to write with crappy ballpoint pens on tissue paper – you have no excuse.
Pillars give you an excuse not to do something. In fact, pillars may be a sign of unrealistic perfectionism. We have to keep ourselves open to creating things and getting comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Our most inspired moments may come at times that we have no ability to do what we usually do when those moments come. Sometimes, embarrassingly enough, I rap lyrics into my iPhone when I have an idea come up into my head. They might make it into a post somewhere down the line, but the point is, there is nothing preventing me from getting those fiery ideas down somehow and utilizing them in the future.
In the end, there are only a few excuses for not creating (especially if you are a creator). It becomes even more important that you create especially when you consider how you would feel if your ability to make things was suddenly taken away from you. Wouldn’t that be awful?
Often my passions for things come up against this mental wall of how hard it actually is to do what I am attempting to do. But in the end, I always try to find a way to battle through. Last night I went through that in a big way and this morning I came out on top. I delivered on my promise. And that is what it comes down to when you are chasing your dreams. Delivering on your promise…day in…day out.
It’s going to be hard. It’s going to take everything you have and even more. Your dream is built for a person that you are going to be transformed into. Understand that there are going to be significant growing pains along the way – mental and physical.
Go get em’
The Better Man Project