Recently I have added a third key theme to my Excellence in Training programs. In addition to ‘What’s Important Now’ and ‘You Have Not Taught Until They Have Learned’ I now also talk about Excellence as the goal, not perfection. The following is one of my newsletters I wrote on the topic that I would like to share with you:
Here are two choices for living your life:
1. Strive to be the best that you can be in your life and your pursuits. Make a commitment to always be better tomorrow than today. Accept that failure is part of life and is an opportunity to find a better way of doing things. Accept that the pursuit of excellence is a life long exciting journey of continual improvement and constant positive change. Pursue your dreams and your passions.
2. Seek a goal that is impossible to achieve. Accept that whatever you do it will never be good enough. Live in fear of making a mistake or failing.
Applying the W.I.N. Philosophy which would you choose? Option 1 is the pursuit of personal excellence we have spoken about often in these newsletters. Option 2 is striving for perfection. Perfection, in my opinion, is impossible to achieve. Therefore, it creates in many people a hesitancy to act out of a fear of failure. I imagine all of you chose Option 1.
Here is an excerpt on the topic of Excellence vs. Perfection from Lou Tice of the Pacific Institute:
“Are you a perfectionist? Do you know anyone who is? Today, I want to talk about the drive to be perfect and what it can cost you.
What’s so bad about being good? Nothing at all, but trying to be perfect can cost you a lot in terms of mental health and harmonious relationships. You see, people who can mobilize themselves in the face of tough problems are usually folks who don’t worry about being perfect. They’re happy to move ahead with a partial solution, trusting that they’ll invent the rest as they go along.
Now, perfectionists will try to tell you that their relentless standards drive them to levels of productivity and excellence that they couldn’t otherwise attain. But often just the opposite is true. Perfectionists usually accomplish less, because they waste so much time paralyzed by fear of failure. They won’t start anything until they know how to finish it without any mishaps, and that’s a mistake.
Even though they don’t know exactly how they’re going to do something, high-performance people keep their vision of the end-result uppermost in their minds and forge ahead anyway. They believe that they’ll get the help they need, find the resources they need, and figure out the how-to’s as they go – and they usually do.
If, for some reason, they don’t achieve the outcome they wanted, they don’t waste energy beating themselves up about it. They simply learn from the experience and move on. “
This week’s challenge is to step back and take a look at your life and your training programs. Which of these options have you chosen? Actually, there is a third option. That is to be an ostrich and think like a victim, accept mediocrity in your life and training, and make excuses for your situation, your decisions and your life. I am assuming that if you have been reading this blog consistently that this is not acceptable to you so I did not list it at the start.