As a classic perfectionist, sometimes I struggle to finish things, even – perhaps especially – things of high importance to me. The amount of “imperfect” drafts for this blog alone is absurd, never mind all of the incomplete projects, unsent text messages, and creative opportunities I’ve turned down for fear of not being able to complete them “just so.”
Now, there is certainly something to be said for putting care and thought into your life and work, and I am 100% on board with doing so (hah! clearly!) but sometimes it gets in the way of actually getting things done and that, my friends, is problematic.
You may have heard the phrase “perfect is the enemy of good.” This is true, absolutely, but for me it goes even further. For me it helps to have it worded like this:
Perfect is the enemy of done.
Something can be good. Heck, something can be GREAT and I still won’t pull the metaphorical trigger on it because it’s just not exactly, precisely perfect. It’s not good enough. Sometimes not getting something to a place I’d consider as-close-to-perfect-as-humanly-possible means it’s never even seen or tried or sent. It means that something that might be helpful or true or useful to the world gets held back because my brain can’t make every single syllable exactly right. And that isn’t good.
I don’t want to shock any of you here, but I’m not perfect. And I don’t know a single person who is. So why in the world I’ve decided that it’s my responsibility to try to be is anybody’s guess.
But you know what? I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this.
Sometimes we all need to quit our obsessing and quit our worrying and quit our searching for perfection and just get things done.
And if you see me struggling to get something exactly right? Feel free to remind me. Feel free to tell me: “Grady – Perfect is the enemy of done.” I will gladly do the same for you.