Perfection is one of the things we are taught to seek. From an early age I can remember being told that “practice makes perfect”. As I grew older, I slowly began to realize that my attachment to the idea of perfection kept me from pursuing my dreams and taking risks. As I see things now, perfection does not exist in reality. It is simply an idea in my head. Waiting for the perfect time, perfect place, perfect opportunity, perfect whatever has kept me from taking action toward my goals many times. So I decided to make a list of things that are better than perfection as a reminder for myself and hopefully others can benefit.
1. Done is better than perfect. My friend Jennifer at taught me this. It’s better to do things that get me closer to my goals imperfectly than to think about doing them “perfectly”, delaying action indefinitely.
2. Progress is better than perfection, simply because I can make progress today. I may never reach perfection, or the idea of perfection I have constructed in my mind. However I know that I will surely live a healthy, happy, and prosperous life if I make progress each day.
3. Consistency beats perfection. The perfect exercise regimen performed 50% of the time with 50% enthusiasm will fail to get the intended results. An imperfect program performed with 90% or higher consistency of effort and enthusiasm will allow anyone to make progress.
4. Patience is better than perfection. Most worthwhile accomplishments require repeated effort for a long time. Cultivating patience is a better way to get anywhere in life than compulsive perfectionism.
5. Willingness to change and move toward a goal is more important than perfection. No one improves without the willingness to make changes.
6. Honesty with oneself is crucial to successful accomplishment. Successful people consistently take honest inventory of themselves and move toward their higher ideal.
7. Open-mindedness, or the simple acknowledgement that I do not have all the answers has been an indispensable part of every bit of progress I have ever made in every area of life.
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Author: Nick Ortego is a health coach specializing in biohacking for runners. He integrates modern methods with the ancient wisdom of yoga to help runners get the most out of every aspect of life. He is the owner of N 2 Action, a wellness studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offering personal training, health coaching, yoga, and fascial stretch therapy.