October 28, 2009

Perfection is Not Required

Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.
-Eugene Delacroix

A look into history you will find that our obsession with perfection is relatively new. Only in the last few centuries has the need for everything to be 'just right' really driven us. The only saying "cleanliness is next to Godliness" comes from centuries of not having running water, fire in the house and a complete void of disinfectants. And yet there were great successes.

Many times I have hesitated or even not completed a task because I thought that I wasn't doing it right or that the results weren't up to par. In sewing I have tossed entire projects because of faults that, looking back, I'm sure only I noticed. Hours of work and materials wasted, all for my need to make something look 'perfect'. Handiwork isn't the only area of our lives where our drive for perfection can distract us from progress.

I speak to a lot of people who are all or nothing. They refuse to make any forward progress because of a hundred different reasons why they can't do something. They are waiting until after the holidays to lose that weight. As soon as football seasons over they will put the time in to build that business. There is always a reason to delay, ways that the timing isn't perfect.

We discount trying. Just getting going and doing something is better then nothing at all. When trying to lose weight, small steps can lead to big results. I started by switching from regular coke to diet coke, then not ordering french fries with meals. Small bits that can be easily maintained and over time lead to a total overhaul of my lifestyle. The weight didn't fall off, but it stayed off. I'm not perfect, sometimes I have fried food, sometimes I have cake. I just consistently work on making good choices and in the end it pays off. It's not perfection, it's progress.

Same goes for a lot of our lives. No one does anything perfect the first time. In many philosophies there is no way to ever do anything perfectly. If there is anything you want to do, you should do it. Let nothing stand in your way. If you're doing it wrong, you'll learn. We learn more from doing something wrong then from doing it right the first time. Don't worry about perfection, keep your eye on success.

Have a Blessed Day,

Brandy Deming


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