1% vs. PerfectionOct 05, 2016
Here are some more great thoughts from my friend and colleague, David Towne.
I’ve got a problem. Okay, I’ve got lots of issues as many of my friends and family know all too well. My singing hurts the ears of those too close to me in proximity. I don’t run anymore unless someone is chasing me. If I mistakenly eat a peanut, egg, carrot, any kind of fish, or watermelon (to name a few), my throat swells shut in seconds and I die. Yet my most frustrating problem is how, in the past, I have attempted to tackle my life goals.
Maybe you can relate. We get something in our mind and desire to make a change. It could be that we want to lose weight, eat better, spend more quality time with our loved ones, work smarter, curb our social media addiction, go to bed earlier, turn off the television and read more, get more involved at church, and the list goes on and on. The issue that has plagued me for most of my life is that I fail to effectively address the changes I want to make in my life. And I think one of the main reasons for this is I start with a sprint, running with a 100% pace and expecting perfection. And every time, I faze out, disappointed once again for not making a complete change. Can you relate to this?
So here is what I am trying to do. Instead of an “all or nothing” attitude, how about just trying to be 1% better today than yesterday, or 1% better this week than last week, or this month, this year? This adjustment of focus is helping me feel success in the little victories along the way.
As an example, I have wanted to write a book of my stories in education for the past 20 plus years. It has been on my New Year’s Resolutions list, my life goals list, and I have shared this hope with friends and family, who lovingly nod yet roll their eyes knowing that they have heard this for years! I even posted this goal in my den and still no progress! But I have made a commitment to be 1% better in writing this book than last year. What does that mean? It means writing one story a month instead of trying to write the whole book in a short amount of time. One percent better for me will result in 12 stories in a year which will be enough to meet my goal of a 12 chapter book! Yippee!
Why don’t you try it? Think of something you want to accomplish that you seem to be stuck on. Set aside your expectation of perfection and shift your mindset to accomplishing just 1% more than you have done before. Let me know how that works for you. Leave a comment and share how you made it work or what you are doing 1% better.
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