How many of you are on the brink of starting something BIG?
A new venture, a new workout / training plan, a new relationship, etc.?
But how many of you are waiting for something first…
The perfect set of circumstances.
The perfect market conditions.
The perfect moment.
The perfect weather.
The perfect… excuse?
“Perfection is the biggest excuse for not starting.”
What is it that you are waiting for before taking action? What is that definition of perfection that’s become a prerequisite for starting what you want to do? And will perfection ever come to pass?
Don’t let your wish for the perfect prevent you from taking action and getting on your path to success!
I had the perfect game plan to launch the Will Athletic blog.
… And if I held myself to it, I may have never started.
I created a small prerequisite for myself in order to start: prepare and finalize 6 blog posts before launch.
It made sense – it was my chance to give myself breathing room in the event of a busy week so that I could maintain a weekly cadence for publishing a new post once I got started.
However, the truth was, I couldn’t build enough momentum to do it.
I had bits and pieces of 2 or 3 posts (I may be exaggerating) yet this perfect requirement for me to start was holding me back. The deadlines just didn’t seem to matter.
So, rather than try to pump myself up to finish these 6 posts, I erred on the side of taking action and I posted my one and only completed post at that point in time.
And I kept taking action – one week and one post at a time. And that is possibly the only reason I’m still writing now.
I could have waited for my definition of perfect, and maybe I finally would have hit my 6 posts, but how much longer would I have waited? And what would it have really bought me?
Now that’s a question I’m glad I don’t have an answer to!
The New Perfect: Just Take Action
We all know that taking action (with proper preparation) is our best approach to achieving our individual goals and definition of success. And while the saying goes, “Knowing is half the battle“, it isn’t the full battle. So here’s a nice dose of motivation to help us shift from simply knowing to taking action:
“Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good” – Voltaire
So much of making progress in life is getting started, while waiting for everything to be nice, tidy and perfect is powerful blocker to progress. We will learn so much more from doing rather than getting to perfect before starting . At best, this desired perfection will result in a huge waste of time; at worst – no action at all. Get yourself to good enough and then get after it. Learn from your mistakes and keep getting better.
“The best time to start was yesterday, the next best time is NOW”
Don’t wait for tomorrow. Chance are, we’ve done that too many times already. And don’t dwell on the fact we didn’t start yesterday. Acknowledge it, and then refocus on the present opportunities before you and get started!
“Ready. Fire. Aim.” – Todd Durkin
This is one of my favorite quotes, although I admittedly don’t put it into practice as much as I should. The first time I heard this quote from TD, he followed it up by saying that we too often take the Ready. Aim. Aim. Aim. Aim… approach. And no action. Get yourself properly ready and prepared and then fire! That first action will create more positive momentum than all the aiming will ever do.
“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.” Aryn Kyle
Life is too short to keep searching out the perfect moment. Regardless of where we find ourselves in life – on top of it all or down and out, the one equalizer that we all have is time – a collection of moments. Within those moments are opportunities to do great things and opportunities to let what’s possible pass us by. We each define our own version of perfect, so become intentional about creating your perfect moments and make the most of them.
“Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long you miss them.” – William Arthur Ward
Continuing off the sentiment above, the down side of time is that it waits for no one… We all have an incredible amount of opportunities that come our way each and every day. However, they don’t sit around waiting for us to be ready. They require us to be prepared, be bold, and be at the ready to strike when the opportunities arise. Don’t bury your head in the pillow and push off seeing your next sunrise until tomorrow – there is no guarantee you will see it.
We live in a society that values perfection – or at least perfection on the surface (look no further than social media).
Your critics will always look for what’s wrong and nitpick the details or the one or two things you missed and point out all the ways they or someone else is better.
I get it, it can be scary! It can make us want to dot every final ‘i’ and cross each and every ‘t’. It can make us want to push back our start date while we tie up loose ends. And while we do that, we risk the world passing us by.
Sure, the critics will be silent because they have noting to critique. And we won’t put ourselves in a vulnerable position where we could fail or fall on our face.
However what good is any of that? What good is standing still in a world that is always moving forward?
Despite the message of my post today, I am a huge proponent of working towards perfection. I believe we should always strive to master our craft and become the best at what we set out to do. HOWEVER – working towards perfection with the understanding that we will never achieve it is a critical distinction, and one I hope we can all recognize and embrace.
Chance perfection… but only after you get started.
So get out there, get after it, and unleash your Inner Athlete!
Discussion Question: What are your perfect set of circumstances that are preventing you from taking action? And how might those circumstances be holding you back?
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."