Perfectly fine

halfmarathonNo one is perfect, which is perfectly obvious to me. Yet I believe there’s nothing wrong with the pursuit of perfection. The problem comes when you buy into someone else’s notion of perfect, setting up an unachievable standard that’s out of your control. Choose what perfect means for you, and compare against your last performance, not someone else’s.

Perfection is relative. By definition it implies that there are no flaws… that you’ve reached a magical state of “nothing left to improve on.” How often does that really happen in anything we do in life? Even an Olympic gymnast who received all 10’s will tell you she could have improved on parts of her performance. Even an Oscar-winning actor will tell you he can’t wait to raise his game in the next film. Even a start-up company zillionaire will tell you she still makes mistakes every day.

The pursuit of perfection is what matters, not perfection itself. There is always another level to reach, and the victory comes in reaching the next level by YOUR definition. Then the pursuit starts all over again.

If you’re frustrated right now about not reaching your next level, maybe you should try it in two steps instead of one giant leap? Make adjustments, keep it light and keep moving… but don’t give up.

I progressed from running one mile to a half marathon, marathon, century ride and now a 70.3 triathlon coming this April. It will be messy and I will certainly not win my age group, but it doesn’t matter. I will cross that finish line, and I will have done something amazing that I have never done before. Something I can build on. And that’s perfectly fine with me.

What is your next level of perfect?

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3 Comments on “Perfectly fine”

  1. Paula Howley Says:

    David, I appreciate how you don’t automatically defer to the pronoun “he” in your examples. Some people would say that’s being nitpicky but I think it shows thoughtfulness. Women are not equally represented in all media and I think that every small representative change matters. I wanted to give you kudos for that.
    Now, as to my next level of perfect? That would be delivering my current Toastmasters speech to the best of my ability and then even better.
    And to get my taxes done next week.


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