Why Perfection is the Enemy
“I know exactly what I need to do, and as soon as the time is absolutely right, I’ll do it!”
Sound familiar? If not then I’ve probably lost you, but in case it does sound familiar, please continue.
A plan is like our own personal treasure map, and a well thought out one has the power to strategically guide us wherever it is we want to go. The beauty about life is everyday we learn something new, something that can allow us to update our roadmap and continue to perfect it. And so we chisel away, sculpting a plan so genius, so perfect, it’ll never fail; the world will be forever impacted.
And so what’s the problem with this perfect plan?
The problem is by the time the plan is ready, you’ll be long gone. A lifetime of perfecting means a lifetime will have passed and you were so busy planning, you never had the chance to even start. I’m not here pointing the finger at anyone, as usual, I’m speaking from my own personal frustrations, and I’ve only just realized how much I was plagued by the perfect plan.
I was always the wise guy with all the answers. At work I was designing a marketing strategy so thorough it would revolutionize the market forever… Keyword forever. Sure it was a great plan, but I only realized after years of getting absolutely nothing done, if that time was used to meet customers, and just tell them what we had, we probably would’ve had better results, honestly even 1 sale was better than 0!
Even when it came to writing songs; I had to be alone and take the time to craft the perfect melody, with lyrics coded with hidden meanings only Plato himself could unravel. You know how many songs with hidden puzzles I have under my belt? Absolutely none; I have a whole bunch of unfinished ones, and they’re more complicated than the matrix.
So what am I getting at?
By planning every single step of the way, I assumed I knew exactly how everything would roll out, as if I were some all-knowing being from Valhalla. Was I arrogant enough to believe that? Probably not.
What I do think is fear was the real culprit.
I padded myself so heavily with intricate planning, the only thing I achieved was a 100% probability of staying cemented in my comfort zone. Making things so complicated was my way of justifying my fear of the unknown and masking it with Einsteinian confidence. I made the rollout of the marketing plan so overly complex I’d never have to face the disappointment of its potential failure. Same went for my music, I was so scared to actually put it out, I wrote songs I couldn’t finish, therefore no one would ever hear them and I could never be embarrassed.
I came to this realization was by looking around and acknowledging the fact I had nothing to show for my work; absolutely everything in my life was dependant on a series of events that would one day unfold. Everything I was doing today was for a time and place far, far away. I realized I paved a path much too reliant on everything but myself.
So I looked inward and asked myself very honestly what I really wanted.
So here I am today, proof it doesn’t take perfection to get started, all it really takes is… getting started. I’m not a perfect writer and I don’t have a perfect voice, but I started putting out my writing and my music, and the more I put out, the more feedback I’ll receive, the better I’ll get and the more opportunity will arise. I’ve put strict deadlines on myself so I can’t possibly overthink things and fall into the trap again. When I sit down and write, I hammer it out in one session, if it isn’t flowing I’ll just do something else; when I enter the studio I abandon all preconceived notions and let things flow, the only thing I’m concerned with is good vibes.
When we don’t overthink, that’s when the magic happens. Why do most New Years parties fall short? Because they’re over planned, overhyped, and always underwhelm. Why are our most amazing memories the result of random occurrence? Because there was no plan, just great people with no expectations. The recipe for magic is no recipe.
Understanding the general direction is very important, but taking the first step is the key, and it’s amazing not knowing where the next step will lead. Anyway, what’s the fun of life if you know exactly what’s going to happen?