You Don't Always Need Great
At one point or another, everyone wants to do exceptional work. What happens though, when the desire for excellence becomes an obstacle to progress?
We always hear about how the work you output must be of the highest possible quality. You’re told to ensure that you’ve done everything you can to polish the end-result of your project. Articles & speakers quote the sometimes eccentric habits of famous entrepreneurs and industrialists in a bid to motivate you to do great work; work that brilliantly showcases the beauty of your gifts. Whilst motivating others to produce exceptional work is a great thing, the ‘perfectionist’ culture has resulted in the dissemination of a somewhat warped message, a message that says “If you can’t do it extremely well, don’t do it”.
Sure, if you have a big presentation coming up or you’re launching a project you should go all out to make sure that you’ve done everything to the best of your ability. But sending an email or drafting a document? Do you really need to spend 5 minutes on picking the font that ‘looks right’? What about turning down the opportunity to make a speech because you’re scared an impromptu attempt will look unprepared and flawed? You end up with a mountain of unanswered emails purely because each time you wanted to respond to them, the time or the wording or your mood wasn’t ‘perfect’. Eventually, we evade doing things simply because we can’t do them perfectly right now. The tragedy is that often, ‘not right now’ becomes ‘never’. The quest for great becomes an excuse to postpone doing work that matters.
If you want to write a blog post but you’re unsure of the grammar rule governing the usage of hypens, don’t waste time trying to Google the rule, just write the post. Want to start running but don’t have the right sunglasses? Just start anyway. Need to eat healthy but you don’t have the right juicing machine? Start anyway. If not now, when?
So today write your book, make the career-changing decision & distance yourself from the toxic relationships that are ruining your happiness. Too many people postpone their dreams because they don’t have the conditions they believe they need to do a great job.
Great is good, just not all the time.