Here are two important things to remember about perfection. One is that it costs something to gain it. Another is that waiting until the perfect plan is achieved before ever starting has kept many from accomplishing their goals. Trust when I say that I am a details guy! As both an engineer and a writer, accuracy is critically important to me. As such, I am drawn to perfectionism, like a bug that flies into the zapper.
Everything has a price. In economics, they talk about the law of diminishing return. The same type of thinking can apply in other areas of life also. There can be great admiration when a person takes pride in their work. As they work harder at perfecting it, continuous improvement happens rapidly at first but deteriorates over time. Increasing effort is required to gain better results but with all the effort it yields less improvement over time. There is a point at which it costs a ridiculous amount of effort and what is gained is just not worth the effort any longer.
Another downside of perfectionism is that it causes people to wait for everything to be perfect or figured out before getting started. In one figure of speech, they call it, “getting your ducks in a row.” I don’t know what it is with those ducks, but they never listen, at least not to us; only to the person who took the photo above. Otherwise, they waddle around chaotically, pressing their duck feet in the mud, bumping into one another. They may never cooperate, so if we wait on them, we may miss opportunities.
Many times we have to take a step back and figure out if it’s better to just get started. Starting and failing is often better than not doing anything at all. So much can be figured out along the way. This can be beneficial, too, because we gain experience along the way that helps us make better decisions. Perhaps some of these choices are even better than all the planning to perfection that we could have done in the beginning.
Everything we do will never be perfect because we are not perfect. So, learn to relax a little. Work out the major kinks and put forth your best plan into action. Get started today. Perfection can wait!