Done is better than perfect.
It’s better and it yields better results. I should quickly add that this of course is not applicable to all things nor can this be applied all the time. Brain surgery and fine dining for example would be an exception.
But being done has tremendous benefits for self development and growth.
Perfection is an illusion.
Nothing is perfect and thats a great thing. Perfect things have no margin for error. They are all or nothing. They are predictable. They either exist, or they do not exist. There is no in between, yet life, lived in a meaningful way can only be lived in between.
Life is imperfect. Life is unpredictable. We are excited to start a new day because anything can happen.
That is the magic of living. Those beautiful little or noticeable imperfections and flaws that are all around us and within us, giving us meaning and purpose.
It’s good to get things done.
Even if they are not perfect, and it doesn’t matter.
I don’t mean half assed. I don’t mean rushed. I don’t mean broken or unfinished.
I mean done.
You are a marathon runner, for example.
You find yourself a coach and together you map out a challenging training schedule and it looks so damn perfect on that piece of paper you bring home. It has purpose and clarity. It is calculated and perfectly attainable.
Than your child gets the flu and keeps you up all night. Your boss needs you to stay behind for a few extra hours in the middle of the week. The fifth anniversary of your father’s death is quickly approaching. You still haven’t done your taxes. Your ex is being a dick again. That bachelorette party for your distant cousin took a lot more out of you than you thought, but you continue to run.
You don’t run as efficiently. You don’t run as enthusiastically. You are most likely not going to break any records, but your run. You run because you want to get done. You want to honour a promise. You want to do what you said you would do.
Why because one done, leads to another. Being done gives you meaning, while perfection leaves you empty and unsatisfied.
Let’s face it. It’s not that we fail at doing things perfectly. We never had the gumption for doing things perfectly in the first place.
Nit picking and becoming a copyeditor of our lives can only lead to disaster, to a life full of anxiety and fear, full of mistakes and disappointments.
But what if you decide to run? What if you decide to get it done?
No matter what. No matter when. No matter how.
I learned of a woman a year ago who enters marathons in order to finish last. Of course she could be very efficient by taking a single step and sitting down, but that wouldn’t do the trick.
She runs and looks for men and women who are struggling and are on the verge of giving up. She runs next to them. She walks besides them and does not leave until they renew their sense of purpose and recommit themselves to finishing. She than hangs back and looks for the next person that needs her help.
You could say that she is a most flawed marathoner. She doesn’t know what she is capable and doesn’t know her best time. Yet, she is an angel of the pavement.
Done is better than perfect.
Doing. Falling. Doing again. That is the rhythm of a good life.
Avoid perfection like a soiled toilet seat.
Don’t give in to perfection.
Take stock of who you are and show the rest of us the best of you.
Only finish this time.
Cover photo generously provided by photographer Kristian Egelund via unsplash.com