Don’t Wait For Perfection – Do It Now.
Have you ever found yourself sitting around restlessly, feeling that you were somehow wasting your time and potential? Wishing that you could do all kinds of different things, but feeling that you just “didn’t have it in you” or that you just weren’t “good enough”?
The fear of not being perfect cripples more people from action and fulfillment in life than possibly anything else. For many of us there seems to be a certain inbuilt assumption that if we aren’t “gifted” at a thing, then we just can’t do it – or that if we tried we’d be doomed for failure in the worst kind of way and would have everyone laughing in our faces.
The reality though is that “perfection” is an ideal, a beacon to guide ourselves according to. It’s something which might be impossible to achieve in reality – and it’s definitely not something that you should expect to attain before even making an honest and spirited attempt at the task in question.
In truth, many of the greatest successes we know of today weren’t “gifted” at all, were definitely not “perfect”, and often had heaps of criticism thrown at them – until one day their hard work paid off and the critics were forced to bite their tongues or else be drowned out by opposing voices.
Consider these famous examples for a moment:
- Thomas Edison is said to have failed 1,000 times while attempting to create the light bulb.
- Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected dozens of times by publishers. Out of frustration he threw the manuscript in the bin. His wife convinced him to rescue it and keep trying.
- Henry Ford’s early businesses failed, and left him broke on 5 separate occasions before he had success with his Ford Motor Company.
- Walt Disney was fired as a newspaper editor because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- Jack London is said to have received 600 rejection slips for his first story before it was finally accepted.
- In their early days as a band, The Beatles were rejected by a recording company who commented “we don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”
It should be clear to everyone that some of the most profound success stories and inspirational figures of recent history began as people who were constantly being rejected, who were constantly failing, who were never seen as “gifted” by anyone, but who kept pushing forward and who didn’t ever wait for “perfection” before throwing themselves at a task. Then, in a strange twist of irony, their fans and admirers would later think to themselves “he / she must be so gifted. A pity I’m not that way…”
Begin today. Make a list of the goals that you’d like to pursue – of the things that you wish you were good at – and start doing them. Before you know it you may be doing better than you ever imagined you could. Every new endeavor brings with it a whole new range of possibilities and opportunities.
Take heart from the words of Theodore Roosevelt, and do it now:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
James Finlayson is Fitness Manager at DesirableBody. His favourite way to keep fit is strength training and he also enjoy cycling in and around London.