Striving for Perfection

Posted by in Career, Perfection, Personal Effectiveness

While reading the book “Lessons Learned – Loving your work” ,  I came across this article from Peggy Fleming, who was a Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medallist. 

I quote-

“What that instilled in me was to practice perfection. Every time I skated and had a lesson from my coach, I tried to think of a performance- I tried to think of the crowd. I tried to think of how that pressure would feel. I actually came up with a game that I did at every lesson: I would try to do a perfect lesson.  That made it even more difficult; I didn’t want to make one mistake in the hour I had with my coach. It was fun. I think he respected that to: and it was fun for him to have a student who was giving it her all at a practice. 

What I learned was that practicing perfection, not cheating yourself, is the best way to go through life.

Even today, when I go for a run, I hear that little voice in my head saying, “I have committed to this hour. I am going to keep running the whole time. If I stop, I am cheating, and I’m not getting the benefit out of this. I’m only cheating myself”.

I obviously was very impressed with this article.

And I suspect most of us don’t go on to win gold medals in the Olympics because of this single attitude gap! (maybe there is a talent gap as well – but hey, we don’t know that)

Strive for perfection- every day with a conviction that you are doing it to get the best out of life- small steps every day.

I am making an effort every day to strive for perfection – in everything I do. 

Perfection, in my mind, does not mean, having to drop everything else and focus on just achieving that “perfect” output- and if the right inputs are not there, to drop the project altogether.

Perfection to me, is to take what you have, put quality thinking behind it- think from the target audiences point of view – and roll it out as soon as you can, when you are confident that the quality is as good as it can get and any other inputs/insights will have only a marginal improvement. 

Perfection is NOT dropping the project and waiting for the perfect inputs to come through before rolling this out.

How do you strive for perfection? Do you? If you don’t, this is as good time as any to start!