What we feed our minds is easily as important as what we feed our bodies.
Wholehearted is soulfood for your mind, a weekly observation to nudge your thinking and warm your heart.
Ask Google about the price of perfectionism and you’ll get more than 70 million answers. It’s a condition for which we can often, apparently, thank our parents. Unrelenting high expectations inevitably lead to disappointment and the effects can range from depression and anxiety to frustration and delay. That’s a high price to pay for efforts to get approval and feel good about ourselves.
Of course perfectionism is useful - if it’s kept in perspective. The healthy version pushes us to learn and keep improving in order to achieve mastery. There are times when getting things absolutely right is essential. For example, when flying, I want a pilot who insists on attention to detail and following procedure to the letter. For my friend, I expect a perfectionist eye surgeon to restore her sight.
Professional standards of pilots and surgeons aside, few things in life are irreversible and it’s most often the fear of messing things up that stops us in our tracks. The focus sees only one of two possible outcomes – either a spectacular success or a dismal failure. And unless convinced of success, we’d rather not take the risk. Better to wait until all our ducks are in a row. Procrastination is the winner. Maybe it’s changing career direction or starting your own business. Perhaps it’s writing that novel or trying out a new hobby. ‘Someday I’ll’ is the path to regret.
Good enough is experimental. It says that mistakes are not failure, just feedback. It’s the chance to play with life. Play isn’t perfect, and that’s the whole point, but having a go is an opportunity for small wins. No risk, no reward. As Confucius said, ‘Better a diamond with a flaw, than a pebble without.’
So what would happen if you deliberately chose a new game? What would you try if your goal was progress, not perfection?
Inspiration in your inbox.