Are you a Perfectionist or something else?
Are you someone who won’t move until you have a full picture? Or until you have a certain level of skills or confidence?
Do you say…
- “I will start tomorrow…”?
- “I don’t have everything I need to get started…”?
- “I just need to get organized first…”?
- “I am not in a good mood to start now…”?
- “I must do this the right way, there must be no mistake, or else I’m not going to do it…”?
- “I must be seen as perfect, not showing any of my flaws at all…”?
I’ll try to help you by telling you that you’re not a perfectionist at all. You could very well be a procrastinator disguised as a perfectionist, simply because whatever excuse you came up with, is a flaw, proven by your inaction. So how are you perfect?
Perfectionists are insufferable at imperfections.So why do you think he or she will not take any actions?
And to me, procrastination is just an excuse for something that you don’t find important enough to do. When you find something that really matters to you, you wouldn’t have any more excuses and you’ll do it like someone is pointing a gun at your head.
But if you still think you’re a perfectionist, let’s compare you to another perfectionist. Let’s Google famous perfectionist together, and I’m sure one name will pop up on your screen – Steve Jobs…
Now, do you think that he ever said those sentences that we mentioned above? Highly unlikely.
If You Had a Perfectionist Boss… (If You are a Perfectionist too, You’ll Understand, Else You are not a Perfectionist…)
Now, imagine you are working for a perfectionist boss like him. Do you think he will let you Don’t Do Anything because you are still processing?
No… You’ll have multiple versions – ready, working corrections overnight, and always ready to do a redo and even more.
Or if your boss gets a new idea, how much time do you think you have to show the new prototype or proposal? Wait till he/she has a clearer idea?
Perfectionist Or Not, It Doesn’t Really Matter – Deeds More Important than Titles
Then again, some people will say that Steve Jobs is not a perfectionist. He’s just a very demanding boss.
But whatever label people gave us or what we gave ourselves is not important.
Someone could give away their entire fortune. And people still say that he got rich by exploiting others. Someone who worked hard all his life, and is proud of himself, can still be labeled by others as a waste of life because they miss out on a lot of things, just to bring food to the table.
Now let’s go a bit deeper into some of the labels that we have.
We Are Not Good Enough… There’s Always More…
The number one label is nothing we do is good enough. There’s always more.
I’m very guilty of this, and the problem lies in the “Good Enough”…
For what? And for Who?
If we can compare ourselves to others, I would say that what we did was pretty much better than most of the people around us, but it wasn’t enough for us, ourselves.
My solution to this is to give them what they want but show them it could be better. Whether they follow it or not. It’s up to them. And keep on working on ourselves if time permits.
That’s how I label myself as a practical perfectionist.
There’s one Korean variety show that I like a lot, known as life perfectionist.
It goes to show how we can excel in the daily ordinary work that we are doing. But to be able to do things at that level? Always starts with a Willing Heart.
Relationship of Performing, Presenting, and Pretending
Being Able to Present Your Performance is More Important than Your Performance When It Comes to Pay
And usually how much we are paid does not relate to How good we are. It’s usually more to how we present our performance that affects our pay.
To sidetrack a bit here on a very different concept that I came to realize.
While Presenting pays more than Performance, Pretending pays even more than Presenting, unless Pretending gets caught. These days we have a lot of fake gurus while my fellow perfectionists are still hidden away from the world, mastering their craft.
For example, in web designs and sales funnel building, I’ve seen people charge almost $10,000 for what I think is at best a few hundred dollars.
While I have no problem with people selling stuff for thousands of dollars and I also paid thousands, the value delivered needs to match the price.
But that’s another YouTube video on my marketing channel on another day.
We are so demanding of ourselves and others.
Yes, it can be tiring working with us or for us. Just look at the interviews on YouTube of Apple employees that have worked with Steve Jobs. But then again, what have they gained? And what they have brought to the world?
And of course, there will be more people that we simply don’t click and we are not afraid to show it.
At this point, some people might say that “I believe my way is the best way”, and I agree.
Because it also applies to you.
To me, the best is always subjective. What is best for me may not be the best for you. Likewise, what is best for you may not be the best for me. That’s how life works.
And while we may appear not to be too friendly, or maybe it’s just me? Who take my limited time on Earth very seriously. We are always open-minded and objective to improvements.
So if you dare, help us to see things otherwise, as I’m always looking forward to the next intellectual “fight” to improve myself.
But one very important thing is that you attack the subject, not the person.
What is Perfect? Our Definition Could Be Very Different
If you are still here, I’d like to ask you what is perfect?
From the Oxford Dictionary, having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics as good as it is possible to be or completely free from faults or defects.
Now, if a student score 100 points out of 100 on a test, isn’t that perfect? Can you score a 101? Obviously not.
Here’s what Da Vinci says, using a poet as a metaphor…
A poet knows that he has achieved perfection.
Not when there’s nothing left to add,
but when there’s nothing left to take away.
So in his own words, you can always add more.
If you are an author, coach, entrepreneur, or marketer when you have your first client, isn’t that a perfect start? Or when a client went through your sales funnel and brought everything you have to offer? Isn’t that perfect? There’s nothing more you can sell…
Perfection: An Infinite Game
To me, Perfection is an infinite game and I borrow the infinite game theory from Mr. Simon Sinek. In a similar fashion, you can even exchange the word “perfection” for “infinite game”.
Check out his book
Or if you don’t know him – who is Simon Sinek? You should read his first book, “Start with Why”, especially if you are a fan of Steve Jobs. Or Check Our Blog Post on Start With Why here.
Now, what is your favorite soccer team? Manchester United? Manchester City? Liverpool? Chelsea?
Do you want the team to win every game? Every season? Even after the League was won? If your answer is yes, then my question to you is, Why are you aiming for perfection? Are you a perfectionist too?
So let’s say they had a game without any errors. Trashed the other team 5-0. Isn’t that a perfect game?
So what is your definition of perfect? Comment in the YouTube Video above.
You can’t be a perfectionist if you don’t understand what is perfect.
Super Organized = Perfectionist?
If that’s it a super organizer, You may not be a perfectionist too. It may be more of a controlling characters
- labels, labels, labels… Why waste time labeling when you know your stuff except for expiry?
- Right things in the right place versus chaos theory, the things are at where I want them to be or where I know them to be.
- When you are a perfectionist living a minimalist lifestyle, there’s not much to organize.
There’s also a famous saying that is either helping perfectionists or against perfectionists, which is “Done Beats Perfect“. Agree or disagree?
It’s helping in the sense to remind us when to stop. But to a perfectionist, “Done” was done long ago. We are already in the improvement stage.
Ask any athlete: “Why are they still practicing when they have already done one round of practice?” “Done Beats Perfect?” And see how they respond to you?
There was this one time when I helped a colleague, solve a Microsoft Excel problem, in minutes, where she struggled for hours. And then I started explaining the more advanced stuff to her on what she can do. And from the look in her eyes was like [Video showing Building Pyramid]
Well, Not Everyone Can and Want to go where we want to go. I’m sure we also have our limits, especially physical ones. They become more as we grow older. So Start Now on Whatever You Want to Do.
Working with a Perfectionist Colleague
If you have a perfectionist colleague, a real perfectionist that tells you “I’m still working on it.” Try asking him/her, “Can you show me what you have done? Maybe we can discuss how I can help?” (Provided you are not going to knock off on time) We always do what needs to get done.
While we are definitely not faster than a “Just Doer”. We are definitely better and I don’t even want to bore you with another story about how my boss learned a lesson on “Haste Don’t Make Pace“
“Fear of Failure”, or “I must appear without flaws.”
Do we fear death? Most of us do, especially when there are things that we want to accomplish, and people that we want to be with.
What does death have to do with failing? Death happens when your heart fails to pump and We usually don’t get to decide how and when we die. We can definitely decide how we lived.
So don’t give yourself an excuse to associate yourself as a perfectionist. If you are not doing anything, you are not a perfectionist.
A perfectionist is remembered for trying to be perfect.
Not that he or she is perfect. No one is perfect
Because Perfect is a very temporary state in the mind.
Just like the previous test paper. After the test, there are more tests.
And we have to show our imperfections or flaws on our way towards perfection.
With that. See you in the next video. Bye.