Don’t Let Perfection Win

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

Salvador Dali

There was this friend of mine in middle school who would always rip up his drawings in art class. His work was great, but I can’t remember a single piece he finished without tearing it to shreds. Well… that’s not entirely true— he could draw the best Patrick Star you’d ever lay your eyes on. But even sketches of Patrick were in danger of the trash bin. (One time our teacher—bless her— tried to show him that even torn art is still worthy of being art. She took the drawing of a fish he trashed and glued it back together on a piece of black cardboard paper and made a mosaic out what remained)

We and the rest of our friends had a great time in school and didn’t take things too seriously. So I also chalked up his actions as not prioritizing the class and looking for a laugh from the class.

But now thinking back (and probably misremembering everything) I think the opposite was true. He cared. He cared about his art. He cared so much that he wanted it to be perfect, and when it didn’t meet perfection he tossed it aside.

I’m not criticizing. I’m guilty of being caught in perfection grip too.

There are many ways perfection can get the better of you.

  • Thinking your work is not good enough to finish.
  • Never being satisfied with what you do and accomplish.
  • Never starting because you don’t think your “skills are ready yet”.
  • Waiting for the right time.
  • Waiting for inspiration.

Starting isn’t always difficult for me. But when it comes to things that I really care about I put too much pressure on my self to be great before. It’s not until I let it all go and focus on making a little progress each day that I can finally move past perfection. It helps to remember that being perfect really doesn’t matter as long as you are having fun and giving it your best.

Every imperfection in your work is another example of what makes it uniquely yours.

Don’t let perfection stop you from pursuing your dreams. #RenaissanceLife

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #882

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