Progress Vs Perfection

How Successful People Get Things Done

When it comes to getting things done and completing goals its often banded around that either progress or perfection tend to be the main influencer. Some say progress is perfection, others vehemently defend one over the other. But what is the relationship between both and what truly matters when it comes to successful completion? In this short piece we aim to address exactly that question. Its a great question to address as it applies to so many things, from your career to marriage or health.

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Progress Vs Perfection

Progress is defined as forward or onward movement towards a destination (or development towards an improved or more advanced condition). It’s something that should come natural to everybody (key word being should). Perfection is defined as the state or quality of being perfect. Flawlessness. Both terms can be quite subjective and opinion based; perfection more so.

Can you remember being in school and having a project to complete? The deadline looms but you can’t bring yourself to hand it in yet because its not completely right. Sometimes the deadline is missed because it wasn’t “ready”. You’ve put in the hard work and effort; you have a complete piece of work but you ‘think’ it needs something more or some editing. At some point you decide to hand in your work (at which point you’ve already been docked a percentage due to lateness) and it comes back with a mark. Whether good or bad, the interesting thing is whatever you thought wasn’t perfect may not be the area your tutor thinks needs addressing. Crazy, right?

We’ve been taught and influenced through formal education that failure is bad (correction: failure is the worst thing ever!) You can envisions the streams of red ink across coursework and test papers, with the feelings of fear of rejected future college or work applications. As a result, years down the line we don’t make moves due to fear of failure.

“Failure works well as an instigator for progress”

Apple are a great company; earlier this year they became the most profitable company in history (Just to put it into context). They very openly declare their quest for perfection and yet they always release a new improved version of their products. An excellent use of progress and perfection. If Apple had waited for the iPhone to be perfect before they released it, we still be waiting to see it (bye bye profits).

 

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What Does History Teach Us?

Every successful athlete knows the importance of progress and perfection at the same time. Look at their career and see how they’ve changed and improved over the course of time. Thats progress. Now look at some of their interviews and hear about some of their training practices. You will notice immense repetition and insane dedication to perfecting their craft. Thats perfection.

The majority of great careers can almost always be attributed to consistent development whilst producing high quality at the same time.

Life tends to almost always show that mistakes are acceptable if they come after best efforts, hard work and attention to detail. Its negligence which should be punished and avoided at all costs.

 

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So What’s The Answer?

Progress helps you pull the trigger on execution, perfection drives the progression. Both are needed. One is not more important than the other but its important to recognize the magnitude of importance within each.

Those who are successful understand fully that you don’t need to know everything to accomplish something. You can’t always be right, you can only try.

“Perfectionism puts a halt on productivity but striving for perfection doesn’t”

If theres only one thing you take away, let it be this; produce high quality work consistently and deliver it straight away without hesitation.

Writing this piece was very interesting. Was my it the very best it could be? Did the point get across exactly as intended? Were all the points that pertain to such a topic presented? Either way the publish button was hit and now you’ve read it, because when all is said done, the only answer that needs a yes is ‘Are you happy with the quality of the final piece and your efforts?’

“Absolutely everything can be improved and done better. You can spend a life time improving something but then you deny yourself (and others) the joy of your end goal”

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What do think about  ‘Progress vs Perfection’ in relation to getting things done?

Comment below, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

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