What are you doing?

As I watched a young but mature 11-year old artist tear up her painting and throw it in the trash, I wondered to myself what was going on. 

I asked her, “what are you doing, why'd you throw that away, it looked so good?” 

She said… “It’s not perfect.”

This caused me to pause for a moment and reflect on what a wise person once shared with me.  He said, “Chasing perfection is like chasing the golden egg.  It doesn’t exist.”

The point he was trying to make is that perfection is a subjective term.  What we might define to be perfect today, might not be so perfect tomorrow.  What someone else might define to be perfect for them, might not be perfect for us. 

As humans, we’re constantly growing and evolving and what we define to be perfect can, and often will change as we learn more.

What is Perfect Today?

Today we live in a world where information flows and our lives are impacted at a far greater pace that any point in history.  Today, we have more visibility to what is going on around the world than ever before.

We’re living in the most transparent time in history.  If there’s human indecency going on anywhere, we see it.  If there’s a disaster, a threat, a horrific event or a global panic, we hear and know about it.  At the same time, we see amazing things happening.  We see people sharing acts of love, kindness and caring.  We see people sharing their win’s and celebrations. 

Today… we judge more and accept more simultaneously than at any point in history.

We’re being wired to move faster and faster.  The speed at which we make decisions and navigate life today is unlike anything this world has seen before.  This has made it more challenging than ever to define what is “perfect” or what is “success” today?

Think about it for a moment: 

  • What is perfection today? 
  • How do you define success?

Everyone’s Dealing with Something

Over a career that includes interviewing 12,000 people, leading 20,000 employees and having conversations with over 180,000 business leaders from around this country, you learn quickly that good, bad or ugly, everyone is dealing with something in their life.

For some of us, those issues (good or bad) that we’re dealing with can feel big or “transformative” at times.  Others might see our issues as no big deal.  That’s life, right!? 

No two people are the same.  How we each define the magnitude of what we’re independently dealing with is based on our own experiences, moments and the influences in our life and what’ve learned from those.

At the end of the day, we’re all playing the same game. The game of life.  We might live to be 10, 20, 40, 60, 80 or maybe even 100.  Nobody knows for sure and no two people are playing the game the same way.  We’re all playing the game of life a little differently.

What I think is perfect, you might think needs a little more work.

A Perfect Moment

I asked the young girl, who had torn up her painting, “Why wasn’t your painting perfect?”

She said… “I have a vision.  I want it to tell a story and it’s telling the wrong story.”

Impressive.  This young bright mind had a vision for what she wanted her painting to communicate to her audience.  She was willing to start over and over until she felt it was perfect.

She didn’t care too much about what others thought of the previous versions, but she cared immensely about the final version of her painting and the story it would communicate.

Maybe perfection is a matter of perception.  Maybe the perfection wasn’t in her painting at all.  Maybe it was in her practice.  Maybe the perfection was in her focus and commitment.  Maybe the perfection was in her willingness to start over and learn from her previous attempts.

I asked her… “What did you learn from your previous painting?”

She said, “I learned that I enjoy painting.”

I replied, “Perfect.”

Who’s Golden Egg are you Chasing?

Consider this… maybe there is no such thing as perfection.   Maybe we’re supposed to be constantly learning.  Maybe perfection is simply defined in how well we position ourselves to play the game of life. 

  • Have you defined the game that you're playing?
  • Are you the leader in your life? 
  • Are you chasing your definition of success? 

If you are not the leader in your life, then somebody else is.  If you’re chasing a definition of success or perfection that’s been defined by someone else, you might be chasing their golden egg.

Pause, take a moment, create your own golden egg and define what success means to you.  Create your definition of perfection and a vision that you’re passionate about pursuing. Consider what succes looks like for you in one year, five years, or ten years. 

Embrace the idea that you’ll be constantly learning from every moment, experience and influence in your life as you pursue your vision.  Sometimes you’ll find that good will be good enough to get you to the next step in your journey. Sometimes you'll find that you need take what you've learned and start over.

That's ok... becuase when your vision for success is clear, and you believe it’s achievable, and you go to work on turning that vision into a reality, you will also find that you’ll experience more perfect moments in the pursuit of your golden egg (dreams) than you ever imaged being possible.

Ready to define what success means to you?

Ready to lead with confidence?  Ready to Create Your world?

Pick up a copy of Build YOUR Roadmap – Create YOUR World.