I can remember telling my sons, and later on, individuals who reported directly to me that I found perfection to be boring and frustrating. I urged them to pursue excellence, or, in other words, to do the very best they could with whatever they had at the time. You know, “play the hand you’re dealt” in the best way possible.
Individuals who pursue perfection – and many of us have met them (and some of you may be one of them) – are never satisfied. They are always looking for one more piece of information or data to help them make a decision or take action. Oddly, they never make that decision and end up frustrated and, in many cases, demoralized. They are, in fact, very unhappy people. I sometimes describe those seeking perfection as individuals who are “studying all of the sides of a circle.”
Unlike individuals who set stretch goals and who are resilient in order to effectively deal with setbacks, perfectionists aim high goals (and in some cases unrealistically) in order to demonstrate their value to others. Then, when they fall short they become brutally critical of themselves. This, in turn, leads them feeling that whatever they do is never enough. Perfectionism, left unchecked, can lead to serious mental health issues. I read recently that research suggests that being too hard on yourself can actually limit one’s ability to achieve success. Being perfect makes it harder to think clearly because of the stress that it causes.
Here are 5 simple actions you can take to offset any desires you might have to be perfect:
Focus on the best outcome you can deliver versus harshly judging yourself.
Focus on taking action to keep moving forward and learning as you go.
See mistakes as normal and as learning opportunities, and not as a “failing grade” on the imaginary report card in your mind.
Set realistic and achievable goals and celebrate small victories. Learn to give yourself a “high-5” at every opportunity that you can.
When being threatened by overwhelm and frustration, stop where you are and identify one positive action you can take – big or small (small is preferred) – that will change the momentum in your favor.
Give it your best effort. It’s really OK not to be perfect.
Productive people get more done, achieve better results and earn far more than everyone else by devoting maximum time on being “focused” on their top priority.
Focus is a matter of deciding on what things you’re not going to do. Great results are achieved by how narrow you can make your focus. You need to be doing fewer things for a greater effect or impact, instead of doing more things that only results in side effects.
We all have a hard time finding that one thing because we’re committed to too many other things. We tell ourselves several lies: Continue reading →
Do you think you need better “time management” skills? Or do you need better “YOU management” skills? Without clarity of goals, there’s no way you can ever manage your time. Learn what you need to do to better manage “you” in this video.
My daily routine involves reading the Wall Street Journal while having my first cup of coffee. During my “read”, I always find my way to the daily “Pepper…And Salt” illustration (yup, it’s a cartoon). This past week addressed the concept of focus in a very powerful yet simple way.
While wearing “The Cone” may not be a fashionable approach, the message – being focused – is important for each of us. What do you do each day to establish and maintain your focus on getting the right things done?
For starters, stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus – discipline yourself – to start each day working on those tasks that have the highest reward/payoff. The fact is, you can only properly focus on only a few “key” tasks at one time.
Here are the 4 simple steps you can take to stay focused and get the “right” things done: Continue reading →
Everyone wants to be a success. Yet very few realize the full measure of what it means to be a success. They end up settling for something less than what they originally set out to achieve. While success is personal to each of us, from my own observations there are common qualities and habits that the most successful people possess.
Look at this list of “10” ways successful people act and see how you measure up: Continue reading →
Of all the skills the best leaders possess, the most important one – in my opinion – is the ability to listen effectively.
When you listen effectively, you learn the right information. The right information is everything you, as the leader, need to properly assess a situation and in turn, make the right decision to get the right things done. Plus, listening effectively sends the message that “you care.”
Listening is a difficult skill to learn and master because it requires you to use your very best effort and focus to:
Sort through the clutter and emotion that often is associated with some conversations.
Ignore the distractions that are a part of all our days.
Eliminate all the unnecessary and unsolicited opinions of those involved.
Get the right facts.
There is an old expression “There are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth.” That sums up the challenges associated with being able to listen effectively. Continue reading →
In today’s challenging business environment, everyone struggles with how to get more done, work harder and longer hours, multi-tasking (multi-dumb!), working faster along with a full range of tricks and shortcuts. Yet despite everyone’s best intentions, the struggle continues every day at desks all around the world.
So, the solution may just be something simpler but challenging for those so set in their ways that they are unwilling to fully embrace the degree of personal change required. Here are the 4 steps – habits – you should consider adopting: Continue reading →
The basic tenant of leading anybody is to understand people. Understand how to select the right people, empower those that you selected, and then let them get on with what they have to get done.
Anyone can rise above and beyond their present level of performance. You need to re-energize yourself and commit to taking the right action.
You can control your destiny. It all starts with making a choice, deciding what you want, and then taking the necessary steps to achieve your goal.
Lead from the front and set an example. Don’t expect someone else to do it if you’re not willing to do it first.
Get up every morning, look yourself in the mirror and ask: What can I do better today that I didn’t do yesterday? Continue to raise the bar and set your expectations higher.
You need to have passion for what you’re doing and a plan to be successful. See clearly where you want to be in the future, and then formulate the steps it will take to get there.
You don’t have to be the best, just be good, which leads to better, and then best.
There are a lot of “bests” out there and it can be tough to compete. But, if you brand yourself properly and are bringing something to the table that hasn’t been done before, you’ll soon become the “best.”
Invest in knowledge for yourself and your team, and then use it. It doesn’t matter how good your plan is, it’s all about how well you execute it. Your plan is only as good as the people, skills, attitude, and knowledge that you have in place at that time.
Failure happens. When it happens to you, learn from it. And when you fail, fail fast and keep moving. I follow and subscribe to the following mantra when mistakes or failure happens: “Own it, Fix it, Learn from it and Move on.”
We cannot control many of the outside forces or events that bombard us every day. Focus on what you can control.
Get moving. Don’t stand there and think; get clear on your desired outcome and take the first step, then another. Consistent and focused action gets results; you stall…you lose.
The one thing that we have absolute, complete and total control over is our mind and the thoughts we harbor in it. Stop focusing on just the negatives.
It’s time to start focusing on possibilities, rather than on limits and obstacles. You need to set yourself free. This means you must give yourself permission to dream and to take risks.
Real limits will not box you in because you can always find a way to deal with them. It is the false ones you are carrying around in your mind that become the self-imposed prison of your dreams and goals.
Self-doubt is what does the most damage. Don’t give it any mental space.
The best way to not give doubt any mental space is to fill your mind with dreams, goals and a vision, and act like success is your only option.
I read once that if you give the world the best you have, the best will come back to you. John Wooden the legendary basketball coach at UCLA once said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
Now, I know we are dead for a long time; the fact is you only get one life, so why not get the most out of it? Make it a point to have fun. Taking life too seriously will kill you. You work hard so there should be no guilt associated with the pursuit of happiness and the enjoyment of your life.
Make time every day to be grateful for all that you have; maybe the first thing in the morning or the last thing every evening. Many spend far too much time obsessing either over what others have or what is missing in their own life. If you want more, then pursue it.