Many of us often beat ourselves up for not making the progress that we want to, however even little steps need to be acknowledged as moving forward. We also strive for perfection in a world that is far from it. Today I will help you to learn how to focus on making progress versus perfection.
Little Steps, Always Moving Forward
As I mentioned above, when taking even little steps you are still moving forward. Think of it as the classic story of the tortoise and the hare. While the hare was much faster, he was often distracted by things that were not important. The tortoise meanwhile just kept taking step after step until he won the race.
A great movie that really digs into this concept is Meet the Robinsons. I remember taking my kids to see the movie and while it was really entertaining, it also had a great message about keeping yourself moving in a positive direction. If you haven’t already seen the movie I would definitely recommend it.
Another perspective to think about it is driving at nighttime. Your headlights only shine so far ahead on the road, but we know that we can keep driving as there is more ahead. Add in the road signs that help guide our way and you have a great metaphor for life. We may not be able to see what lies ahead, but our lights and the signs will help to guide us along.
Progress Versus Perfection
Then next thing to keep in mind is how much more important it is to have progress versus perfection. This is a matter of where you are putting your focus and that my friend is the key to moving forward in a positive fashion.
There are two obvious places that you can place your attention, either on the things you have not yet accomplished or you can acknowledge what you have already completed. If you beat yourself up over the things that you have not yet accomplished, you are only taking the focus away from all the stuff that you have.
Once you can learn to be aware of what needs done still and choose to focus on what you have already accomplished, you will start to see how much more progress you can then make. Just like life in general it is always a balancing act, but one that can easily be won with a bit of mindfulness.
This is actually something that I myself have been working on for a long time. When it comes to doing things I used to be held back by the idea of not being able to do it perfectly. However, I have learned that only keeps me from learning how to do something in the first place.
This website is a perfect example. When I first got into learning about website creation I did so because I wanted to make a one just like this. However, not knowing what I was doing I decided to use a different topic to learn with the plan of coming back to doing this.
What I learned is that I only held myself up for two years worth of progress lost while I worked on my other website. That site turned out to be a great site in it’s niche and has been a template that I have used for every each one I have created since then. Had I started off with what I wanted to do in the first place I would have much more progress under my belt by now.
One last example I would like to share with you is building something with Legos. Let’s say you want to build a big castle and at first it can seem very daunting looking at all of those tiny little pieces. However, each time you add a piece you are now closer to achieving your goal and you have made progress. The castle can’t just be completed instantly, it needs each and every little step to bring it into life.
But What if I Fail?
Failure is a part of life and there is no getting around that. As a matter of fact most of today’s successful people will tell you that they have failed more than they have ever succeeded. You see with each failure comes knowledge of what does and doesn’t work.
Let’s take for example learning how to play baseball. Between my own childhood and my oldest son’s career with the sport, I have never seen a new player come in and play perfectly. Some may have more natural talent for the sport than others, but we all had to come in and make mistakes and learn from them.
With each swing and miss we learned how to better focus on the ball. With each hit we knew what we did better and then incorporated it into our future attempts. It is a process of trial and error, but both success and failures are learning moments to help us improve.
If you want to get a more in depth look at this perspective, check out my previous article: The Importance of Learning from Mistakes. I would highly recommend it as it will help alleviate the fear of failure and help turn it into a motivating factor instead.
What are Your Thoughts?
As always I would like to encourage you to share your thoughts and perspective on the subject. In doing so we can both learn more together and perhaps help someone else that happens by here.
If you enjoyed this article Here are some others that I have written that tie into this subject well:
- The Importance of Learning From Mistakes
- Mindfulness – Why it is Important
- Positive and Negative Thinking – How to Live a Better Life
- Managing Emotions in the Decision Making Process
- How to be Appreciative by Being Open Minded
Thanks for stopping by today. I hope that you were able to learn something and to get a better perspective on life. Stop by any time!
James W D