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The Best is the enemy of the Good.

A quirky piece of human psychology drives millions into mediocrity without them even knowing. They used to say the road to hell is paved with good intentions and so the term the best is the enemy of the good has a similar affect.

I am talking of the restrictions of perfectionism . A desire to produce something perfect in an imperfect world. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do things as well as possible and all things need preparation rehearsal and practice . However the best way to find that perfect state is to chuck an imperfect thing out into the world and build on it. Perfectionism becomes crippling and people feel something is never good enough. Looking for the perfect partner can end with finding no partner at all.

An American survival expert (who trained the US Navy) friend of mine describes how you build a shelter in the wild. You build it and when it lets the weather in you improve on it until it becomes water and wind proof. Business is similar Do all your preparation but at some point start the business. It is only when you actually get going that you see where to iron out the wrinkles.

Over and over again history has demonstrated that those who succeed get started and learn on the job. I followed a recent TV series about the formation of the Special Forces within the UK Military in the Second World War. This showed how chaotic were their early missions. They got started and honed their skills as they went along to become one of the most efficient fighting forces in the world.

There are countless examples of individuals and groups alike who started before they were ready and pulled it off. If we always wait till the right time most of us will miss the boat. I finish with the quote from the famous American motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. ” Most people go to their graves with their music still in them. ” Many of these are perfectionists who had the best of intentions and lots of ability but never quite got started.

Peter Bull (Author of the Get In Touch Series)

Published inIdeas Worth Consideration.