Embrace Imperfection

There’s freedom in letting go of the notion that a task or project needs to be perfect. In making hamburgers one day, my son asked me if he was getting it perfect as he scooped the raw beef mixture onto the pan and shaped it into a patty. This was not a coincidence, as his teacher had just reported to me the previous day with a smile that everything at school was going “really well”—except that he seemed to want to get things perfect and that he would get frustrated when he didn’t. While we were making hamburgers, my son and I talked about how some things do need to be perfect. Other things just need to get done. And he needs to learn which is which. Performing heart surgery needs to be perfect. Making hamburger patties just needs to get done.


Is there something you’re holding onto because you are attached to an idea of what perfect is? We waste time and energy thinking about what would make something perfect and working to make sure it’s perfect. We continue to add extra steps to extend a task or project unnecessarily. We’re often hesitant to allow people to help or to delegate the task. In the end, we take more time and energy to get ‘er done or we don’t get ‘er done at all. There’s an impact on us, and there’s often a direct or indirect impact on those around us. Whether it’s putting together photo albums or updating a resume or tending to the backyard or putting together a fun weekend, sometimes we just need to get something done. It will be perfect the way it is, and perfect the way it isn’t. Our fantasy of perfect only exists in our own mind.


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