March 29, 2018 Pursuit of Perfection?

In life we are all working towards different goals.  When we set out to accomplish anything specific we must understand a few things about human motivation.  The pursuit of perfection can be dangerous to the human psyche.  If your goal is such that one mistake can keep you form the reward, and luck as much or more than skill is involved, you are setting yourself up for a major let down.  For the past few years we have worked on my team towards a very high standard and we expect to achieve that standard.  It is not impossible but a very small percentage of people ever reach this standard.  In doing so, it is important that our mindset be on appreciation for what we are able to accomplish and not the expectation that we set.  It is ok to be disappointed in not achieving a goal and recommitting to reach the goal on the next opportunity.  The danger is not being grateful for what you did accomplish.  It is interesting as I study this topic because the real secret is what we link to pain and pleasure.

An example would be very successful football coaches.  If you study some of the greats in history as well as in our day you will find that they hate to lose more than they love to win.  This has always fascinated me because I thought they were one in the same thing.  Learning of how the human mind works though it makes perfect since.  We will do more to avoid pain than we will to seek pleasure.  My point is if the pain is to great compared to the pleasure we seek then we will not be motivated as humans to sustain the effort necessary to achieve the desired outcome.  This is why appreciation is so important and we should not allow our emotions to be attached to the expectations of life.

Now do not misinterpret what I am saying.  I am not advocating setting the bar so low that we always overachieve.  I believe in massive goals that most would consider unrealistic because massive goals are needed to spur growth and creativity.  The point is we need to be careful on the focus point.  Not that we do not focus on achieving the target but rather when something happens to keep us from achieving, we appreciate what we have accomplished and then set out to achieve the goal again.  Remaining in a positive state is key to maintaining momentum.  We need the momentum to continue to grow if we are ever going to reach new heights.  After all, if we shoot for the stars and land on the moon, we are that much closer to the stars.  It is not over until we quit so there is no reason to be upset over expectations when we have so much to be appreciative and grateful for in our lives.

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