Striving for Perfection will kill us…

Sep 19, 2019

Striving for perfection will lead to burnout. Conversely striving for excellence will lead us to living happier more fulfilling lives. Learn more.


I was on a coaching call with one of our students today, and we talked about her goals, a year from now, and 3 years from now.


And what she said that really struck me, was how she just wanted to make enough to get by without a job, and no more.


Didn’t want to help anyone, had no mission except – replace salary.


She said specifically, she was tired of “always striving for excellence”.


The moment she said that, I could feel how she felt.  She was tired, burnt out.


Exactly how I felt when I first quit my corporate law career to start my online business.


The only difference was, I had told myself that I was leaving my 20 year career to lead a more excellent life.


I’ve also found that our most successful students are those who want more from life.  For many of them, money’s not the end goal.  Money’s important as you can’t do much good without it, but the common thread for them was that they wanted to do well, and do good.


So, I thought I needed to dive into that with her, and we went into it a little bit.


And as I suspected, it was just semantics or word choices – what she said and what I understood her to mean, were completely different.


She was speaking of being tired from pursuing perfection.


This is an easy one to mix up, because in many ways they’re so similar.


But perfection is not excellence.


Excellence demands that we do well with our lives, and then do good for all those around us.


On the other hand perfection often demands compromise.  In my own striving for perfection in my law career, I had compromised my health, my relationships.


And reflecting on that, corporate law is something that does demand perfection.  A mistake in a contract could have millions of dollars of implications, and so you “dot every I and cross every T”.


Perfection comes from a place of fear.  That mistake on the contract could mean financial ruin, a career disaster, and that will lead to the regret of not checking that document multiple times.


The moment she realized that, a spark returned to her eyes.  Her energy levels went up.  There were people she wanted to help.  She did want to make more than just to get by.


She had just put all these aside because she was approaching her goals from a place of fatigue and fear.


Realizing that enabled her to approach her goals from a place of love – loving herself, others around her – and to do well for herself and to be able to do good for other.


So if you are feeling burnt out, you can, in fact, you should build a business where you can work towards excellence – something that’s far more fulfilling and sustainable than perfection.




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