Don’t wait until everything is just right!
“Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.”
This is a great quotation from someone who co-authored Chicken Soup for the Soul with Jack Canfield; a project that no one believed would be successful, that more than 100 literary agents and publishers turned down and literally laughed both authors out of their offices.
Yet Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield had a vision, one that they totally believed in, one that would make a difference to the world.
They got started.
They took five steps daily to make that vision happen. With each step along the way they grew stronger, more skilled, more focused and confident.
They made necessary adjustments along the way as they ran into obstacles and challenges, and in the end, the Chicken Soup for the Soul series went on to sell millions upon millions.
Who’s laughing now?
The people who turned Mark and Jack down? I don’t think so.
This led me to think how most people approach life, their aspirations, their goals, and their lifestyle. Most start something that they consider will be a great novel or a great business venture, yet they do not send the manuscript to a literary agent or they do not open the door to their business.
Why do you suppose that is?
One of the answers I can summarise in one word:
Before that manuscript is sent off to a literary agent or publisher, the author believes it has to be perfect. And before the door is open for business everything has to be just right, flawless.
Perfection delays many aspirations and ambitions.
Someone I once knew wrote a first draft to a novel he believed was unique. In his quest for perfection, he has re-written that first draft time and time again, believing that each time he is improving on it, making it ‘perfect’.
He went over the manuscript again and again, from beginning to end, making all sorts of changes, collecting new ideas, changing his mind, crossing out those ideas and writing new ones, and then he goes through the manuscript yet again, from beginning to end, making even more editions and changes, getting other ‘better’ ideas with the thought that it’ll be perfect this time round.
This went on and on and on, and by the 29th so-called first draft he thought, “That’s better. That’s something I can be happy with.”
That was nine years later.
The thing that he hadn’t realised was that what he considered he was happy with, might not be what the literary agent might be happy with. Who’s to say the other person will be happy with the 29th draft? In other words, the author’s ‘perfect’ might not be the literary agent’s ‘perfect’.
So what’s perfect anyway?
In whose opinion is anything perfect?
What I may think is perfect you may think is hideous. You may have the perfect business concept, or the perfect ready-for-print manuscript which I may think is terrible.
I believe, so long as you are comfortable and happy with your end result or product, go ahead and bring it to fruition.
Take the next step to reveal it to the world. If and when you discover it requires polishing or editing go ahead and polish and edit. At least you will have a point of reference to measure against.
The thing that stops most people from taking their product or idea to the outer world is perfection.
They doubt their product. They ask questions such as, “Is it good enough?” or “Could I make it better?” or “It’s nowhere near as perfect as I would like it to be, or can make it, is it?”
Where’s the law that says everything must be perfect before it is unleashed?
I haven’t seen it.
You don’t need to perfect the project before you present it, for as I said, what may be perfect to you may not be to others. Present it and then make the necessary corrections and editions.
As Mark Victor Hansen said, get started now.
Each step that you take will be a learning process, where you will grow stronger, become more skilled, have more self-confidence and, ultimately become more successful.
Why not make it a point to read that quote every morning and every night?
More than likely, you will see the brilliance behind it.
By the way, who was that person who wrote the first draft 29 times?
It was me. Then guess what happened after I finished the first draft?
The horror! It died with my external hard drive.
I lost it all. I didn’t have a back up copy of it. All that work went down the drain. Was I frustrated and angry when my had drive died.
You better believe it. I lived with the anger for years. I used to scream at this ‘dream-stealer’ called PERFECTION.
I screamed and screamed until I finally let the anger out of my system.
After a (long) while, all that anger and frustration was gone.
I can actually talk about it (as I am now) without getting angry and frustrated. I learned to back up my back up — something a PC World tekkie told me to do.
I purposely make it a point NOT to do things perfectly.
Sometimes I even purposely burn my toast, overcook my scrambled eggs. When I drop something on the floor, I don’t pick it up. I leave it making a mess in my room. I stopped straightening my pens, organising my books in my bookshelf, arranging my filing system so orderly.
You get the idea!
I can proudly say:
Aha. Gotcha. Perfection — out of my system you go!
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Hani A Al-Qasem is a personal development educator who specialises in the life and success mindset.
Having devoted over 17 years to the study of human potential and personal development, he is committed to inspire, support and motivate people to create a better and more optimistic world for us all to live in.
Hani A Al-Qasem believes that together, as human beings with a conscience, we can share our expertise, our strengths, our passion, our gift to create awareness that there is another way to make things happen. Instead of ‘changing the TV channel’ because we can’t bear to watch the harshness of life around us, we can take combined action to transform lives.
We cannot change the circumstances that brought people to where they are, but we can change their thinking, from within, to improve the quality of their present and future lives.
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