6th October 2023
Have you ever found yourself stuck in the middle of a project with needle and thread, or perhaps unable to complete an almost completed project?
Chances are it’s happened to most of us, and whilst the reason it occurs will vary from person to person, a recent email from The Tonic had us thinking about some of the projects we’re yet to lay the final stitches on.
Their email opened with a question, ‘What’s the difference between a perfectionist and a high achiever?’
According to their definition, whilst both types are driven to succeed, high achievers are motivated by enjoying the process, learning new things, and seeing progress. Whilst perfectionists are compelled by fear, over thinking and doubt.
‘Trying to create something perfect means living in a world where the tweaking never ends, and projects never reach completion.’
Is it possible we’ve allowed the ideal of perfect to creep into some of our time with needle and thread and that’s why the projects aren’t complete?!
If we’re honest, the answer is probably yes.
If you’re now considering that some of your stitching has befallen the same fate and may be considering the same questions The Tonic put to their readers – ‘when is good enough?’ and ‘how do you know when to stop refining your work?’ – you might be surprised by the simple answer they put forward.
Drawing from the wisdom of Saturday Night Live producer, Lorne Michael, whose philosophy was ‘we don’t go on because we’re ready, we go on because it’s 11:30’, The Tonic have come to see that when we meet the deadlines we set for ourselves and our work goes out into the world, we’ll learn that even though we may have released work with imperfections, everything is still ok.
Not only is everything still ok, but chances are people will enjoy what we produce without seeing the imperfections we may know are there!
As The Tonic went on to explain, the more we’re able to stick to our deadlines, not only will it get easier to release our ‘imperfect’ work to the world, but we’ll produce larger quantities of work which over time will make us ‘better at our craft because we’re spending more time creating, not fretting over minute details’.
They closed their email with the challenge to set a deadline for a project we’re buried in right now, so we’re off to lay the final stitches of that almost complete project or two, or three…