Elizabeth Gilbert — author of “Eat, Pray, Love” — has a great story about creativity.
She talks about how dozens of people asked if she was worried she would never write something as big as EPL again.
And then she starts thinking, “What if they’re right?“
Those doubts lead to her throwing the next book straight in the bin, never to be read.
To publish another book, Elizabeth tells us how she had to come to terms with the fact that whatever she wrote would never be as successful as Eat Pray Love.
Seth Godin calls this, ‘Giving yourself a D’ so you can move on and make something better. It’s not a Fail but it’s definitely not great.
When I heard this for the 47th time it was like a weight had been lifted.
I was finally free to do some writing. There’s no way I can publish every day without most of it being below average. And none of it will be perfect.
The thinking is that if I write enough, somewhere along the way there might just be something that blows your fuckin’ mind.
But I’m not making any promises; except to show up every day and write.
Perfection is an illusion of the mind.
It’s natural, though, to look at all the ‘perfect’ pictures on social media and wonder if they have something we don’t.
But there is no one-size-fits-all magic solution to get what we want overnight.
We might get lucky, but even winning the lottery screws people up.
And trying to fit into someone else’s idea of perfect only ever ends badly.
If you’re still looking for the ‘perfect diet’ or the ‘perfect workout’ or ‘perfect partner,’ stop.
It’s not going to happen because it doesn’t exist.
What does exist are the fruits of people who took action towards their dreams, screwed it up, and carried on anyway.
Find what works for you, do it every day, and build from there.
Fuck everybody else’s perfect.
‘Perfect’ might just be the most useless, mean, and stupid word in the English language.
It trips us up and it holds us back and it turns our heads.
First, let’s get this one thing clear: perfection doesn’t exist.
It’s an illusion of the mind.
Everyone from Plato to Taylor Swift has said this.
If you’re waiting for the ‘perfect time’ or the ‘perfect job’ or the ‘perfect idea’ you’re going to be waiting an awfully long time.
The irony is that the word ‘perfect’ comes from the Latin word for ‘completed’ or ‘accomplished.’
Instead of aiming to create something ‘perfect,’ we should aim just to complete it.
Accomplishing something badly is far closer to perfection than never starting it at all.
I’m happy with getting it done.