Perfection versus Process

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe Senate Finance Committee’s move to approve the 10-year health care reform plan yesterday (as well as the unsurprising backlash) got me thinking: there really are people out there who are so concerned with perfection that they’re willing to paralyze the process.

And here’s where I raise my hand.

I am guilty. Throw the book at me and send my ass off to do community service.

I’ve had some amazing things happen with my business lately, all of which are a direct result of pulling my head out of my ass and focusing on goals instead of obstacles.

The issues facing our national health care dilemma aren’t unlike those facing my business and maybe yours as well. There will always be those more than happy to voice opinions of dissent against your actions, directions, motivations and words, but isn’t it really about The Process?

Christ, there isn’t a single policy in U.S. history that hasn’t been debated since inception. The Constitution (hell, people argue for or against it and interpret it for a living), prohibition (result – repealed), The Bill of Rights (also known as Why the Supreme Court Doesn’t Golf More). Health care reform is the same – and while I don’t particularly care where you personally stand on health care (if you’re interested, you can read where I stand here), it’s about taking action and not being paralyzed by perfection. Aside from giving women the right to vote and ending segregation, I doubt there’s one policy in U.S. history that we’ve gotten right from the get-go (and there are still those who would, unfortunately, argue with me on both those decisions).

Why do we expect the perfect solution for our health care challenge – or issues facing our business – from square one?

I’ve had the most success with knowing where I want to be and making goal-oriented decisions to help me get there. They’ve been – slap me and call me Sally – overwhelmingly RIGHT. Previously stalled by focusing on things like “I need more money to do that” or “No one’s going to listen to me because” or “Well, I don’t really need to do that now,” I asked a better question:

Why the hell not?

Suddenly, those things aren’t obstacles anymore. Why?

(stealing some more words from Nigel – my business coach)

I moved the train.

When I thought about my business, everything was “later” because I didn’t feel like I had what I needed. Thus, most of the things I wanted couldn’t be “now.” The train was miles down the track. I had no sense of urgency to shit or get off the tracks.

When you move the train – shorten your timeline, say “why NOT now?” – you’ve got a whole lot of motivation to take a crap, pull your pants back up and get moving.

My pants are up, and so are the pants of the U.S. health care system. Have we gotten it collectively RIGHT yet? Oh, hell no. But starting The Process and taking action starts moving us towards the RIGHT goals. We as business owners, not unlike the U.S. government, can change how we move along the way.

Paralysis by analysis or Progress via embracing The Process. Your choice, my friends. I know it’s mine.


10 comments
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Darren
Darren

Brava, as usual. How do they cram so many IQ points in that little head of yours?

Darren
Darren

Brava, as usual. How do they cram so many IQ points in that little head of yours?

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks all. It's nice to know sometimes that I'm not just a crazy lady with a keyboard and WordPress install ;-) The Redhead

The Redhead
The Redhead

Thanks all. It's nice to know sometimes that I'm not just a crazy lady with a keyboard and WordPress install ;-) The Redhead

Wumpie
Wumpie

I couldn't have written it better myself. Really, you wrote what I've also experienced -- but you wrote it better than I could have. I used to buy all the right equipment or take all the right classes before I'd begin a project. Everything had to be PERFECT before I'd start. Someone told me about achieving EXCELLENCE as opposed to perfection. Perfection is not measurable since you can always improve upon it; whereas excellence for some reason seems more open than perfection. Creative projects have no correct "answer" so perfection cannot be determined. This shift in thinking has helped me to tackle projects, accept imperfection and enjoy the learn-as-I-go process.

Wumpie
Wumpie

I couldn't have written it better myself. Really, you wrote what I've also experienced -- but you wrote it better than I could have. I used to buy all the right equipment or take all the right classes before I'd begin a project. Everything had to be PERFECT before I'd start. Someone told me about achieving EXCELLENCE as opposed to perfection. Perfection is not measurable since you can always improve upon it; whereas excellence for some reason seems more open than perfection. Creative projects have no correct "answer" so perfection cannot be determined. This shift in thinking has helped me to tackle projects, accept imperfection and enjoy the learn-as-I-go process.

Regina
Regina

Such sound advice... I just discovered your blog last week and have become quite enamored of it. This just happens to be the perfect thing for me to read at this juncture!

Regina
Regina

Such sound advice... I just discovered your blog last week and have become quite enamored of it. This just happens to be the perfect thing for me to read at this juncture!

Harlan
Harlan

I'm paralyzed by perfection all too often (actually, I'm partly paralyzed in reality). But there have been some momentous bills that were passed without debate -- like the "commodities modernization act" that help get us into this terrible mortgage mess. The memory of that would be enough to paralyze me the rest of the way, if I were a lawmaker. Clearly few Congresspeople foresaw where that was going. I dearly hope we get a decent health care package -- but I'm worried about the lack of tort reform. My 1st-person experience is that a lot of expensive tests are driven by CYA policies meant to stave off lawsuits.

Harlan
Harlan

I'm paralyzed by perfection all too often (actually, I'm partly paralyzed in reality). But there have been some momentous bills that were passed without debate -- like the "commodities modernization act" that help get us into this terrible mortgage mess. The memory of that would be enough to paralyze me the rest of the way, if I were a lawmaker. Clearly few Congresspeople foresaw where that was going. I dearly hope we get a decent health care package -- but I'm worried about the lack of tort reform. My 1st-person experience is that a lot of expensive tests are driven by CYA policies meant to stave off lawsuits.

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  1. […] spoke about this on my business blog (Perfection versus Process) and here on Redheaded Fury ([Olive] Oil and Water). Yet the question keeps coming up. I have no […]

  2. […] spoke about this on my business blog (Perfection versus Process) and here on Redheaded Fury ([Olive] Oil and Water). Yet the question keeps coming up. I have no […]

  3. […] spoke about this on my business blog (Perfection versus Process) and here on Redheaded Fury ([Olive] Oil and Water). Yet the question keeps coming up. I have no […]