Progress Vs Perfection
Have you ever had a vacation trip go a little off the rails? Maybe you got stuck in traffic for hours when it was supposed to be a clear drive, or maybe you took a wrong turn and ended up way off course. Maybe you even ended up somewhere else altogether than where you planned for a final destination!
There are times when those little changes can be exciting and fun, and times when they test your patience and sanity, but any time you travel you face those possibilities.
My wife and I flew to Oklahoma this year to see her sister. The entire family was coming from far and wide to see her, so it was a nice little getaway...until we tried to go home.
We got the first flight back on Sunday morning so we could get home early. The rest of the family was sleeping in while we were at the airport, bright-eyed and ready for the return trip. We arrived at the gate only to find them loading passengers from an earlier flight on our plane due to a technical error on their plane. We were told we'd be going out on time anyway.
We didn't. In fact, we were at the airport when the rest of the family showed up a few hours later for their flights...got on their planes...and eight hours later all were sitting in their homes while we were still in the airport in Oklahoma!
Eventually, we did get home again after watching group after group get on their planes while we waited for just the right one to take us home. It wasn't a fun way to end the trip, but it's always a possibility on any journey.
I have talked to a lot of people who want to move forward in an area of their life either personal or professional, but never find that perfect time to take the first step. They want to make certain there are no mistakes or hazards they've missed, and that their growth will be without a hurdle.
The problem is they never usually take any steps forward because, truthfully, there is no perfect journey. But every step forward is progress.
Remember these four things about personal growth:
1) The perfect time to start the journey is today.
Waiting doesn't help because you'll end up talking yourself out of trying. You may have a sincere desire to move forward in an area of your life, but the longer you wait, the more momentum you lose in actually starting. It's not always a good idea to hesitate to begin the journey once you have a clear goal in mind.
2) You can always find excuses to wait.
It's not a convenient time. You don't have all the resources you need lined up perfectly. You just can't work it into your busy schedule. There is no limit to the excuses you can use if you look for them. Just remember, you're going to end up being exactly where you are now and doing what you're doing now in 365 days if you don't work on your personal growth.
3) It doesn't always have to be astronomically life-altering.
If you make progress in small areas of your life, you'll begin to see the power of momentum. It begins to accelerate and you'll start to believe in yourself more as you approach the bigger challenges. There's nothing wrong with beginning in little areas before you push toward those huge ones. It still counts!
4) Progress beats perfection because you're doing something.
Now I'm not saying rush headlong into the abyss with no idea what you're doing or where you're going, but once you have clear ideas of what you want to do and how to begin, then what's stopping you? Every step forward is closer to your goal, even if it's a small step. Want to get out of debt? Save $1 today and it'll add up over time. Want to finish a degree? Try online classes if that's all you can make work with your schedule. Want to start your own business? Write a clear-cut business plan and see what your first steps are to get started. Want to take a dream vacation but can't afford to right now? Map out the route you'll take and make a list of the things you'll do, then put it up where you'll see it often and be motivated to save for it. Things like these seem almost inconsequential at times, but add up over time and all count as progress.
Again, don't be reckless and rush haphazardly into the unknown without a plan. Carefully map out your growth journey first, even if it's just the first few steps. But after that, start working on moving forward in some areas where you can.
Progress is still progress. You don't have to finish the journey in a single day, but you have to start the journey to finish it.
You weren't born to be average. Don't allow yourself to stay that way.
P.S. I would love to help you move forward in your personal growth journey, even if it's just the first steps. For more information about my coaching program, click the button below.