Progression, Not Perfection

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to sit around a table with a group of friends, talking about where we are, and where we want to go next in our lives.  The real topic: “Exactly what is the next adventure that we felt called to?”  One of the men was an old friend of mine named Jim.

I’ve known Jim for about fifteen years now.  Jim has always wanted to have his own business, but he’s always worked as an employee.  He has a deep, burning passion—a dream that he wants to create a business around.  This dream could easily be monetized; it’s really a great idea.  But as of now, he’s not taken the action to make that dream become reality.

He’s frustrated.  We could all hear it in his voice.  At a certain point, Jim said that he just didn’t know which way to go.  He said that he felt like he has always ridden on the  coattails of others.  He wants to blaze his own trail.

In short, he felt stuck.  It was a brave thing for him to admit.

At that point, I remembered something that I’d learned years ago, that might also help you. 

“Jim, why don’t you sit down and write out a paragraph or two about who you want to be and where you want to go.  Then every morning and every night before you go to bed, read it to yourself.  Write it out today, then tomorrow morning, read it.  You’ll probably want to revise it a little tomorrow too.  Something else will come to mind.  You’ll begin to change the words to “flow” more smoothly.  You’ll add new thoughts and delete others.  It’s a work in progress, just as you are.”

His problem wasn’t lack of energy or passion.  It was lack of clarity.  He wanted perfection, before he took action.

“Jim, what you really want is progression, not perfection.  Don’t wait for it to be perfect because it never will be.  Just go for progression.”

Each morning I read a document that I’ve created called my “Ideal Self.”  It’s one page long.  In it, I describe what I’ve chosen to become in relation to my profession, income, family, relationships, spiritual life, what I do for fun and recreation, and also the physical part of my life.  This document changes.  I make major changes once a year.  But after that, not often and not much.  Over time, I’ve refined it to what that year’s “Ideal” is.

I read this Monday through Friday, because I know that I have a great propensity to “drift.”  I can get myself off track fast, and this 2-3 minute read, helps me to remember what’s important.  I have to make this decision daily.

I’ll never be perfect and neither will you.  But we can progress towards that which God has called us.

So I’ll challenge you—what’s your ideal?  Where exactly do you want to go in life?  Why not sit down and write out a paragraph or two today to clarify this in your own mind.  It doesn’t have to be perfect!

And then tomorrow, read it and hone it…

I thank you for being a reader…  Please forward this to others!


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