“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
This past week was rough for me. I thought it would go smoother, but there were times I lost focus. It was the end of the month, and I fell short on some of my goals (more so financially). I expected it, but I wanted things to go better than usual. I reminded myself that things wouldn’t be perfect; instead, we need to strive progress, not perfection.
Strive progress not perfection
If we choose perfection over anything else, we’ll continuously fail and never learn from our mistakes. To learn from our failures is the best thing we can do to improve ourselves. Learning from our own mistakes is progress, which can have high paybacks down the road. Making progress, step-by-step in a long time, is the best approach to achieving perfection in a single hour or day.
Strive progress not perfection: Don’t fall for societal expectations.
For many people, they follow expectations from others surrounding them. Whether that’s through family and friends, years in school, or watching mainstream media, they are to live the traditional route of life. That perfect life (AKA the safe path) would include a cushy office job, a lovely house, decent health care, and 401k retirement savings. When people fall for what others want out of them, they settle for less. They live a life that other people expect rather than living the life they want.
Strive progress not perfection: My situation
Over the years, I was someone who obeyed societal expectations because it sounded like the right thing to do. Loving parents raised me, went through the traditional school system, and a fantastic job with benefits. Though I will forever be grateful and love my family, I’ve come to where I disagree with them about expectations. I realized that I need to do what’s in my best interests. Whereas what they think is best for me in the long haul.
Strive progress not perfection: Perfection is the ultimate self-defeat
When choosing perfection, immediately, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If it’s a small thing, enjoy checking off every single task on your to-listed, that’s not always good. Some days you’ll get everything checked off, while others you’ll fall short on. That’s ok because we as humans are imperfect. As imperfect as we are, life happens. Unexpected things come up, and we have setbacks. As the saying goes, “- -it happens.”
Strive progress not perfection: Don't settle
For societal expectations, that can be self-defeating on its own merits. By choosing to live the perfect lifestyle that others want to see, you’re giving on your dreams. For me, it’s settling for average and remain in middle-class status. A life that makes you happy and reaches your true potential. Choosing the perfect life that others want out of you is another way of saying, “I give up.”
Progress today means success later
All of us know that success doesn’t happen overnight. Though massive success may not happen to you tomorrow, making progress today through baby steps is the right path forward. Making progress through smaller steps is much better than trying to do one giant task in one day. For instance, starting a blog with 500 posts in one day sounds extreme and impossible. Creating the perfect blog in one day is not an ideal goal.
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Strive progress not perfection: Money doesn't come easily
For me, understanding the meaning of progress is easier than in previous years. Before, I was impatient with making money. I was all about instant gratification. I wish I could get the money sooner, but I understand that it doesn’t come easily. Now, I know that it takes time and effort to make something worthwhile and earn income. I’m glad I have self-discipline and patience so that way I can focus on my daily progress. At some point, the payoffs will come, and it’ll be enriching down the road.
Focus On The Big Picture
Another thing to keep in mind is your long-term vision. What I mean is: Where do you want to see your 5-10 years down the road? Do you see massive success, or finally live the dream lifestyle you always wanted? Practicing visualization is a great way to stay motivated and remain focus on the bigger picture. Although it may not be perfect now, visualizing today can give you a better understanding of your future self.
Each day, I write long-term and short-term goals. Visualizing it myself in a better position keeps my head up and stay focus on the progress I made so far. Some days (such as last week), I may have some setbacks. But I understand that it’s not the end-all-be-all scenario. I got to lift myself and remain focused on the bigger picture down the road.
Striving for progress over perfection is the best way to stay focused on your lifelong goals. Even taking small steps each day is making progress on its own. Choosing to ignore the small steps, and trying to be perfect will make your long-term vision much more challenging to achieve.
If there are days you’ve lost focus, take action, and reflect on what you accomplished so far. Take the next small steps forward and work your way up to reach your full potential.
What are some things you've done to make progress in your journey?
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