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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Excellence vs Perfection

Recently a good friend mentioned being discouraged because no matter how hard she tried, she didn't feel like she was good enough.  I think we all strive for perfection in some way or another and when we don't reach it, we think there's something wrong with us.  So we hold back, which causes us to stop trying which causes us to feel bad about ourselves, etc...

I think perfection should be banned from our vocabulary and replaced with the word EXCELLENCE.  No one is perfect!  While we cannot be perfect in something, we can certainly achieve excellence.  Think of the recent Olympics held this past summer.  I don't recall anyone getting a perfect score in gymnastics yet no one would deny that the winners excelled in their sport, the best in the world.  And how did they attain such excellence?  They set a goal, worked hard, and didn't quit, no matter how many times they failed or how long it took. 

Several years ago, I wanted to learn how to make bread.  I carefully followed the recipe but when I took the loaf out of the oven, it didn't look like I expected.  My husband called it Brick Bread (good thing I love him).   I was frustrated but I really wanted to make an acceptable loaf of bread.  So, that was my goal.  Over the following weeks, I experimented with water temperature, room temperature, oven temperature, timing, ingredients and anything else I could think of that might affect the outcome.  My long-suffering family ate brick bread.  Eventually, I was able to consistently make a decent loaf of bread.  I could have stopped after the first loaf and declared that it was too difficult and that I'm no good at making bread.  But, that wasn't acceptable to me.

No matter how big or small the task is that you want to achieve, the steps are the same.  Make a realistic goal, work hard, don't quit.  It's that easy and that hard.  Don't try for perfection, strive for excellence.  Perfection discourages, excellence motivates.   And, don't be so hard on yourself.  


  1. Replies
    1. If there's one family that exemplifies excellence, it's yours. Your family is amazing!