Strive for Progress, not Perfection

Hoorah! We have made it through to 2021! It certainly has been a year that no one will ever forget, and we are all relieved to be starting a new year with the promise of brighter times, brighter days, and brighter prospects!

As with the beginning of each new year’s, If you listen carefully on January 1st you can hear hundreds upon hundreds of New Year resolutions being enthusiastically uttered! Do you remember last years? Well last year probably is not such a good example as everything was turned upside down, and then repeatedly bounced up and down!  

If you did manage to fulfil last year’s new year resolution, then BIG CONGRATULATIONS to you! Well done!  However we’ve probably all been the victim of starting out with the best of intentions and quickly becoming despondent in our resolve. 

The Chinese have an absolutely fantastic expression that encapsulates this idea: hu tou she wei (虎头蛇尾) – The literal meaning is a Tigers Head and a Snakes Tail. The meaning:  A big bold strong roaring start but a skinny weak vanishing finish.  Such a great word picture! How can we avoid having a tigers head and snakes tail?  How can we be Tiger all over?

One of the key mistakes we all make is to think in terms of Success and Failure.  We focus on Perfection.  If we haven’t reached the pinnacle of perfection we feel that we have somehow failed…..(the snakes tail) and the despondency starts to set it….and that’s it for another year!

Thankfully real life is not split up into these two categories…but is an array of many many beautiful colours.  

What do we need to do?

Change our mindset! Strive for Progress not Perfection.  

A great example of focusing on progress and not perfection is learning a new language.  Everyone who has learnt a new language will immediately understand.

For example:   You take a holiday to the beautiful City of Venice, you are completely entranced by the romantic language and promise yourself that you will learn Italian ready for your next trip and many future trips to come.  You return to Italy the following year and greet the owners of your accommodation, order a beautiful glass of Rioja and a delicious Margherita Pizza all in Italian! What a success!

The waiter, so impressed by your Italian enthusiastically starts talking to you about a day trip to the local vineyard …but unfortunately you have no idea what he’s talking about….! Are you still a success? YES. The key is to focus on your progress…..Last year you couldn’t even greet someone in Italian now you can greet them and order delicious food and wine at a restaurant!  You resist the temptation to feel disappointed that you couldn’t understand everything the waiter was saying and instead choose to focus on your progress!  What a raging success - you feel great.

Try and remember:

The Results of Focusing on Perfection

  • Disappointment.  Like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow perfection is an impossible goal.

  • Demotivation.  The journey between starting and perfection (the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow) is too great. This will slow us down and demotivate us.

  • Negativity.  We may become self-critical and start comparing ourselves with others – this is a classic mistake.  If you are always looking around at others you will not be looking forward.  

Once we focus on Progress and not Perfection we will see life in a variety of beautiful colours.

Try and remember:

The Results of Focusing on Progress

  • Excitement.  All our achievements will be celebrated – no matter how small (like being able to order our wine in Italian)

  • Boosted Self Confidence.  ‘I’ve been able to do that, now I’ll be able to do this!’

  • Happiness.  If we are happy with ourselves and pleased with the progress we make then guess what we’ll find it easier to be happier with others and for others. Happiness is contagious.

  • Boosted Learning and Creativity.  Once we’re not stifled by perfection – we’ll take pleasure in learning new skills.

One of the things we love most at Computer Tutoring is witnessing the effect that learning new skills has on students. Time and time again our trainers’ comment that the best part of their job is seeing a student become excited about a new skill or all of a sudden realising how a certain formula could cut their workload by half…. Watching the penny drop or witnessing a ‘lightbulb’ moment.

Why not watch our latest video and see if you experience a ‘lightbulb’ moment? After watching ‘How to do Super Easy Accounts in Excel’ take the quiz to see how well you did!  

We really look forward to focusing on progress with you this year.

Enjoy learning!