Mistakes on the Road to Success?


Perfection Could Mean Stagnation

As a general rule, we are taught from a young age to strive for perfection, and to accept nothing less in everything we do. While perfection in everything may be deemed a laudable goal, it can  mean stagnation and getting caught up in too many details.  You have heard about “analysis paralysis”…. As John Wooden taught his basketball players “If you are not making mistakes, then you are not doing anything. I am positive that a doer makes mistakes.” He calls them mistakes, I call them inflight adjustments.

Do You Make Inflight Adjustments?

In order to be a success, first you must try. Once you start taking a step towards your goal, “mistakes” may be made. It’s a simple fact of life and business—sometimes to jump ahead, you have to take a few steps to the side or even backwards. The trick is to not focus on the steps, but rather on the journey itself (Please read this again — another way to say this is focus on your desired outcome and not the details of the How’s) . As any successful business owner will tell you, the measure of success is not perfection, but rather persevering and adapting to new changes  (Making In-flight adjustments).

Do You Prefer To Be Perfect Or Profitable?

Think about some of the most successful businesses that you come in contact with everyday. One of the most successful examples of a business is Microsoft. The computer operating system of this company is known for having bugs, problems in the code, and many other characteristics. Based on this information, how are they so successful? The answer, I believe is their ability to take action, adapt to new environments, and make sure that their operating systems are the most widely available on the market. In addition, the “mistakes” made are truly learned from, as the various fixes that are featured in each new version.

If  they were to wait to be perfect… well, we may still be waiting to hear of Microsoft.

Connecting The Dots

If you were to create a line graph for a successful company comparing their profits over time, you would notice that the line isn’t a straight shot up the graph. There would be years where the profits would be down from the previous years, or perhaps even a few years when the profits were lower then desired. However, if you take a step back, the overall trend of the graph would be traveling upward, towards increasing profits.

Now take that same graph and use it to help illustrate your life.  Although there are plenty of adjustments you have made, the mere fact that you continue onwards is a testament to your success. If you do things you are bound to make seeming “mistakes”, but in doing so you are also bound to be successful. It is only a matter of time, intelligent choices, and staying in the game.

Categories : LMG News


  1. Jeannette says:

    You’re so right about how perfectionism gets in the way of moving forward. And it’s so easy to use it as an excuse to procrastinate. I think my biggest fear is of making a mistake. Thank-you for reminding us that for the most part, it’s better to make mistakes and keep moving than to be perfect.

  2. Joanne says:

    Dear Jeanette,

    Thank you. You are so right, it is one of the biggest fears. Once I understood this myself, I find it tremendously liberating to move forward. I know that I will be making in-flight adjustments and there is always room for enhancing and tweaking.

    Best Regards, Joanne

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