Don’t Fear Perfection — You’ll Never Reach It

Why do we want our doctors to be perfectionists but not us?

We have high standards when our health is on the line.

Maybe that’s why almost every patient that is about to have a procedure says the same thing – “my doctor is the best”.  We never say, “my doctor is not a perfectionist, she just does her best”.

When we spend money on dining, we want the chef to get everything right not half-baked.

If we demand perfection, why doesn’t it work out for us when we try to deliver it?

My father was a perfectionist and I have some of those qualities, too.  They can drive you mad getting OCD over having everything just so.

I really don’t want to change even though I admit it makes me miserable at times.  Okay, a lot of the time.

But I am coming to discover a way of reconciling perfection with a good job.

I think about sports.

No team sends their players in to do their worst.  Okay, maybe the Phillies and 76ers.  But usually, you take to the field, court or ice aiming to be perfect.  Get a hit, score a three-pointer, get a goal.  We want to be our best.

Think of it this way, we play the game seeking perfection but – and this is very important – we judge it by how hard we tried.   That way, our obsession with perfection is not a disease but an admirable trait.

Salvador Dali had it right when he said, “Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it”.

Subscribe to these Day Starters for free here.

Share them with friends and family by forwarding this email or posting to social media.

+ Comment on this post

The Most Successful People Lift People Up, Not Run Them Down

Cliff Zukin, a public policy and political science professor at Rutgers conducted a study that will fascinate you about rude bosses and rude employees.  (The survey covers 605 people in 17 industries).

Rude Behavior By Bosses (in order) …

  • Interrupts people
  • Is judgmental of those who are different
  • Pays little attention to or shows little interest in others opinions.
  • Takes the best tasks and leaves the worst for others

Rude Behavior Employee’s Admit To …

  • Hibernates into e-gadgets
  • Uses jargon even when it excludes others
  • Ignores invitations
  • Is judgmental of those who are different (same as rude boss behavior above)

Politeness and kind consideration of others is the ticket according to other studies.

Jerks can succeed by being rude and employees can suffer by as well when they exhibit the same behavior.

The most successful people lift people up not run them down.

Subscribe to these Day Starters for free here.

Share them with friends and family by forwarding this email or posting to social media.

Read more: No Time To Be Nice At Work

+ Comment on this post

You Wait Out Adversity, You Don’t Quit On It

Sometimes things just get too overwhelming – even the most determined person has their limits.

But before throwing in the towel, take ten seconds to consider these two things:

  1. Think of another person who may be disappointed if you give up because that’s a secret reservoir of energy with which to confront constant frustration. Do it for the other people who matter.
  2. Remember all the people who have overcome adversity – try to think of one or two specifically – and be mindful of the moments before they almost gave up.

In the end, you wait out adversity; you don’t quit on it no matter how discouraged you are.

It’s not whether.

It’s always when.

Subscribe to these Day Starters for free here.

Share them with friends and family by forwarding this email or posting to social media.

+ Comment on this post

You Owe Everybody & Everybody Owes You

No bookkeeping necessary.

When friends and trusted individuals are involved, the best policy is not to keep tabs on what one party or another does to be helpful or kind.

Being in the radio business, I came close to losing my house early in my programming career. A friend offered to give me $5,000 that would help me make the payment for a few months. But I refused. Said I had no guarantee that I could repay him and in fact didn’t even have a job prospect. I shook hands and left.

The next day he called me back to his office and took out the envelope again (it felt like a funeral scene from the Sopranos – you know, an envelope with money in it).

This time he looked me in the eye and said, “You are going to be somebody and I want to bet on you. I do not care if you ever pay the money back. It comes without strings”.

I reluctantly took the money and shortly thereafter got a great programming job. One of the first things I did was recommend my friend to be the station’s local attorney and I returned the favor.

How did he get me to take the money when I didn’t know if I could ever repay it?

He leaned forward and said, among friends “you owe everybody and everybody owes you”.

Subscribe to these Day Starters for free here.

Share them with friends and family by forwarding this email or posting to social media.

+ Comment on this post

Coexisting With Self-Absorbed People

Has this happened to you?

Recently I made the acquaintance of an interesting man who shortly after he introduced himself to me, proceeded to talk for more than an hour – about himself.

Most emails are self-centered – about the sender and what he or she wants.  Often – but thankfully not always – they totally disregard the receiver’s interests, well-being or state of mind.

Go back and review your text messages and see how many of them actually are person centered – to you?

The realization is that we live in a world of self-absorption.  Even retailers and advertisers pander to that.

Dale Carnegie also cautioned to make people like you, talk in terms of the other persons interests, but does that work today when people are already talking about themselves.

The answer is – double down.

Even a self-absorbed person cannot help but like to hear us say, “Tell me more about this”.  And surprisingly, you may get an inquiry about you.

Just because the world is getting more self-absorbed and egotistical does not mean that we have to be that way.

Fighting for attention from a self-absorbed person is always a losing battle.

But doubling down and talking in terms of that person’s interests still works almost every time.

Subscribe to these Day Starters for free here.

Share them with friends and family by forwarding this email or posting to social media.

+ Comment on this post