How to be an Imperfectionist by Scott Ginsberg
About once a month, I get an email from a reader who kindly points out a typo in one of my books.
This, in my opinion, is a victory. Because at least I know somebody’s reading. Other than my mother.
And part of me wishes I’d thought to include those typos intentionally, just for the purpose of measuring readership. But I didn’t. The typos are there (not because I’m savvy), but because I’m imperfect.
Even after writing nine books. Somehow, one or two always manage to squeeze by in each one. Dang it.
But I’m cool with that. Perfection is overrated anyway.
THEREFORE: Exerting your imperfect humanity is a hallmark of approachability.
In the words of U.S. Anderson, author of The Magic in Your Mind:
“When imperfectness enters a man’s soul, he is able to show that he does not live alone in the world, but with millions of others, in whose hearts exists the same animating spirit.”
What about you? Are you willing to be an Imperfectionist?
If so, consider these practices for implementing a little imperfection into your daily life…
1. Learn to thrive in shades of gray. Learn to walk the halls with an attitude of confident uncertainty. Ellen Langer explains the power of this practice in Mindfulness:
“You’re confident that the job will get done, but without being certain of exactly the best way of doing it. This gives employees more room to be creative, alert and self-starting; plus, risk taking becomes less risky.”
It’s about increasing your tolerance for ambiguity. It’s about not reaching for ready-made replies. And it’s about asking questions you don’t know the answer to. Are you confidently uncertain?
2. Don’t be at war with HOW when you should be in love with WHY. You don’t have to know what you’re doing. You don’t have to know where you’re going. You don’t have to know how you’re going to get there.
You just need to move – and you need to know WHY you’re moving. Lesson learned: Just keep starting. The finishing will take care of itself. If there even IS a finish line. Which there isn’t. Are you stopped by not knowing how?
3. Forego superficiality and, just for once, try being real. Here’s the deal: Honesty makes you vulnerable. And vulnerability reinforces your humanity because human beings are, by their very nature, imperfect.
Yes, it takes significantly more work to walk your truth. Especially in a world of (mostly) fiction. But, as my Aunt Vicki once told me, “If everything is perfect, somebody isn’t being honest.” What social mask are you willing to retire?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur