Tip of the Week
Tip: Make imperfect progress!
None of us are perfect. We are all on the same journey of this experience called Life. Naturally, we all want to do well. I don’t think anyone wakes up and asks, “How can I be miserable today?” Yet, we often look back at the end of the day and wonder what we really accomplished in the pursuit of our goals and dreams that particular day. And sadly, many people get to the end of their life feeling as though they never really fulfilled what they were made to do. That is a difficult situation!
I think part of the problem is that we’re looking at this whole thing in an incorrect manner. Our goal should not be to strive for perfection, but rather it should be for making imperfect progress. The reason I say “imperfect” is because the only way to make progress is to stumble along the way as we move forward. Zig Ziglar once said, “Anything in life worth doing at all is worth doing poorly…until you learn how to do it well.” Hopefully we are all familiar with that concept. After all, none of us was born knowing how to play a piano or pilot a jet plane or do a thousand other tasks. Everything that we know, we had to learn. The key is to allow ourselves some breathing room so we can make mistakes along the way. Imperfect progress is the way to end up where we want to be on a daily basis.
Years ago, I had the daily opportunity to help raise my four daughters. I was not a perfect father, by any means! I did some things right, but I also did a lot of things wrong! One day I was having a challenging moment with my oldest daughter, Rachael. I looked at her and said, “Listen, I have never had children before! You are the first ones I have ever had, so I am going to make some mistakes. And by the way, you are the oldest and first born of the group. I would appreciate it if you would cut me a little slack! I’ve never done this before and I am still learning how to do it!” She later told me that was a real turning point in our relationship because she had never thought of it like that before. It had never occurred to her that I was in the process of learning how to raise children and therefore, I was going to make some mistakes along the way. In the process of raising them, I learned that each of them has a different personality style and that I needed to work with them in a different manner. Fortunately they are all grown and have turned out extremely well. (At least, I think so!) That is just another example of imperfect progress. I stumbled many, many times, but I made progress and I believe that is the key.
What is it that you want to make progress in this week in your own personal life? Is it in your marriage? I can assure you that you will make some mistakes. But, if you are trying to make things better, I can also assure you that things will get better as you make imperfect progress. Perhaps the area of growth for you is in your job; maybe you want your career to take off in a whole new direction. That will come at the expense of imperfect progress. You will stumble and make mistakes, but you will make progress.
I can hardly believe how many mistakes I have made in my life in the whole area of business! My background has primarily been education and church work. But, over twenty years ago, I was thrust into the business world and it has been one learning experience after another! I have failed over and over and over again, but my imperfect progress has allowed me to grow and have many wonderful experiences along the way.
Maybe your situation is like mine was with raising children. This is a difficult world in which we live and raising children is no piece of cake! I would encourage you to have a talk with them just like I had with mine. Let them know that you are doing your best and that you are an imperfect parent, but you do want to make progress and learn in the process. It may give them hope that you are actually smarter than they realized!
These Tips are meant to be an encouragement to everyone who reads them. I certainly do not think that I know everything. Far from it! I am just like you on the journey of life trying to do the best I can in order to be happy and successful…and occasionally right! As I have made plenty of mistakes, I have been fortunate enough to learn from them and I know that they will help me be a better person in every area of my life in the long run. I am sure you will find that to be true in your own experience as well! Just keep moving ahead, learning and growing every day!
Tip: Make imperfect progress!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm