The Perfect Performances Approach

Some people follow this approach that embraces a paradox. They aim to produce perfect performances but know they will seldom achieve these aims.

The paradox is that some people find this approach liberating. They aim to do their personal best when doing certain kinds of work, performing in the arts, playing a sport or doing another activity.

Such people have a positive attitude to their work. They follow their principles and aim to perform superb work. They then do their best to deliver perfect performances.

The liberating part is simple. They know they may never achieve perfection but they find this uplifting. They recognise that their work is a journey.

They focus on enjoying the journey and aiming to do their best. They also set their own terms regarding the standards they want to deliver on the way towards achieving their goals.

A runner may aim to achieve a time which is their personal best. An artist may work towards achieving their vision. A mentor may aim to help their client to achieve success.

Such people prepare properly before doing a piece of work. They then have a positive approach rather than a neurotic approach when doing the work. They believe in continuous improvement and keep focusing on:

The specific things that are working and how they can do more of these;

The specific things they can do better and how;

Such people are passionate about their work but maintain perspective. They take their work seriously but do not take themselves seriously. They use their strengths to serve something greater than themselves.

One person explained why they found aiming to achieve perfect performances as liberating. They said:

“Some people see striving for perfection as a stopper but I see it as a spur. As the old saying goes, when you’ve got nothing you’ve got nothing to lose.

“Similarly, when you realise that you will never achieve perfection you have nothing to lose. You can then enjoy the journey when aiming to do your best to deliver perfect performances.”

Let’s return to your own life. Looking ahead, can you think of a situation where you may want to follow elements of this approach? How can you do this in your own way?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to complete the following sentences.

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