How perfect are you?

2 06 2010

“By the time the wind has blown the weather vane around,

I’ll show you if I can,

No matter what the circumstances for one thing I’m renowned,

My character is spit spot spic and span,

I’m practically perfect in every way.”

(Practically Perfect from Disney’s Mary Poppins, music by George Stiles, lyrics by Anthony Drewe)

There are certain films that are regularly part of TV schedules during holiday periods. Yesterday was no exception as one of the classic bank holiday films appeared on the UK TV schedule – Mary Poppins.

It’s not just the fact that my expectations were met about what would be on the TV that prompted me to pen this today. While many may not actually follow Mary Poppins lead by describing themselves as “practically perfect” I do often see people place an unvoiced expectation upon themselves that they, and everything they do, should be perfect.

By perfect they normally mean that it should be “faultless.” Yet the origins of the word perfect actually comes from a Latin word to mean completed. Over 600 years ago the word was being used to mean “to bring to full development.”

If you were to look in the dictionary today, one of the definitions of perfect is still “complete, having all it’s essential qualities.”

These two different definitions can make a big difference to how someone experiences a project or their life in general. Now, if using the faultless definition is working for you then by all means keep doing it. However, the most common results I see with this is an increase in the amount of pressure and stress felt. It’s often used with the best of intentions as a motivating factor to produce your best work. It’s as if you would plan to do bad work if you were focusing on just completing a project!

I also see it as something that stops something from being created because it’s not immediately faultless. For example, a writer may constantly be deleting a paragraph of text and not getting any further because it isn’t faultless. Or someone learning a new skill doesn’t put it into practice as they are not yet faultless. Sometimes, there are steps that need to be taken before your best work can be achieved (ie when writing drafting something, followed by editing etc.)

This week I invite you to play with a situation where you have noticed that you are not making any progress.

What would need to happen for this to be completed?

What is the very next step for this to be closer to completion?

Have a week full of perfection




Who Moved My Cheese?

8 01 2009

Another adition to the resource section is the book Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson.


Who Moved My Cheese is a parable where the 4 main characters (who live in a maze) are all looking for cheese to nourish them and make them happy. It is written in a simple style that means that it is suitable for all and will take the average reader less than an hour to read.

You will find that the book is split into 3, a short introduction, the main parable itself and a brief discusion. It is a book that deals with change. Specifically, as the back cover states “how to anticipate change, adapt to change quickly, enjoy change and be ready to change again and again.”

It is very simple to read and, some may say, common sense approach that is about suffering less stress and enjoying more success.

[] Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

[] Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Visit the Resources section for other recommendations


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