A number of years ago there was a Nike commercial on television with Michael Jordan. As he walked through a dimly-lit corridor, Jordan’s voice comes on:

I’ve missed over nine thousand shots in my career.
I’ve lost almost three hundred games.
Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted with the game-winning shot… and missed.
I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.

There are few people in this world who can say they have been more successful at anything than Michael Jordan was at basketball.

Life can be a struggle sometimes, and there are many times where things don’t seem to go our way. Those are precisely the times when we need to take a step back and look at what is happening and find the lesson.

Our society mentality has become one of “keeping up with the Joneses”, and hand-in-hand with this is the strive for perfection or at least to appear perfect.

But perfection is an unattainable illusion. Nothing on Earth is perfect, and nobody is perfect, because perfection is a perception, which is subjective. What’s perfect for me, may be a disaster for someone else. In any case, everything is imperfect, and that’s why there’s evolution and change. Everything is always getting better or worse, so by definition it couldn’t have been perfect.

The people who spend the most time trying for perfection are the ones who spend the most time covering the realities in their life. They do this because it’s far easier to cover up than it is to actually face the fault and deal with it.

Imagine a house with rotten wood framing. Quickly covering over it with drywall is a far easier prospect than actually remediating the issue, although on the surface it might look the same.

Nevertheless, we’re told that perfection is the way to go, and as humans we look for the quickest and easiest way to the goal.

Society tells us that perfection is having children who are involved in five after-school activities; living in the perfect neighbourhood with the perfect picket fence and driving the perfect European vehicle into our pristine garage. You get the idea.

But what’s the point?

Being perfect doesn’t allow for mistakes, because perfect people don’t make mistakes. Not giving ourselves the freedom to make mistakes means that we aren’t giving ourselves room to learn.

When we fool ourselves into believing that we are always right, that we have “arrived” and that we know everything, it spells disaster, because it means we will stop learning and growing.

So what does this mean for the average person?

Do you know someone who “knows it all”. Where do these people end up? Usually making the same mistakes over and over and progressing very little if at all in their lives. Financial success does not mean success in every facet of life. You don’t need to look far to see wealthy people with dysfunctional home lives. But you can also just as easily find poor people who are tremendously happy with what they have.

No matter what age you’re at, it’s important to take a chance, take the road less travelled and put yourself on the line. Recognize that a “failure” is nothing more than an undesirable outcome from which you can learn.

Succeeding in life is not about being perfect. Successful people aren’t perfect. Successful people are prepared to fail and keep trying. We’re lucky Michael Jordan didn’t stop playing after losing his first game.

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This entry was posted in Be Inspired, Business Coaching, Coaching, Goals, Inspiration, Personal Coaching and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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