Perfect is a Myth

Perfect is a Myth

Something’s been on my mind lately.

A lot of people, myself included, like to talk about all the changes they want to make in their life. Perhaps they want to get out of debt, start a new side-hustle, or even just dive into a new hobby. Or maybe there are more personal changes someone wants to make. Maybe they want to be more assertive, gossip less, or even just have a more positive outlook on life.

It’s easy to talk about the things you want to do, the qualities we want to acquire. It’s much harder to actually, you know, get up and do them.

Now, I’m not the perfect person to talk about this. I’ve been complacent about many things lately. And maybe that’s why I’m blogging about this.

perfect is a myth

I’ve noticed several things within my circle of people. Either they are constantly talking about what they want to do or they are actually putting in the work.

Now, the ones who are talking about what they want to achieve may actually have a lot of knowledge about this new endeavor. They’ve probably done the research, looked up tons of articles and books on the subject, and they’ve acquired a lot of book knowledge on The Perfect way to successfully accomplish these things. But usually, that’s where it ends. The actions of change? Nowhere to be found.

On the other hand, there are those who are taking clear, solid actions toward their goals. They are not on The Perfect path and they are far from where they want to be, but each day they are taking actions. Taking an hour a day to actually focus on some actions, perfect or not, is better than all the book knowledge on the subject. These people choose imperfect, yet consistent actions over The Perfect action and they learn as they fail. These are the people I want to be more like.

It’s one thing to know a lot about something, like weight loss or personal finance. But it’s another thing to actually live out what you know.

Personally, it bugs me whenever someone talks a lot about their knowledge of something but has nothing to show for it. When they constantly talk about The Perfect way to reach financial independence, or The Perfect method of losing weight but haven’t done a single thing towards their goals. Yeah, I get that you know a lot about weight loss/personal finance/starting a business, but what are you doing about it?

I guess what I’m trying to say is this – don’t get caught up in launching The Perfect business, diving into The Perfect healthy lifestyle, or being Perfect when starting a new hobby. Reading articles and books on these new things isn’t a bad thing, just don’t let it stop there! Strive for small changes each and every day. Experience is a far better teacher than articles/books are. Perfect is a myth that holds us back from real, tangible actions that lead to real change.

Don’t be afraid of the imperfect. Fail fast, learn faster.

What changes do you want to make in your life? What actions have you taken?




  1. Our Next Life June 4, 2015

    Love this! We have some experience in the health field, and in the behavior change model that’s most often used (the transtheoretical model), those with lots of book knowledge are in the “contemplation” phase or the “preparation” phase. Only those who are actually doing something are in the action phase. So your post is backed up by science. 🙂
    Our Next Life recently posted…when your finances don’t fit into the standard box // lies the financial industry tells usMy Profile

    • Lisa E. June 4, 2015

      Thanks for this insight! It actually really explains why some people I know are perpetually stuck in that “prep” phase.

  2. Kurt June 3, 2015

    A good friend of mine has a new idea a week for getting rich. Sometimes he takes a step or two in the direction of his latest idea, then abandons it. As a result, his house and computer are littered with the detritus of many unfulfilled ambitions. He always has a reason he hasn’t taken the project further, which sounds reasonable. But in the end, I think he’s an idea generator who needs a ‘do-er’ to partner with!
    Kurt recently posted…$200,000 Windfall! Now What?My Profile

    • Lisa E. June 3, 2015

      It’s easy to find reasons and excuses not to continue. Sometimes, people just need some nudging to move along.

  3. Heather June 2, 2015

    Great perspective! Sometimes we just have to jump in and start and figure out the rest along the way.
    Heather recently posted…Another Method For Organizing CordsMy Profile

    • Lisa E. June 3, 2015

      Thanks Heather! Agreed, figuring it out along the way is part of the journey!

  4. Abigail May 31, 2015

    Amen! My blog’s tangling is “Frugality in an imperfect world.” Both my husband and myself are disabled, so our version of frugal is pretty far from ideal. Even so, it’s taken me years to accept that “good enough” isn’t so bad.
    Abigail recently posted…A lack-of-sleeping sicknessMy Profile

    • Lisa E. June 1, 2015

      ‘Good enough’ is definitely better than nothing at all!

  5. Catherine May 29, 2015

    Seems Lisa is demonstrating with this post the exact thing she does not like other people doing. Talking about or writing about something that one has not actually done yet. Maybe the next post will show HOW one takes action.

    • Lisa E. May 29, 2015

      LOL I guess you’re right.

  6. Travis @Enemyofdebt May 26, 2015

    I saw a quote recently that summed my thoughts on this up very nicely, “Don’t tell people your dreams, Show them.”
    Travis @Enemyofdebt recently posted…What Charcoal and Beer Teaches Us About Making ChoicesMy Profile

    • Lisa E. May 26, 2015

      That quote is awesome!

  7. Whoa, this post is definitely going to ruffle some feathers (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!). It’s very easy to get caught up just talking about what you’re going to do instead of just doing it. That’s the very reason why I work so hard to prove MYSELF wrong everyday. My worst fear is to become old and have a laundry list of things that I didn’t decide to do. You’re right, giving things a try is better than not doing anything. My debt used to mentally weigh me down… look at me now, I’m no longer overwhelmed by shame! My debt numbers are out in the open and I’m actually quite optimistic about the process of climbing out of debt now!

    • Lisa E. May 26, 2015

      Maybe some feathers are meant to be ruffled 😉 But I totally agree – one of my worst fears is laying on my death bed with a ton of regrets.

  8. Very well said Lisa! It would be like me reading 100 books on how to find “the one,” yet never having an online dating profile, then writing about how to find “the one” on my blog! 🙂 Actions always speak louder than words, even if you stumble, fall, get back up again, fall again, etc. But, you do also have to learn something out of those failures as well, otherwise you’re doomed to repeat it! Great post!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Putting the Rat Race on PauseMy Profile

    • Lisa E. May 22, 2015

      Thanks Tonya! And yes, learning from the mistakes is the point of go forward with imperfect actions! Otherwise, like you said, if we don’t learn from our mistakes, we’d just be repeating them over and over.

  9. Mario May 21, 2015

    Great post. With planning, it’s easy to quickly run into diminishing returns. Sometimes, you just gotta execute with an imperfect plan then clean up as you go.
    Mario recently posted…Three things I wish I knew in my 20s about life, turning 30, and personal financeMy Profile

    • Lisa E. May 22, 2015

      Agreed! Cleaning up as we go is just as important as just starting.

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