“Uh Dad, Green Bay isn’t even a city on this Map.”
“Don’t worry, when I’m done with that team, it will be.”
That’s what the legendary coach, Vince Lombardi, told his daughter when he and his family were about to move from New York, to the tiny town of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Lombardi was widely regarded in the league as one of the best offensive coaches in the game of football. But until that point, he only had a chance to prove himself as an assistant coach. So, although he had to relocate his family to Green Bay, he was excited to get his first shot at being a Head Coach.
So excited, in fact, that his first words to his team upon arrival were:
“Gentlemen we are going to relentlessly chase perfection. Knowing full well we will not catch it because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it. Because in the process we will catch excellence. I’m not even remotely interested in being just good.”
Chasing perfection does not have to be paralysing. Lombardi and the Green Bay Packers are proof! They used perfection to motivate them to create a team of excellence.
Here are 3 proven ways to use perfection to your advantage:
The biggest reason that we become demotivated by perfection is because we get the feeling of being overwhelmed. When our brain takes a look at how much work we need to do in order to reach perfection, it believes that it is hopelessly out of reach.
Chunking is the process of shifting your focus from that larger goal, into smaller chunks that are easier for your brain to comprehend.
“Doing is better than perfect.” – Facebook company motto
Our brains’ become overwhelmed when we seek perfection. There is a much clearer path from a blank screen to a terrible first draft, than there is a blank screen to a perfectly written article. A terrible first draft written, is one step closer to the perfect result. Leading to more productivity, less procrastination and less frustration.
So just do it, any progress is better than no progress. You can’t improve on something that doesn’t exist in the first place.
Despite his best intention of perfection, Vince Lombardi knew what he was getting himself into. He had a losing team that was far away from championship calibre. But he didn’t expect a championship out of his team. He didn’t expect perfect results, he expected perfect effort.
Results are ultimately out of our control. Perfection is not found in results. Perfection is found in your effort. Making sure that you do the right things to make progress every single day. That is the only thing you can control when working toward your goal. The result is ultimately just a guess.