• Madhura

Persistence Over Perfection


Welcome my morning people to Goal No 2, “Persistence over Perfection”. Together let’s begin our journey of positivity, mindfulness with one step at a time.


Happy Moment Of The Week

It is time for our happy moment of the week. This past Saturday, we had a video call with all my cousins. We talked for hours. We played games, sang songs. It was so much fun. All of us live in different countries, we hardly see each other. We try to take a trip to India every year and see them. We practically grew up together so visiting once a year is definitely not enough but this video call gave us the opportunity to catch up as if we were sitting in the same room. It filled my heart with so much joy and I felt refreshed. This was my highlight of the week. Now, it’s your turn my friends? Reading all your lovely comments and your joyful moments bring so much joy to me. So keep them coming as usual.


So let’s take a moment and think about the one thing that brought you happiness, a cheer on your face. It can be the smallest thing but if it made you feel good about you, about your life then just close your eyes and live through it again just for a moment.


I am extremely grateful that you take time from your busy schedule to think and write about your joyful moment.


Goal No 2 - Persistence over Perfection

Now, let’s discuss today's topic. “Persistence over Perfection.” I was or shall I say I still fell for this Perfection trap so many times. I always wanted everything to be done perfectly until I realized what’s more important. I still have to sometimes remind myself that persistence is way more important than perfection. What is persistence? Persistence is trying something without giving up even when there are difficulties. We all want to get to our goal so fast that we try to get there faster by starting perfectly. We raise the bar so high to achieve our goal quickly that we set ourselves for failures. If we don’t see the result quickly, instead of keep on going we just give up because we could not do it perfectly. Can you relate? Just think of the nth number of times you started your weight loss plan this Monday. You cut out all the carbs, sweets. You planned on eating only healthy, under certain calories. You plan on working out 60 minutes per day. You do so good on Monday because you are all charged up. Tuesday, Wednesday and even Thursday goes perfectly. Then comes the weekend. Friday evening, your husband somehow decides to get a pizza for dinner. You try to resist but can not so you eat one piece. But now, you beat yourself up for breaking up with your plan. You get upset over how you broke your perfect record.Instead of giving yourself a grace, you give up and decide to eat all you can over the weekend and then start fresh next Monday. Sounds familiar? This happens because we focus so much on Perfection than applauding yourself for the persistence. Is there a way to get out of this cycle? How to convince your mind to focus on persistence over perfection? As always, let’s walk this path together and figure out the steps to get closer to our goal by Persistence.


Step 1 : Try and never give up

Persistence means continuously trying without stopping. No matter what. We all want to learn something new everyday. I always feel very fascinated by the process of learning. Will you believe if I say, as a child I used to love studying. Not just like, love. It was my happy place. Reading about new things, understanding new facts and facing new challenges while trying to get familiar with the concepts. I always loved the process. Just imagine, you don’t know anything about something one day and then gradually you start understanding it and finally, it becomes natural to you. But do you think this will happen without practicing? When kids start walking, they fall so many times. What if they decide that it is too difficult and they can not do it perfectly and just give up? Have you ever seen this happening? They keep on trying. Every kid at their own and different speeds, some at 9th month some well after their first birthday. But each one of them finally learns to walk. Do they give up? Do they stop practicing? Also, notice, when your child tries to take the first step, and he falls down, do you get angry and scold him? Or do you cheer him up, clap for him? If we don’t do that for them why do we beat yourself up so much for every small fall? That brings me to my next tip.


Step 2 : Give yourself grace.

Don’t beat yourself up so much. I have not seen a single soul till date, who has benefited from negative talks. Sometimes, I feel we are hardest on ourselves. The way we talk to yourself, we will not talk to anyone else who we love. Just think for a moment, can we say the things that we are saying to beat yourself up by standing in front of a mirror. Can you look into your own eyes while saying that “you are not worth it. , you are doing everything wrong, you can not keep one simple promise to yourself” Do you think you will be able to say that looking into your own eyes? Do you think you can say that out loud? I guarantee you it will not be possible for anyone. We say all those things in our mind because we think nobody is listening even ourselves. It makes me feel so sad that we easily put us down instead of lifting us. If you continuously say that you are lazy and can’t not complete any task. You engrave this though in your mind, that I am lazy and then it becomes your reality. Just try not to say a single negative thing to yourself this week. Don’t call yourself any names. Don’t tag yourself with any particular negative emotion. Be free of all negativity. If you fail, just assure yourself that you can do it. Failure is just part of the process. Trust me you will feel different. If you fall, give yourself grace and move on.


Step 3 : Thrive for perfection but without over obsessing

You might feel that I am saying Perfection is all bad. No I won’t say that. My mom always used to say that “Complete your work in such a way that you should feel you have given your 100%.”

The important words in this sentence are your 100%. You have to try your best. Everyone’s best could be totally different and it is absolutely fine. We are not here in the comparison business at all. We want to thrive for perfection but it is our own perfection. We should feel that I gave my heart and soul to this goal, I did my absolute best. But again, if you can not give 100% today, don’t over obsess it. There is always going to be tomorrow to improve upon. I tell you a trick, at the end of the day, try to see the good things that you have accomplished. Let’s take our same healthy eating example, instead of saying I ate a Pizza on Friday. Say I ate 12 healthy meals over the last 4 days and I am going to continue the pattern. This will help you get rid of the guilt and instead of waiting for Monday to restart your healthy eating plan, you will eat good and healthy from Saturday morning.


Step 4 : Keep the journal to track your streak

If you want to be more persistent then we can't just rely on day to day motivation.We have to have a solid plan and we also need the exact strategy for execution and last we need a way to track our actual actions. Goal without the action is just a dream, isn’t it? If you are planning to tackle a house project this month, you need to plan your steps. E.g. If you are planning to paint your living room, you need to plan on the days when you will be prepping the surface, painting the trims, painting the actual walls. You need to devise the strategy to tackle the finer tasks in each of your big items and lastly you need to keep track of the things you have completed. Will it work if you prime and paint your wall perfectly but keep the trims, windows and doors untreated? You need to track all the steps which are done and mark them complete as you go. Right? Same thing applies to our daily habits. If you want to form a habit or accomplish a certain goal, you need to track your progress, you need to keep track of your finer tasks. Each day is a new day. Make better choices everyday and improve your habits by every passing day. We all know the proverb that “Rome was not built in a day”. If you want to lose weight, three important tasks would be your exercise, your nutrition and water. So keep track of these three things. Write it down. There are hundreds of apps to help you track anything that you want. If you don’t find an app, we have the best thing possible to track anything in the world and that is nothing but your pen and a simple no fuss notebook. So, what do you think? Can you do this tracking for this upcoming week? Select any habit that you want to do persistently, just track the finer tasks which are required to form that habit.


Step 5 : Make it fun.

We want to get to our goal, no doubt about it. But we want to get on a cheerful and fun journey to reach our goal. We absolutely want to make sure that we enjoy every part of this journey. Main difference between perfection and persistence is that perfection is momentary but persistence is a way of living. We surely want to live a fun life, don’t we ? Persistence is a lot more forgiving than perfection. The main problem with perfection is that we always tend to take an all or nothing approach. So, from now on make having fun your priority. When you make having fun your priority you will find ways. If you find working out draining but it is part of your goal then listen to the songs that you enjoy. If cooking is something you want to get better at everyday, try some fun recipes. Journey is as important as destination.

We discussed many fun ways to enjoy your life in Episode No 1, keeping your inner child alive.Please listen to that episode and I am sure you will find a lot more tips to have fun.


Step 6 : Celebrate small victories

As I said previously, persistence is a slow but steady process. You will have to keep patience. You can sustain this momentum only if you celebrate the small victories. Just notice how far you have come. Acknowledge it, get excited about it.Celebrate it. Long time ago, I saw a picture somewhere, someone prepared a chart and she wrote a reward for each small step. The rewards were simple like buy a new pair of jeans or treat yourself with simple coffee or indulge in a dessert you really love. I loved that idea. It is such a simple way to find something to look forward to. This gives us a sense of pride. It creates a feel good factor and gives us fuel to keep going. I really want you all to feel good about yourself. We are here to become the best version of ourselves but with a big broad smile and hopeful eyes. Love this life friends, we have this one life and let’s not waste it in some race of perfection. You are perfect in your own unique and beautiful way.


Recap

Let me recap the steps we planned for getting over our race for perfection by instilling persistence.

Step 1 : Try and never give up

Step 2 : Give yourself grace.

Step 3 : Thrive for perfection but without over obsessing

Step 4 : Keep the journal to track your streak

Step 5 : Make it fun.

Step 6 : Celebrate small victories


This week you are going to try three things,

You will decide not to say a single negative thing to yourself .

Second instead of focusing on the bigger picture, you will create small and more achievable action items for your goal and give your 100% to it.

Last one, celebrate it, enjoy it every step of the way.


As they say, A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure will turn into glorious success.


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