A Bodey in Motion

Building momentum, one step at a time

Quick Hits: Girl Scout debt badge. Robert Kearns wasted his life. Procrastinatrix wanted.

  • Cookies taste better with debtI love being a Daddy. I’ve got three kids, and they’re great. They’re also a huge responsibility. There are so many things they have to be taught before they become a fully grown adult that can be released into the world. They need to know how to succeed in all the areas of their life. It’s tempting to offload your parental responsibilities to other authorities, like teachers and pastors, but don’t do it. For example, financial education, if it happens at all, is coming from some of the worst sources. Practical Money Skills sounds like a good thing, until you notice that it’s distributed by Visa and includes lessons like “Financing Your Education” and “Why Credit Matters.” Even the Girl Scouts have gotten into the act by giving the girls a chance to earn their Good Credit Badge as a part of their cookie sales. Don’t let your kids grow up to believe that debt is OK, because it’s not.
  • If you are a creator, maker, or artist, you might be worried about what it takes to protect your IP. It’s a valid concern, but I would ask that you first heed the warning of the life of Robert Kearns. It’s a cautionary tale for us all, because it’s easy to lose focus when we feel we’ve been wronged. But our crusade can quickly squeeze out the resources we have to grow and produce. Remember that your first order is to bring your creations and beauty into the world. It’s how you serve your fellow man, and how you fulfill your purpose. Don’t waste that.
  • There are days when just staying on schedule and finishing everything that needs to be finished is a struggle. Apparently, I need a procastinatrix. I’d better be careful when I’m interviewing someone to fill that role, though.

March 19, 2013 Posted by | Quick Hits and Links | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Murdering Perfectionism

If you’re one of the five regular readers of my blog, you’ll notice that I’ve been posting more after my “one month” break. One post every weekday. My intention is to keep this pace for a year, because I want to train myself to work ahead and write with more brevity. I’m trying to kill off that procrastinating perfectionist part of me, so I can become better at finishing.

Quitter by Jon Acuff

I want us to be a generation of finishers. I want us to be a generation of people who follow through and sew the last stitch or give the final keynote or write the last chapter.

And in order to get there, we have to murder perfectionism. I was going to write, “put perfectionism to bed,” but that sounded too tender for this particular monster. Murder feels right.

How do we do that? There are a number of ways. Books like Getting Things Done by David Allen are great at helping you get organized and in motion. Men’s magazines offer monthly tips on productivity with the least effort expended. But I tend to think that the simpler I keep my tools, the more likely I am to actually use them. And there is one idea that changed the way I looked at perfectionism. Bumping into this truth radically rewired my ability to finish. Here’s what I learned: 90 percent perfect and shared with the world always changes more lives than 100 percent perfect and stuck in your head.

That’s it. I admit it’s simple. But it’s also true.

The things you create and share will always out-perform the things that stay stuck in your head or your desk or your laptop. You might love the ideas you have inside you. You might be more proud of them than any other project you’ve ever put together. But if you don’t follow through with them, they won’t do much good.

Jon Acuff, Quitter

When I write, I can spend hours as I cross every “I” and dot every “T” that I see. Tens of thousands of keystrokes (many of them ‘backspace’) can go into each post as I try to explicitly clarify every point and counter every argument that crosses my overactive imagination. That’s too much effort for the quality of work I’m producing, and I’m putting an end to it.

I’m letting myself off the hook, and posting the 90%. I’m giving myself the margin to share more, and more frequently. I’m ignoring the  perfectionist. So, here I am writing this a week and a half before I’m planning on posting it, and once I’m done with the next four sentences, I’m not going to touch it again. Hope you enjoy it.

What kinds of things have you kept stuck in your head, because they aren’t “perfect” yet? What good things is your perfectionism keeping from the world? Time to get out the long knives and put it down.

March 14, 2013 Posted by | Past and Future, Work and Money | , , , , | 1 Comment