Two Sides To Perfection - Deepstash

Two Sides To Perfection

While "Only the best is good enough" can push us further, the picture of stark perfectionism it paints is daunting, especially when we can't find the time, resources or motivation to reach the level of perfection we desire. We are human after all, and none of us are perfect.

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MORE IDEAS FROM The LEGO Brick, Perfectionism and Productivity

A Simple Little Brick

If you've played with toys in the last 40 years chances are you've interacted with at least one LEGO brick, probably more like hundreds. Behind these seemingly simple building blocks lies a powerful brand with a System of Play painstakingly perfected over nearly a century, with lessons to be learned about both personal and corporate productivity and the true meaning of perfection.

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When Ole Kirk Christiansen founded his toy company in the 1930s, he coined its name by combining the Danish words "leg godt" meaning "play well". And thus "LEGO" was born. The very name signals a higher level of quality, and The LEGO Group's products have lived up to that name.

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More Than A Motto

The LEGO Group's motto in Danish is "Det bedste er ikke for godt". This has two similar but slightly different English translations, one more figurative and one more literal. Below will be each translation and my exploration as to how it can relate to productivity and perfection.

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...is the more well-known "loose" translation of The LEGO Group's motto. This phrase can be very motivating when striving for excellence. It causes one to ask such questions as:

• Is my (product, pitch, manuscript) the best that it can be?

• What can I do to make it the best?

• Am I performing at my best, and if not what do I need to change?

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...is the more literal word-for-word translation of "Det bedste er ikke for godt". Working with the mindset that "the best" or perfection are accessible goals without ruthlessly racing toward them can lift a tremendous amount of pressure off a workload. Rather than asking "Is this perfect?" one can ask questions like:

• Is this the best I can do with what I have?

• Does this need to be absolutely perfect?

• Is my standard for perfection unreasonably high?

Questions like these can open the door for more honest evaluations of our own abilities and perceptions.

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OLE KIRK CHRISTIANSEN

Det bedste er ikke for godt.

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Realizing that we cannot be totally perfect is important, but we must also be wary that we don't lower our expectations too far and fall into mediocrity. There is a balance to be struck between the pursuit of perfection and burnout prevention.

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RELATED IDEA

The Nirvana fallacy

The Nirvana fallacy is a form of perfectionism and it consists in comparing existing solutions with ideal, unrealistic ones.

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Do a weekly review to reflect on your progress

Try to identify things you avoided due to fear of failure and situations where your perfectionism wasn’t worth it or moments where you did well despite being uncertain.

Your objective here is to learn where perfectionism has a positive impact and where it does not.

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To-do lists can help perfectionists move past our paralysis. They may find making a list to be a reassuring guide to their day.

But there's also a risk: to-do lists can backfire if they become yet another report card we perfectionists use to evaluate ourselves too harshly.

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