Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of April 15, 2009
Pursuing Perfection
This week's Success Thought is a gift of Dr. Brad A. Ward, Neurosurgeon at The Center

We all try to do our best in most of what we do, but how often do we actually strive for perfection?  The latter takes much more time and effort than the former, and exposes us more to failure and disappointment.  We see perfection in many aspects of our lives: nature, music, literature, and sports to name a few.  But how does one reach perfection, or near perfection?  I think several characteristics lead to this end result.
Have a Dream -  Most people have dreams about what they want for their future, but the people who are remembered seem to have more focused goals and act upon them.  Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, and Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft had dreams of owning their own computer companies and relentlessly pursued them. Sometimes what we strive for isn't what the end result turns out to be.  Many actors and actresses start their careers in other entertainment industries only to later end up as movie stars.  Michael Jordan's dream when he was young started very simply: to make varsity at the high school team he was cut from the year before.  He obviously went a little further in his basketball career.
Practice, Practice, Practice - In all pursuits, those who reach perfection have a combination of enormous talent coupled with a huge work ethic.  Tiger Woods, arguably the greatest golfer of all time, practices more than any of his competitors.  Eddie Van Halen, regarded as the greatest guitarist ever, has spent his entire career expending hour upon hour playing his guitar alone.  One of his favorite places to hole up: his bathroom.  With practice goes preparing for big events, such as a competition or a big presentation.  Successful people have great confidence, because they know they are fully prepared and expect to succeed.
Be Creative - Many have succeeded by simply looking at things differently than anyone else.  They have stepped out of the proverbial box and approached their craft from a completely different point of view.  One of Tiger Woods' greatest attributes is to create shots no one else has thought about doing, or attacking a course in almost unorthodox ways.  A few years ago, he won the British Open without ever using his driver, unheard of in these matches.  Van Halen developed a style of playing called "tapping," using both hands on the neck of the guitar, producing one of his distinctive sounds.  As a side note, in his early shows with Van Halen, Eddie would use this tapping technique with his back to the audience to prevent people from stealing his style.
Love What You Do - To spend the hours and hours you must with practice and preparation, it really helps to enjoy what you are doing, or at least parts of it.  There has to be some form of pleasure derived from the path and not just the destination to make it worthwhile.  Van Halen, Jordan, and Woods all profess an undying love and passion for what they do.
Be Prepared For Failure - one of the hardest lessons for anyone to learn is that we will always fail to some degree in everything we do.  The trick is what we do with this failure.  The book "The Adversity Quotient" claims that what we do with failure separates the winners from the losers.  Jordan has a famous quote, made into a commercial: "I have missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions, I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot... and missed. And I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
More than likely, none of us will go on to the perfection in the world of golf, basketball, or rock music, but what in your world is attainable?  Could that new business you dream of be your perfection? Or, is it that presentation you have to give to your board in a few months?  How about that weekend with your spouse you have thought about surprising him or her with?  So many aspects of our life are available to reach this perfection, but distractions can sometimes hold us back.  Even if we don't reach what we consider to be perfection, there are certain byproducts of this pursuit.  As William Fowble said,

 "If you chase perfection, you often catch excellence."
Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week.

To see more of my published articles, go to:GV&A, Coaching for Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for April 22, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.