I remember when I aimed for perfect workouts: 30 minutes was the minimum.
I was in lousy shape.
I remember when I aimed for perfect dating: it couldn't be awkward, forced, or uncertain.
I didn't talk to women I was interested in.
I remember when I aimed for perfect writing: I wanted 1,000+ words of quality material per day.
I played video games instead.
I carefully avoided mistakes, endlessly ruminated about what I didn't do, and what I did do wasn't enough.
Then, I became an imperfectionist.
Everything changed. I had fun stories to tell, like the lesbian pizza incident and the most nervous "Hi" ever spoken by a human being. I learned more. I laughed more. I lived more.
I got in great shape, read more books, and improved my social skills. I wrote Mini Habits, which is being translated into a dozen languages.
I found I could mess up and still win.
Perfectionism is a naturally limiting mindset. For example, kids are taught to color inside the lines, and any color outside the lines is considered a mistake that must be corrected. Imperfectionism frees us to live outside the lines, where possibilities are infinite, mistakes are allowed, and self-judgment is minimal.
While the freedom of imperfectionism is impactful, it does not preclude us from having problems. Imperfectionists aren't so ironic as to have perfect lives, they're just happier, healthier, and more productive at doing what matters.
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This is one of the most life-changing books I have ever read and listened to and read and listened to. I'm guessing it would impact anyone's life in a very positive manner, if taken to heart. Guise takes aim at perfectionism in an honest, engaging way and the wonderful advice is easily applied. Guise has a lot of down-home clarity and he impresses me with his humility and transparency regarding his own struggles with perfectionism. I highly recommend it.
The discussion of analog vs. binary ways of evaluating our efforts was particularly helpful.
I found it hard to believe he is not Stephen Guise! Often when listening to recordings of books, I think the narrator is not understanding what he is reading; Penz reads it like he wrote it! He has a great voice and manner of speaking.
Both - it was funny and made me laugh at the author and my own foolishness, but I also felt sad as I realized that I had created so much suffering for myself and others with my perfectionism, and that I had so little appreciated my own efforts, just because they were imperfect.
A must read for a healthy, productive life.
- Sandra Makuch
A refreshing new way of pursuing achievement
- Domenikos Theotokopoulos