There are only two ways of doing things: The right way or the wrong way.

Or at least, that’s often what we choose to believe.

As humans, our fatal flaw is that we want perfection. We want to do things, and we want them done right. They need to be 100 percent on the ball, with no mistakes, typos or discrepancies.

The problem with perfection though – it can stop you dead in your tracks.

It can be that all-powerful tool for inaction. Preventing you from even getting the ball rolling, never mind actually finishing a project. But as a general rule of thumb – if you’re not doing anything; nothing is going to happen. Period.

So, I’m here to show you why doing things perfectly isn’t all that important.

That the right way, isn’t always the best way. That something imperfect can take on a life of it’s own, and become great.

1. Rules Are Made To Be Broken

I don’t particularly care for rules. They tend to get in the way of good ideas, productivity and achieving what you really want.

Rules are made for compliance, and to prevent all out anarchy. They serve as nothing more than a guideline for what you should be doing, based on someone else’s previous success. 

The best thing I find to do with rules?

Break them.

Choose the ones you loathe, and shatter them. Abide by the ones you like and forge your own path. Once the rules you made stop working for you – break those ones as well.

By breaking the rules, you change the entire game. Just like Hendrix playing his guitar upside down, Rosa Park’s wouldn’t get out of her seat and Elvis’ crazy hips were too hot for TV.

Once you make the rules work for you, the game becomes a whole lot easier to play.

2. No Plan Survives Contact With The Enemy

We are supposed to plan. That’s what’s expected of us, no matter what we aim to do. That’s how the old saying goes, right? ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.’ In the modern world, I think we plan a little too much.

We need a gym plan, a business plan, a planned route to work, a marketing plan, a plan of how to plan plans.

And, planning has it’s merits. It’s always worthwhile knowing what we’re going to do, and why’re going to do it. But in a lot of cases, the act of making a plan can stop us dead in our tracks. We don’t want to finish our plan until it is planning perfection.

The harsh truth of it all though - things rarely go to plan.

In fact, if 25 percent of your plan actually happens, I’d be amazed. As soon as you set your plan in motion, the winds of change blow and realities you couldn’t ever have accounted for take over.

You could get the flu, upset a client, lose a contract, break your leg, have targeted the wrong audience, have a faulty beta model or have your building overrun by termites. Anything you couldn’t foresee coming in your plan could potentially happen.

Your success will not be measured on how well you planned your approach, but in how well you adapted to the obstacles in the way.

Don’t use planning as an excuse for in action. When it’s good enough, it’s time to put it in to action.

3. Mistakes Are Valuable

Imagine your life if you did everything right. If you made no mistakes, never tripped up over yourself and never, once in your life, just screwed it all up.

You’d never learn anything, ever.

The important lessons in life, love and success come from making beautifully overwhelming mistakes. In taking that step in the wrong direction, that shows you it’s not the path to take. The mistakes that give you that gut intuition to do one thing, or another.

If I’d never have crashed my car at 17, I’d probably be dead now. I’d have been driving round, 20 mph over the limit with my music blaring, and ended up in a fatal accident. Instead, I’m here to write this article for you today.

Mistakes feel terrible at first. And nobody every really likes making a mistake. But the truth of the matter is – without them, you’ll never go any further forward in life. For every good decision, there is a powerful mistake hidden behind it.

When have you broken the rules, stopped planning to perfection or made a valuable mistake? I’d love to hear your comments.

Featured photo credit: old skool paul via flickr.com

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