“Perfect practice makes perfect.”
Written by Matt Wegner
Founder and Lead Counselor, Matt Wegner Coaching, www.financialexcellence.net
I once worked for a Battalion Commander in the Army who demanded nothing but perfection. Over and over he would remind us that practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect. I used to think he was crazy but he sure pushed us to get results. Not too long ago I was reminded of his philosophy when I heard in a commercial that amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.
Is that really possible? Can you really achieve perfect practice? Can you really practice until you can’t make a mistake? In life and business you can’t get very far without setting goals. Zig Ziglar says that if you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time. If you want to get better you have to set goals. Sounds simple but the hard part is setting a high enough goal. Sometimes we talk ourselves into setting a lower, more “realistic” goal. The problem with that is we end up not achieving our full potential. The fear of failure often paralyzes us into inaction.
What makes someone a professional is the ability to set a goal for perfection. When a professional falls short of the goal, they don’t view it as a failure. Rather they see it as an opportunity to learn what went wrong. They then correct the mistake and do what it takes to avoid the mistake in the future. The professional athlete finds what is keeping them from hitting perfection and works over and over until the shortfall is removed from their behavior. They don’t let the fear of failure paralyze them and keep them from getting better.
Where do you fall in the spectrum? Do you set low goals for yourself so you can’t fail? Or do you push yourself to the point of failure so you can learn from mistakes? Set high goals and expect to make mistakes so you can learn from them to get better.