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.