So I was a guest on a show a few days ago and we spoke about the necessity of authenticity. I shared my perception of the subject matter and my host did the same. It was beautiful to note how much we shared in common as my host and I connected on several levels both intellectually and in perspectives. You can watch the replay below.
As we had that conversation, I came about a new light. And I like the way that my host, Madame Merola puts it, we are “Flawesome”. Meaning we are awesome people with flaws. And when we know and embrace this truth, it makes a whole lot of difference how we begin to see ourselves and others alike.
“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.”
― Michael J. Fox
Isn’t it true? The quote above? As humans aiming for perfection is like aiming for the impossible yet, there is a possibility staring back at us in the face and it is called excellence. We have got to break our entanglement with perfection and switch our focus on being excellent at whatever we choose to do.
An ignorant perfectionist
Sometime in the last quarter of 2020, I was in a conversation with a therapist friend of mine and she mentioned the fact that I was a perfectionist. I got defensive immediately. What was going through my head at that instance was how I wasn’t so particular about a lot of things. Or how I sometimes miss the little details. These traits were things I considered work in progress but also attributed to perfectionism, so I could not see what my friend was talking about.
I decided to ask her why she had that impression of me and I was a bit shocked at her source of deduction. It was my Instagram page at the time @ejiroosakede (I lost that page all thanks to Instagram with no concrete explanation of what policy of theirs I defiled 😡). I am now @energeticej_ in case you want to connect with me.
She said something in the line of me having a particular way that my content was curated that didn’t give room for flaws to be seen. To be honest, this didn’t seat well with me at the time, because I was like, but that’s the whole point of building a brand, putting your best foot forward. However, upon further introspection, I discovered that truly there are areas in my life where I operate as a perfectionist. And that conversation opened up that blindspot for me.
The more I considered the matter, I began to remember instances where when there was a slight change in reality compared to what I had envisioned, I will be terribly upset. It was as bad as skipping meals because I can’t have it the way I imagined it in my head. I confused perfectionism for excellence but alas they are two different things.
All that is changing now that I know that there is a difference between both concepts and I am more intentional about being excellent in particular areas in my life per time rather than aiming for perfection.
What is excellence?
According to definitions from Oxford languages, excellence is “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”
So my question to you is, what do you aim to be excellent at? May I encourage you to focus on that thing rather than wanting to be a perfect person? What things are you currently good at that you can be extremely good at? If they are more than one, pick one in particular and focus on it for a while until you become extremely good at it and then move on to the next.
How to become excellent at anything.
If excellence is the quality of being extremely good at a thing, it is safe to say that you are excellent at what you have mastered. And to achieve mastery there is a formula I learned from the purpose preacher Dr Samuel Ekundayo.
“Spend one hour per day on anything you are good at and you will be an expert in that area in a year and in three years a national phenomenon and in five years a global phenomenon.”
The above formula can be downgraded a level lower in that if you spend 30min on something you are not really good at, in a year you will become good at that thing.
I say this to debunk your thought should you be thinking to yourself that you are not good at anything, which is a lie, by the way, you probably just don’t appreciate what it is that you are good at. Every human on earth has got at least ONE THING they are good at, know it and own it.
So, I started by saying that your entanglement with perfection is shifting your focus away from what is possible and important i.e excellence and to achieve excellence in your area of choice, you’ve got to apply the formula and by so doing you can reach the height that you envisioned for yourself.
Please share with me in the comments one or two things that you will become excellent at this year. I will be reading and I will hold you accountable if you allow me.
As for me, one of the things I want to be excellent at is my writing skills which is why I am dedicated to blogging at least twice or three times a week. In addition to that, I ensure I write a minimum of 500 words per day either as a way of content creation or personal journaling.
I’ll close with the quote by Aristotle