I think there’s a flaw in a lot of our thinking when it comes to our jobs, when it comes to our learning, and when it comes to our workouts. The flaw is chasing perfection and it looks something like this: ‘I failed to increase my client base by xx% this quarter’ or ‘I only got a B- on my test’ or ‘I missed the third rep in a three rep max so it was a shitty day’. Chasing perfection might work for some, but I think for a lot of us, chasing perfection leads us to a mindset that forces us to get it right the first time or don’t do it at all. I think chasing perfection looks at the day as a glass 100% full or 100% empty–it’s all or nothing. Chasing perfection doesn’t allow for room to grow, because as the name suggests, there is no where to go if you’ve already perfected something.
I came across this post on the Whiteboard Daily instagram page a while back and it’s stuck in my mind.
I’d rather be proficient in 20 different things than perfect in one or two. I think that’s why the CrossFit methodology makes so much sense to me. It’s not about being the best athlete in every event or every lift, it’s about being proficient. It’s the hopper method: put a bunch of different workouts into a hopper, pull them out, and the CrossFit athlete should be able to perform well. They may not win every event, but within reason, they should do well.
Instead of aiming for perfection, I think our athletes, the people in our pews, should aim for proficiency. Let’s be honest, being able to proficiently cook for yourself or your family would be better than making one meal for the rest of your life. Doing only power cleans in every workout would make you pretty deficient in any workout involving a squat, or a snatch.
When our end goal is proficiency, we always have room to grow. We have a reason to continue practicing what we love, we have a reason to keep progressing, we have a reason to keep on keepin on. I’ll never have a perfect muscle up or be a perfect pastor; I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to mess up, and it’s in those moments where we make mistakes that we progress, and we grow in our proficiency growing more than we did before.
Proficiency makes more sense to me because I always want to grow, I always want to do better. I want to continuously learn, and be better. So, if you want to keep chasing perfection, if you want to keep chasing the ‘perfect’ meal plan, the ‘perfect’ job, the ‘perfect’ outfit….fine. Do you. But you won’t find me there.