Life is a Moving Target 

Day 29 Week 4 Q1  Sunday, January 29, 2023

And thank goodness for that. The world we live in is a pretty dimensionally vast place, and the only way we can cope with this is by dynamically adapting to circumstances all of the time. If you never adapt, your targeting skills get rusty, and you miss a lot of the shots you have taken of course, as has been said many times, you miss all of the shots you never take. So take comfort in the fact that things are always changing. After all, we are always changing as our everyone and everything around us. It is also for this reason that focusing on completion more than perfection is a survival strategy. And are these two terms not relative? 

Completion versus perfection is very much context-dependent, and it is also very much dependent on you. For example what if your standards were high enough that when you thought you were 90 percent of the way to perfect on a project you could consider perhaps you have already completed it?  What if your standards were in general significantly higher than what was expected from you? Then what? Then, at least some portion of your perfecting would be more than anyone wanted, needed, or wasted to wait for.

Seriously could you ask yourself, if you make this better and spend a lot more time, will anyone care or even notice? And what if you often felt that you had done enough, but the rest of the world thought you had not?

Well, we are all somewhere in between these two states, aren’t we? It is impossible to imagine that we would perfectly nail what was needed. After all, not everyone will tell us when we’re not good enough. What is the place of balance? Well, here is how to tell. If everyone around you thinks you are doing better than you think you are doing, then you are doing more than you need to, and perhaps getting done sooner would be more appreciated than being more perfect.  Of course, the opposite is also true. If you turn out something quickly and it is not good enough, that is an even larger problem. So, yes, we do have to err on the side of giving more than expected of others but perhaps less than desired by ourselves.

And if you continue to be deadline driven, does the pressure to complete have to be unreasonably high so that you are not sure if there is enough time to get to the level you want to, so there is some uncertainty in the equation? Well, this is a good reason to practice shooting at the moving target called life. You may think you allowed enough time to hit that target, but then it moves, so you had better factor in some extra time to deal with the inevitable changes due to unknowns that you previously thought were known.

Did you ever notice that some people always show up on time and that others rarely show up on time? That is how you tell who is better at acknowledging and acting upon the fact that life is a moving target. The early arrivers do spend more time waiting in order not to keep you waiting for them.

Even if you like the adrenaline rush of the quickly approaching deadline and the mad dash to make it in time because your standards are high enough to fulfill external expectations even when your internal ones are not quite met, it is still disrespectful of the others who are left waiting for your just in time arrival.

If you can get past requiring so much pressure to perform, the gap between completion and perfection can shrink and, at the same time, make more people feel good about dealing with you, including yourself.

It is precisely because life is a moving target that the gap between completion and perfection is so time and project varying. Keeping this in mind reduces the pressure and the rush from being under pressure, and there are two ways this can go down. Either you do it to yourself, or others will do it to you. Clients, customers, investors, friends and relatives alike all benefit when you trade away some of the rush, thrill and pressure for being on time or even a little early. 

Ever heard the phrase underpromise and overdeliver? That is the relationship you should shoot for with all of your stakeholders, and remember, you, too, are a very large stakeholder in your life. So keep in mind that life is a moving target so allow time to aim and fire and reduce the rush of deadline pressure.