Our accomplishments and small successes often get lost in the list of things that did not go right. Many people miss out on celebrating the small successes because they are waiting for everything to go perfectly. As long as they know the results could have been better, it is not yet a success or accomplishment in their eyes. The challenge is, that time may never come–which means very little celebration, which severely limits your opportunity for positive feelings and increasing happiness. Focus on making the effort good enough vs. perfecting the results. We can control how much effort we put forth, but we can’t always control the results. Often there are other factors that come into play. Since we are human, being perfect is impossible.
Perfectionism creates expectations that are always over the horizon–expectations we think we are moving toward, but always seem just out of reach. Good enough enables us to forgive ourselves for our mistakes and shortcomings and celebrate the things that did go right. It gives us something to build on. Good enough provides us a positive feeling that we are making progress and lets us believe that we can accomplish even more. We can increase our happiness if we take the time to stop and think about our accomplishments and successes. If we try to be perfect, we may spend that time thinking about the details that did not go right, rather than the tiny successes we can build on.
Take time to celebrate your imperfect successes. Feel the positive emotions and happiness that come from your accomplishments. Try to be a little better after you have appreciated how far you have come. If we want to be successful and happy, then being a little better is better than being perfect.
“I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.” ― John Green