Because the unexamined life is not worth living.

Perfection Paralysis

I’ve been meaning to create a personal blog for a while.  I’ve also been meaning to start several companies, become an excellent tango dancer, develop a meditation routine, learn Krav Maga, and write a novel.  And I’ve done none of these things.

I suffer from perfection paralysis.  I procrastinate and put off starting projects due to the fear of not getting everything perfectly right.

I keep waiting for the perfect time.  For the semester to end so that I don’t have to worry about classes.  To finish the TV season that I’m in the middle of watching.  To learn how to code at a professional level so that the design of this website could be visually stunning.

But there is no perfect time.  There is now, and there is later, and there will always be a thousand reasons not to do something.  So, if something is important, the time to get it done is now.

Feeling blue: Incapable to even begin

Feeling blue: Incapable to even begin

One of my favorite quotes (and I’m a big fan of quotes) is attributed to Gandhi: “Action expresses priorities.”  You can tell people how important something is to you–you can even try to fool yourself–but in the end how you spend your time is the true indicator of what matters to you.  So I call bullshit when people say how much they want something but don’t have the time to make it happen.  Everyone has the time for the things that are important to them.  Stop watching TV, going to the bars, get less sleep, whatever.  When you have a hard deadline to meet, somehow your work gets done.  That big project for school always is finished just in the nick of time.

So, quite honestly, until now this blog was simply not important enough to me to work on it.  It was a great idea, but only that.  An idea.  In my head, every post was a piece of literature, something that would be read for generations to come.  And as long as I didn’t actually start writing, every post could be.

When it stays in your head, that novel you’ve been meaning to write is the “Great American Novel” that will be taught in high schools for the next two centuries.  That tech company you’ve been meaning to start is the next Google.  That app you’ve wanted to create is the next Snapchat.  Because if you don’t try, you can’t fail.

Dreams want to stay dreams.  But dreams on their own mean nothing.  ”Action expresses priorities.”  It’s the execution that matters.

So I finally put my money where my mouth is, got out my laptop and started to write.  At first, all I had were random thoughts on my screen, but as I spent time rewriting and editing, this post began to take form.  90% of what I originally wrote didn’t make this final post.  But just starting was most of the battle.

It’s better to, as Nike says, just do it.  If you want to write, give yourself a deadline to put something on paper and release it to the world.  It will never be absolutely perfect.  But once you have something, you receive feedback and start the process all over again.  Because that is how you learn, grow, and improve.  In everything in life.

Well, all that and I just realized that most of the blogs out there are absolute shit so I don’t really have to be worried about being the worst.

So, is this first post perfect?  Far from it.  I think it’s pretty pedestrian.  But now I’ve begun.  It’s a first step.

3 Responses

  1. Claire Reardon

    Good for you, Dan! Finally you’ve reached my level and gotten a blog :)

    November 16, 2013 at 8:47 pm

  2. Mia Spinelli

    Reardog, you’re doing better than most of us! Now I want to hear on the blog about all the other things happening. Writing it down is dangerous now you’re accountable! The world will be better with more of your ideas floating around

    November 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

  3. judy sutherland

    Dan, I am so happy to see this up and going. It is so hard to keep up with all of you and stay connected with you as a person and this is great. Now we need some pictures to add to it.
    You are right, if you really want to do something, you will otherwise you didn’t want it badly enough. That goes for all of us.
    Love you,
    Aunt Judy

    November 27, 2013 at 12:34 am

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