I often hear from people….”I’m a perfectionist…and I view it as a strength and weakness”. So many people in leadership roles self identify as having strong leanings towards perfectionism. Yet, what does that really mean? What are the milestones of perfectionism? Is it..Every item on the check list is completed every day? All plans are polished and delivered on time? Meetings are run efficiently?… It is hard to measure success when perfectionism is a driver. There is always another level of improvement knocking at your door. This week, I challenge you to reframe your perfectionist milestones.
Begin your reframe by thinking about a farm…
Envision an organic farm nestled in the hills of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Green Gulch Farm is a short walk from Muir Beach and is a green oasis thriving in the fog and cool air of the Pacific Ocean. The farm is also referred to as the “Green Dragon Temple” (Soryu-ji) and is a Buddhist practice center offering training in Zen meditation and ordinary work. The ordinary work is running a diverse organic farm.
On a recent Saturday morning the fields had all been turned ready for planting. The peas and beans were well established and flowers were beginning to bloom in the fruit trees.Now, walk into the farm with me.
Open the gate to enter the farm and you will see old trucks, a variety of buildings that are not polished, and green houses bulging with plants, pots, and compost. Behind the fields are piles of wood, compost, and farming equipment. Farming is not a tidy business. In fact, one could actually say, it’s a messy business.
A farm would be a hard place for a Perfectionist.
Yet, as you enter the farm there is a sign inviting you into Six Perfections. This rugged wooden sign is tacked to a building that looks like it would blow down in a strong wind. The sign invites you into six milestones of perfectionism.
Take a moment this week to shift your perfections towards these six perfections
- Ethical Discipline
- Enthusiastic Effort
What will your perfectionism look like this week if these six milestones serve as your guide?