The Key to Happiness in Life and at Work

Life all about

Another bold title, but it’s true. I’m going to share with you a powerful phrase that you’ll do well to remember.


Because it will literally change how you do things, make you happier and realise that what you do is enough.

But first off, let me explain why I’m sharing this now. A few weeks ago I damaged my knee (playing around with trying out Brazilian jujitsu) and have ended up with a torn meniscus, sprained MCL and some bone bruising.

All very interesting you might say. But how’s that relevant?

Well, because I’m not able to train fully – my body isn’t exactly in the perfect physical condition right now – I’m having to adapt. Try out different exercises, change how much and what I eat and so on.

But I realised (well, truth be told, I came to this realisation a while ago, but the current circumstances reminded me of it), that I can still progress in other areas. I can get stronger in my upper body, I can spend time doing other things, I can become creative with what I do, I can learn to get around London in a different way (I often cycled).

So here’s what it’s all about

Progress, not perfection

Simple, right? How many times do you wait for things to be perfect? The manuscript just has to be perfect before you submit it for publication, that article needs to be perfect before you post it, the timing has to be perfect before you have children or start your own business. Things will rarely, if ever, be perfect.

That’s the truth. And by suffering from this “perfectionist syndrome” – really the “perfectionist lie”, you will never get anything done. You’ll use it as an excuse to procrastinate on things.

It will never be perfect. But it can progress.

And when we are progressing in life, work, love, relationships or any other endeavour we feel happy.

So yes, that first product you ship might not be perfect, but as Reid Hoffman (the founder of LinkedIn) once said: “If you’re not embarrassed by your first product then you waited too long to ship it!”

Google wasn’t perfect when it first launched. And still isn’t. Nor was Facebook, Amazon or any business or success story you find.

Hell, even this post I’m writing right now isn’t perfect. And neither were the 20 or 30 I’ve written before. But I’m progressing with my writing. I’m progressing with building an audience.

My first product wasn’t perfect, but I produced it all the same. My first YouTube videos are still cringe-worthy but I leave them up there to show the progression to now. And no, they are still not perfect. But each week I get better I believe.

Progress, not perfection. 

Understanding and embracing this philosophy will free you from the shackles of perfectionism. I give you permission (if you’re looking for it) to be less than perfect. I give you permission to get things wrong. I give you permission to improve and progress.

Progress, not perfection.

What do you think? Let me know by leaving a comment below and remember to share this post if you found it in any way valuable.

What do you think?