Can You Be Perfect Every Day?
January 9, 2018

Can You Be Perfect Every Day?

by Brian de Haaff

There are moments in all of our lives when we experience a deep sense of satisfaction. When we have worked incredibly hard and realized our true best. Instant flashes of mental and emotional euphoria. Masterpieces that no one else needs to appreciate. But you know that what you just accomplished means everything. And guess what? These moments can happen at work too.

Let me give you a few examples from our own team at Aha! I asked folks to recall short bursts — when time slowed down and pride and outright joy conquered. 

This is what they shared. The time when a customer called to cancel their account. And yet, after having her questions answered, not only did this customer not cancel, she sent the following note to two people on our Customer Success team: “Ladies, I can’t thank you enough for jumping on the call with me this morning. It was really helpful. I hope the rest of your day is as great as you made mine!”

Or what about when an engineer on our team threw 43,000 random conflicts at his program and it handled them all perfectly. Or the customer who wrote an email to share that what he considered to be a bug in our application might prevent his team from using the product. When someone on our team explained the reasoning behind the functionality, the customer agreed that our approach was actually a better way of doing things and he would adjust his team’s internal way of working to match it.

The beauty of those experiences is that they are not mine or yours and they definitely do not emotionally move us. Why should they? We did not generate the actions or absorb the feelings that came with the outcome. But these were moments of supreme excellence for others. Moments that will be remembered with awe.

I am not talking about always-right perfection. I am talking about moments when you reach an ideal state. So, can you be perfect? Of course you can. In fact, I know that you already are.

You might not be ready to admit it — because most of us are taught not to boast or revel in these kinds of accomplishments. But consider how you feel when you have worked hard or served others and the result is greatness. It feels pretty good.

Too many of us are told that perfect is reserved for the supernatural or maybe a once-in-a-lifetime miracle event. But that is not right.

Perfect moments do not have to be rare. And I believe that we can have them every day — in all areas of our life, including work. This idea of a perfect moment is a direct contradiction to that old saying, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”

Have people told you to stop being a perfectionist? Or argued that aiming for your best will only hold you back? I want you to start gently suggesting otherwise, to yourself and to your team, and doing what you know is right.

I am an optimistic realist. But I know this idea may spark controversy in others who view themselves as realists too. Every one of us has worked our hardest only to be held back by unfair circumstances or nasty people. Disappointment is a cruel but familiar beast.

In some people, this idea of a perfect moment may even elicit a twinge of fear. This is because it takes guts to aim for your absolute best — not just sometimes, but all the time. Let me use an example of a close friend of mine in college who was exceptionally bright.

Although he was highly intelligent and capable, he often told me that he did not always commit big effort. He knew that if he did not invest his full capabilities, he would have an excuse for not being awesome. “What is the point?” I asked him. In my life, I have found it is better to give everything and fail than fail to give everything.

Yes, perfect moments can be achieved every day — in fact, they are required to create lasting greatness.

These moments are required because the effort to pursue them betters us. It teaches us to be our best at all times. It is that consistency of drive and service to ourselves and others which leads to results that take our breath away. And the more we pursue, the more we experience. And the more we experience, the more platforms we create for even deeper satisfaction and pride. Perfect moments are the scaffolding of meaningful life.

This idea of excellence was so important to me that we recently introduced it at Aha! to the entire company when we were all together in December for our bi-annual onsite. If you follow me and the company, you know that The Responsive Method (TRM) is the engine for our growth.

It is a framework for success which is centered around the belief that interactions with urgency are what propel people and organizations forward. The principles of TRM include staying true to our goals, deep curiosity, being transparent and kind, and now building perfect moment after perfect moment.

If you are ready to create lasting greatness, have the courage to pursue and realize your own perfect moments. Reject the idea that anything is simply “good enough“ so that you can create supremely awesome events.

What is one perfect moment that stands out for you?

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

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