You Don't Need to be Perfect

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My life is taking a new turn and I'm letting go of the fluffs taking over my time. Like Steve Jobs said, time is the most valuable thing we have and we have to invest it in getting rich experiences and not living a limited life. 

After resetting my priorities, French came out as one of the top items. So I did a review of why all my efforts didn't work and what to do to greatly improve my French. 

Then I remembered that English is my second language. My mother tongue is Yoruba. So if only I think hard about how I learned English, I will find my most effective way to learn French.

Growing up, I was very shy and had almost no friends. I wasn't the talking type. Most of the English I learned as a child were from books. I was reading Shakespeare at age 8. Reading all kinds of brown paper, no picture books. And I never really understood the books I read. It was after 3 years of re-reading before I could make sense of Shakespeare's books. And it was like that for all the books I read. I would simply read on without bothering about words I didn't know their meaning. I read for pleasure, not for knowledge. I would read on even when I wasn't getting the plot. I never used a dictionary while reading. And that was how I learned most of the English I know. And it payed off. I'm now a writer.

Then it occurred to me why the regular french classes and courses weren't working for me. If as a kid I learned English by reading, why shouldn't I just take that approach with French? Even my goal of learning french aligns with it -- to read lots of French books, especially Voltaire, and have a French blog. I'm not that particular about speaking it, except for business purposes. I already hardly chat with people I see daily and that speak English; I don't think I will suddenly change to a french blabbermouth. 

Four days ago I spent N24,364.94 on Harry Porter books (1 to 7) in English and French. I will be focusing on reading french. I'm going to follow the same pattern I used in learning English.

And that brings us to the core of this post: You don't need to be perfect.


As I read the Harry Porter series, I saw some imperfections in it. The sort I have read in professional writing guides that authors should avoid. And I saw a few logic fragments. An extreme case is when an actor in a movie shoots at someone in a car, from the front of the car, and the guy in the car dies but the car's windshield does not break. But the books went on to sell over 450 million copies and in 73 languages.

You don't need to be perfect. If you're extremely good at what you do, people will overlook your errors. And you can only be extremely good by starting.

Start something that matters to you. Forget about perfection, focus on being prolific. Soon you'll do it better than most people and that's what matters.

If you want make something that will be useful to everyone in the world, and not something only experts can use, then being perfect doesn't matter. People go for their best options, not a perfect option. People want convenience not details. 

You don't need to be perfect. Just be prolific and put in your best. 

You might not make something as successful as the Harry Porter series, and you wouldn't by focusing perfection. You wouldn't if you don't try. And you'll never discover the impossible you can achieve. 

Best of all, perfection comes easier by being prolific than by being cautious.


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