Perfection Is The Enemy Of Progress


Admittedly some people lean toward perfectionism more than others. Some possess the natural tendency to get ready, aim, aim, aim, aim, and aim. They never feel like they are ready to pull the trigger. But each of us has been a victim of paralysis by analysis. As a leader, you always want to have a little more information, a bit more data, a few more tests, or a little more consensus. Perfection is the enemy of progress in our jobs, but it is also an enemy of progress in our personal or spiritual lives.


See if any of these excuses sound familiar.

·      As soon as I get a little more time I’m going to… go to church… serve at church… go to small group… spend more time with my kids… go on a date night with my spouse… read the Bible regularly… pray more… invite my neighbors to church… help my kids with their homework… finish my degree.

·      As soon as I get a little more money I’m going to… tithe… give regularly… pay off my credit card… start saving… get out of debt

·      As soon as the kids get a little older I’m going to read more… lose weight… start exercising… start that business… write that book… get more disciplined.


We all know that no one is perfect, yet it is in our nature to demand perfection. We tend to demand perfect conditions from God before we start following him. He says, “Trust me,” and we say, “Show me exactly how it will turn out and we’ll talk.” We like perfect leaders, perfect churches, perfect spouses, perfect children, perfect schools, perfect conditions, and perfect jobs. The irony is that even if those things existed, once we got involved they would no longer be perfect!


Ecclesiastes 11:4 in the Living Bible reads, If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” The same verse in The Message Paraphrase says, Don’t sit there watching the wind. Do your own work. Don’t stare at the clouds. Get on with your life.”


If you keep waiting for better conditions you will never get anything done! That is not to suggest that timing isn’t important. It is. But quit waiting for a perfect job, a perfect church, a perfect spouse, a perfect kid, or perfect timing and focus on making yourself better. Stop waiting to read the book, get the degree, lose the weight, exercise, write the book, start the business, or change your life. There will never be a better time than now. Perfection and procrastination are enemies of productivity.