Eighty Percent Perfect

Just to see how much we are investing for that extra twenty percent in life. We can really ad a punch to our life by going less perfect. It will do two things. One it will free you up and second It will bring quality to the life.

Last weekend I was in a conference. In one of the heated discussions, someone said that he will be satisfied with eighty percent skilled person most of the time than to try and find a hundred percent skilled person for his team. It is not that he would not like a hundred percent perfect person. He just wanted to present a valid argument on how the extra twenty percent would require much more effort than the results it would bring.

This is all effort vs value. Everyone imagines or sometime is passionate about the perfect picture. However this must be seen that how it is going to affect the quality of their lives. To illustrate this in a more meaningful manner, I have taken two examples from daily life to see how much better it would have been, had the things were less perfect.

Story of a 12th grader 

A teenager besides my house is busy most of the time with his studies. He has a goal in life which largely depends on the marks obtained in 12th grade. I have always been supporter of the view that a goal should bring quality to the life. Here this boy invests almost 12 hour a day in studying. He has no proper rest or exercise plan in his routine life. So before he reaches the goal, his life’s quality is already poor.

In past one year he missed 3 marriages, 1 school trip, around 2 family functions and a lots of social events where he could participate. His grandmother died in the village and he could not go because he thought it would impact his studies. Overall he is in process of being hundred percent perfect. Surprisingly, when I asked him that if he would be able to achieve his goal even if he aims for less marks in exam, the answer was “YES”. Its the mental cage through which we are never able to get out and miss the most in life to regret later.

The guitar learner

Sameer decided to learn guitar a few months back. Since then he has been living an imbalanced life. After office, he goes for guitar classes and then come back home late. He has to sometime skip the breakfast if classes are in morning. He also has to practice at home for his guitar lessons.

So wait a minute, whats the fuss ? Lots of people learn guitar. Everyone has a hobby.

Right ?

But here the condition is different. Sameer is longing for a learning speed perfection. He can do the same lessons on weekends as well. But he wants to be quick at it. This is where the imbalance is occurring from. To pick more of something, one has to drop something else. Here that ‘something else’ is the breakfast, family time and mental peace. The hobby, instead of adding value to his life, is bringing misery.

A few more such examples you see where if we could settle for a little lesser, the life could have been something else.

  1. Buying things on EMI.
  2. Skipping the meals for meetings.
  3. Sleeping late and getting up late. Think that one extra hour in morning could bring you health, joy and a well planned day.
  4. Trying to win the social competition. Big brands, less value. He has got bigger car, I should also buy one even if I dont need.
  5.  Taking shortcuts. Not looking at long term loss on short term gain.

We may get hundred percent perfect on something, however the most important thing to see here is that how much do we invest from our life for that. If the investment is more than the output, its never a profit. So even if you are hundred percent perfect, if you are not at profit, you will not have a quality life. Focus should be the quality of the life, not the perfection of the outcome.