Jack Uldrich
Show navigation Hide navigation

Practice Imperfection

Posted in Culture, Curiosity, Education, General, Paradox, Parenting, Unlearn Strategy

BetsyLydia2.6 "Practice makes perfect." It is a message ground into us from our earliest ages. There is nothing inherently wrong with the message. In fact, it is something I emphasize to my own children.

It is, however, an incomplete idea. This is especially true in a field where absolute perfection can't be attained — a field such as learning. 

The idea that we will always be imperfect may be depressing to many people but I believe the idea can keep us intellectually humble. It will also keep us asking questions and engage our inherent curiosity

All of these are wonderful things so if you want to keep learning try unlearning the idea that "practice makes perfect" and instead practice recognizing those areas where you are still imperfect. Counter-intuitively, it may get you a little closer to your goal.

To this end, I recently came across a story that said Amish quilters purposely sew one imperfection into their quilts to serve as a reminder of their own imperfection.

What serves as your reminder?

2 thoughts on “Practice Imperfection”

  1. I often reminded my theater students and high school actors whom I directed not to fret about perfection. I used the example of Navaho blanket weavers who deliberately put in a mistake to let the evil spirits out. I have since heard evidence of this in other cultures and in other crafts.

  2. Dave Scott says:

    Why are furniture and other decorative objects made of wood so beautiful? They’re perfect because they’re not “perfect”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Interested in having Jack speak at your next event?
Invite Jack to Speak


Subscribe to the Exponential Executive Newsletter now!