Don’t Be Perfect, Be Great
“Perfect” is a word that I hear and see every day. “That is perfect.” “You are perfect.” “Life is perfect.” There is just one little problem though… perfection doesn’t exist. Nobody is perfect. Nothing is perfect. As great as somebody or something may be, there is ALWAYS room for improvement. People want so badly to believe in perfection that they convince themselves to overlook certain flaws. As microscopic as those flaws may be, they do still exist.
I, like everybody else, see things that are truly amazing, and think to myself, “That is perfect.” Somebody else could look at the exact same thing and point out a flaw that I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
Nowadays, people are so quick to judge other people and other things that there is a constant desire to appear flawless. When you know that somebody is watching you and judging you, it is a natural reaction to try as hard as possible to seem flawless. Nobody likes to be judged negatively. The truth is, you can never please everybody though. There is no point in trying to please everybody. All you can do is try your best to please yourself and do things the way that makes the most sense to you. Don’t worry about what others may say or think. You can’t control their reactions. The only person you can control is yourself.
If you try to be perfect, you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. When the time comes that you find out your best effort wasn’t good enough for somebody, will you consider your effort to be a failure? Unfortunately, too many people would say “yes”. Don’t allow somebody else to drag you down. Don’t get caught up in the trap of striving to be perfect. We all have our flaws, and that will never change. When you stop trying to be perfect, and, instead, focus on being great, you are putting yourself in a position to succeed. You are putting yourself in a position to be happy and full of pride. We may not all be naturally gifted athletes, we may not all be born with incredible musical talents, etc., but we all are born with potential. Every single person on the planet has the potential to be great!! The way you are raised, the choices you make in life, the influences you have in your life, and the path you choose to take through this journey of life will ultimately determine how your life will turn out. But, there is potential within all of us to do truly great things in this world.
In the short time that I have been involved in the golf industry, I have had the opportunity to experience things I never imagined were possible for me. I have worked as a volunteer each of the past two years at the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill here in Orlando. In 2016, I had the incredible opportunity to spend some time in the presence of Arnold Palmer himself. Although I never got to officially meet him and shake his hand, being in the same room as Mr. Palmer was an experience I will never forget. Mr. Palmer was not perfect. He didn’t win every tournament, he didn’t break every record, and he was not a flawless human being. He was, however, truly great in countless ways. He was the person that everybody in the golf industry should strive to be. In my opinion, he was the kind of person that everyone in the world, in general, should strive to be. When you are in the presence of somebody who is truly great, everything has a different feel. The situation you are in has an indescribable feeling, and you just know that you are experiencing something special.
For me, being in the same room as Mr. Palmer, and the feeling that I had knowing how proud he was of all of the hard work we volunteers were doing to help make his event run as smoothly as possible is something I will never forget. I will never forget seeing the smile on Mr. Palmer’s face as he looked around the room and watched all of us work. I will never forget the 3 seconds of my life when Mr. Palmer and I made eye contact, and he gave a thumbs up with a smile on his face. It gives me chills and is honestly bringing a few tears to my eyes right now just thinking about it. THAT is the impact greatness can have on the world. Perfection may not exist, but greatness can leave an impact on the world that will live on long after our lives end. Any time that I have the opportunity to go back to Bay Hill now, I can still see Mr. Palmer. His presence is still felt there every day. He was a truly great man, and his contributions to the world will live on for a very long time.
Whether or not you have any interest at all in golf is not the point of this post. Whatever your interests and passions are in this world, and however you choose to contribute to this world, forget about trying to be perfect. Don’t strive for perfection. Don’t be perfect, be great!! People who try to be perfect will end up being disappointed and frustrated in the end. People who try their absolute best every single day to be great, have the potential to leave an impact on this world that could live on forever. Don’t forget that even things that seem small can have an enormous impact on the people around you. Be happy, be proud, work hard, stay positive, keep moving forward, and strive for greatness!!