Overheard somewhere nearby: There were so many things we had to do. It was already December and the end of the year was staring us in our faces. And still, we weren’t done. Not even close. But, we were better than we were this time last year.
“The goal is to be better and not perfect,” says Ben Horowitz. That’s not an excuse to be less-than-perfect, but it is a bigger bullseye around the target we all want (and need) to hit.
Progress isn’t reaching perfection, it’s the act of getting better. As the year closes out, few have succeeded at everything they hoped to do. “Everything” is rarely an honest target. Instead, consider we should consider where we started. Consider it for our companies, coworkers, clients, etc.
Are we in a better place now than where we were back then? We’re not discounting the amount of progress we made to make ourselves feel better, we’re accepting the reality of our progress and taking pride in what was done. We’re thinking about the good and bad of how we felt along the way.
We’ve changed on the journey. We always do. The world didn’t quite unfold the way we thought it would. New challenges and surprises popped up. Did they beat us down? Or did we beat them back and press forward?
No matter the answers, it’s time to either keep or get the momentum rolling forward. When better begets better, the more better we be getting. When we look back on where we are today, years after the annual, quarterly, and monthly goals have faded from memory, we’ll still remember how we felt. Progress feels good. Today and in hindsight.
The goal is not to be perfect. The goal is to keep getting better.
Ben Horowitz’s book tour for “What You Do Is Who You Are” continues. Do read the book which inspired this post or check out some the long-form interviews he’s given – especially on The Tim Ferriss Show, the a16z podcast, and Masters in Business.