With a new year comes opportunity to set new goals and to dive into areas unexplored.
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” These are the often-quoted words of General George S. Patton, Jr., senior officer of the United States Army, who commanded the U.S. Seventh Army in the Mediterranean and European Theaters of World War II.
I’m not suggesting anyone run out to the nearest army surplus store in search of a new pair of jackboots, but if you’re like most of us, myself included, you’ve probably had something on your mind—a project, a goal, an idea— that you’ve been putting off instead of pursuing.
Oftentimes, in the pursuit of perfection, we delay, postpone, or wait until tomorrow. We do another Google search or watch another YouTube video in search of the impeccable blueprint for success. I’m a believer in starting with a plan, but much of the reward of any objective is in the struggle. You start with a blank canvas, block in a rough underpainting, and only then begin to work out the details.
I’ve seen this in business—a client gets overly focused on a minute detail, or sees something new that a competitor has introduced. They then backtrack on their vision, which delays the release of their product and costs them both time and money.
Microsoft has used a product release model for years in which they put out a new software package, let everyone buy it, and then work out the bugs as they go. Essentially, they let their customers find and report the problems, and assist in improving the software. Microsoft gets paid for the product, and the customer gets the latest, greatest version of the product. Although the product isn’t perfect, customers know that if imperfections are found, a new release will be out in a few weeks to fix them.
Don’t be afraid to start something small, or even a couple of small things, and see what you might like better, or which one may end up working better. Take up a new hobby, diet or exercise program.
One thing I’ve found, in my past experience, is that life is always more fun when you’re trying something new, or evolving from one thing to the next. There’s no better time to start something new than NOW.