Shoot for a B minus
Growing up my parents always told me to do B minus work.
Ok that’s actually a huge lie. My parents never told me any such thing. We grew up with the expectation that you always did your best, you left things better than you found them, and you did things right the first time (meaning not half-assed so it had to be done again.)
And for the most part, I think these are really good core values, values that I have tried to instill in my kids. Full disclosure: they may still be struggling with the “leaving things better than you found them” as evidenced by the candy wrappers and socks that always seem to magically appear on the living room floor.
But over the last few years, I have found the value in doing B minus work.
Stay with me here, I can feel my siblings sensing a disturbance in the force even as I type these words.
I have found that as I get older, as I become more expert at many things in my life, I can become paralyzed by my perceived inability to do new things “right”, to be “good enough.” I have created a near impossible standard of excellence for myself, one that can lead to procrastination under the guise of perfectionism. One that can lead to a subtle yet constant dialog of insufficiency.
And the more people I talk to, the more I realize I’m not alone in this.
It can show up as not working out at all because anything less than 45 minutes of cardio and strength training 5 days a week isn’t good enough. It can show up as not losing weight because anything short of strict keto or intermittent fasting won’t work. It can show up as not trying a new creative hobby because you are pretty sure you will suck at it.
So enter the idea of B minus work. By shooting for B minus, by dropping the expectation of excellence, we can drop out of procrastination and into action, out of self-criticism and into growth.
What if we just adopted the idea that “Done is better than none?”
Because that’s really the truth. If we only shoot for perfection, and because of that we never produce anything at all, is that really better than producing something “okay enough?”
Here’s the secret.
B minus work is actually the gateway drug to excellence
(breathe easy, siblings, breathe easy).
By consistently showing up and doing something without the expectation that it will be great, we can get better at things. We can actually move forward WITHOUT THE SELF-JUDGEMENT.
Now go out there and shoot for B-Minus.
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