The Enemy of Greatness (Or…Jesus is a Headbanger)

What is keeping you from greatness? This post is about more than a song. This is a post about doing something rather than nothing. Before we go any further, listen to this:

Listen to very beginning again.

The lead singer of Flyleaf at the time, Lacey Mosley, says:

I want to tell that you’re beautiful and that we love you and that no matter who you are or what you are or what you believe or what you do or what you’ve done that God loves you too.

How many people in that audience are hearing that for the first time?

How many young girls had never been told they are beautiful? How many young men are constantly reminded of their mistakes, of their worthlessness, of hell?

How many people in the audience had never been told that God is absolutely crazy about them? Until that night, that is.

Yet…some people have the nerve to criticize their methods. They criticize the music. They criticize their appearance. All while doing nothing themselves.

It reminds me of a story about a great man…

Doing something always beats doing nothing

A woman once confronted the great evangelist D. L. Moody and said to him, “Mr. Moody, I don’t like the way you do evangelism!”

Moody replied, “Well, ma’am, let me ask you, how do you do it?”

She answered, “I don’t!”

Moody responded, “Well, I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it!”

Done is better than perfect

Facebook has a saying:

Done is better than perfect.

You might want to repeat that three times each day, or before you start a new project.

I’m not suggesting you don’t aim for perfection or that you don’t give your best. But do not make almost perfect and incomplete the enemy of really good and done.

The path to perfection is cluttered with good intentions and unfinished projects. (Click to Tweet)

The elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow known as perfection is often a figment of your imagination. It is often unattainable. And the pursuit of it will cripple you.

Done is better than perfect.

Perfection is a Myth

Most ventures in life have no measure of perfection anyway. There is no perfect round of golf, or perfect speech, or perfect blog post, or perfect wedding, or perfect meal. There is usually no perfect.

Stop trying to be perfect. Do more. Be great.

Do something at which you know you cannot be perfect. Do more things that scare you. Do more things that you have been told you would never do.

Flyleaf’s message may or may not be perfect. But it is done. It is effective. It is a great message. It is changing the world.

Go do the same.

How has the pursuit of perfection held you back?

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  • Love the song Matt! What a great way to start my Good Friday! Thank you man!

    I was just listening to Seth Godin’s podcast yesterday where he talks about this perfection issue. If we aren’t accomplishing everything we dream of, then something is holding us back. What is it? Fear? Self doubt? Everyone has to look deep.

    Have a GREAT Good Friday!!

    • I didn’t even realize it but that was the first song that played on my iPod this morning :)

      I am checking out that podcast now. Thanks for telling me about it.

      Happy Good Friday to you as well.

  • Great post, Matt, as I’ve come to expect.
    I have learned quite recently: Hang out with people who are doing “done” and not “perfect.” Immerse yourself in the reality that you wish to live, and BELIEVE.
    Sometimes it’s not fear that keeps us back, it’s that we can’t imagine what our dreams look like. Sometimes it’s not going deep, it’s looking in front of us at what we can see.

  • Thanks, Matt! This topic was just on my mind :)

    I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’ve been working on this in my life – but I still have room for improvement. There’s only so long that you can aim without firing before you get dizzy and fall over.

    • You’re a high C aren’t you? Ready, aim, aim, aim, aim. Being a high D, I’ve already fired off 12 rounds :)

      • You got that right! I’m getting some shots in now, though.

  • Perfection (and time management) has held me back from moving forward with that first book (or eBook).

    • How can I help? Hit me via email. Love to be of assistance Jon.

      • Matt, I’ve saved this message in my inbox as a reminder to get back to you about my book project. It is finally getting underway. You can help me for now by holding me accountable to completing my outline by the end of January 2014. I’d then like to complete a book proposal type document by the end of February 2014. I could also use your help in planning a couple of the next steps. Let me know what you think when you have a chance. I want this book to release this year.

  • Steve Pate

    By the way, being a drummer and a bass player, it was awesome to take the time to jam to that song!

    I think this goes along with just get started! Keeping it simple, then move to a place on the how, and when will it will get done. This is a daily practice for me.

    Another quote that has stuck to memory, “good intentions is a the path way to hell!” -that was an ouch moment when that sunk in. Thanks for a great post Matt and Tribe!

    • Glad you enjoyed it Steve. It’s hard not to headbang just a little.

  • Matt, I wish you would quit hitting so close to home! You sure can make a person uncomfortable. Yes, I am learning to say “good enough” and not wait on the perfect moment or situation. Great post and great song!

  • This is the biggest thing I’ve worked on in 2013…get things out of my head and OUT THERE, even if not 100% where I want them. Perfection is the goal, but I can’t let it keep me from accomplishing anything.

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