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Robert Ecker
Robert Ecker

Posted on • Originally published at team-coder.com

Give Up Perfection!

I wanted to write about that topic for weeks or maybe even months. But I never started. Until now! Something was holding me back from writing this article. It was almost like a fear. Maybe the fear of not being good enough. I was not sure what exactly to write down and how to write it. I didn’t even come up with a good title for that article and without a great title I didn’t want to start writing at all. The title has to be short and crispy. It has to catch the reader’s attention! It has to seem relevant to search engines. It has to be as perfect as the whole content of the article.

This desire for perfection is the reason why I have never published this article. It is the reason why instead of an interesting blog post, that could have inspired at least a few people, I have released nothing. But today all of a sudden it became crystal clear to me! There is no perfection. Life is so complex, there are so many possible solutions for every problem. What I like somebody else might hate and what I don’t like could be a life-changing inspiration for somebody else.

I don’t want to strive for perfection anymore. I want to actually get stuff done. I want to sing out loud even if I’m not a perfect singer. I want to release that feature to the customers even if it is not perfect, yet. I want to tell my opinion even if not everybody at the table will agree. And I finally want to publish this blog post even if it is not perfect.

I didn’t want to release the last article I wrote without letting a native English speaking friend of me having a look on it. I was afraid that there might be a grammar mistake in my text. That would be fatal because it would make the whole blog post imperfect! People might think that I’m not a professional! Bullshit! Maybe some people would realize that I’m not a native speaker of the English language but does that make me any less reliable on the topic I write about? I don’t think so! In fact, there are professionals who’s native language is obviously not English and I still look up to them and admire them for being so professional.

I guess there are certain areas where perfection would indeed be a desirable goal. Like in nuclear power stations, in space missions or in certain medical fields. But for writing a blog post? Come on! Seriously, the important thing in a blog post is the basic idea behind it. Not that every word is perfect. And I think that this applies to most things in life. The ideas are important. The messages you want to tell. The feelings that you want to share and the actual things that are important to you.

Perfection is a nice direction but it’s not a goal that must be reached. It can motivate you to get better but you should never let you pull down by the unachievable illusion that everything must be perfect.

Someone once told me that the perfect blog post has about 1500 words. That would mean that I have about 1000 words to go. Guess what? This will be the last paragraph and it feels great! I will stop here and just call this article „Give Up Perfection!“. Even if this article is not perfect I hope that I could make my message clear. There is no perfection and even if there was something like that we usually wouldn’t need it. Instead we should concentrate on the really important stuff and just do it!

Discussion (13)

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atyborska93 profile image
Angelika Tyborska

I feel like you described the inside of my head. I eventually learned to let go of my striving for perfection at work because there are deadlines and other obstacles, but when writing personal blog posts I still struggle with it. I guess I will have to revisit your post before I write another of my posts :).

For the language side of things, being a non-native English speaker too, what gives me a peace of mind before publishing a post is running it through a grammar checker. There are some free options out there.

PS. I absolutely love the cover for this post!

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Robert Ecker Author

Thank you so much for this feedback! Words like that really help to keep up the motivation for writing :)

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Tim Stephansen

Great article. I find myself stuck in the cycle of writing code then refactoring because I think the code isn't good enough. I sometimes spend way too much time doing that when really the code is fine.

As far as English being your second language, don't let that hold you back. I think most people can put together a message pretty well (consider people getting drunk texts? 😂). That's also one of the great things about programming. It doesn't matter what language you speak because code is universal (obviously C# is different from JS, C++, etc but you get the point).

Thanks for contributing!

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Robert Ecker Author

Thanks for your feedback :)
Yes, I also learned that it can often be applied for coding as well as for writing blog posts!

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Damien Cosset

Yes! Great post. As Voltaire said: "Perfect is the enemy of good"

I remember David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails, saying that unless you code for peacemakers or self-driving cars, being good enough is just fine.

It doesn't mean that we don't strive for better every time, but chasing perfection will all drive us crazy.

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👑 Fred Amare

Robert, This is awesome. 😊😊

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Robert Ecker Author

Thank you Fred :)

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Anees Ahammed

@robert ,
Your article led me to write my first ever dev.to post. Thanks :)

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Robert Ecker Author

Wow, this is really motivating for me, too! :)

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Johannes Zillmann

Perfect, thanks! ;)

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Robert Ecker Author

Haha, thanks :)

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Alan Koroma

Great Article... 😍😍😍😍😍

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Robert Ecker Author

Thank you Alan :)