Why Doing Things Badly Helps You Achieve Your Life Goals

Asian man walking towards his

“Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.” Thank you GK Chesterton for that.

With that one sentence, you’ve taught me that taking action without perfection could very well be my gateway to a new habit, that million-dollar book deal, or my dream job (that I’ve yet to determine).

You’ve also taught me that the doubts I’m feeling when writing this article doesn’t really matter. Because writing is worth it. Thus it’s worth doing badly.

So, you ready for a badly-written article? Because I know I am.

Breaking bad-ly

I have to admit, I’ve let a lot of opportunities pass me by because I like everything to line up before even attempting anything. That’s probably why I fall into random rabbit holes so often.

Like, do I need to be able to perform a certain number of pull-ups before I try rock climbing? What brand equipment should I buy? How many people have died from it in the past year?

And that’s just for one hobby.

I’d just started cooking and baking. You’ll be amazed at the things you can look up just for one recipe alone. What does reducing sugar do to a cake? Is there a difference between convection and conventional ovens? And what happens if I use baking powder instead of baking soda?

So many questions, so many things to google (yes, ‘google’ is a verb, thanks to another trip down the rabbit hole).

But you know what would’ve saved my weeks and weeks of pointless googling? Just following the damn recipes without doing all the pointless research.

That’s why I think it’s important to do things badly rather than to aim for perfection, or even ‘good enough’. Because I could screw up, but a lesson learned is much better than not doing anything at all.

A hand holding up a stack of non-fiction books

Sometimes the lessons alone are worth the price of admission that is failing. Photo: Thought Catalog

Practise until you can’t get it wrong

One of the biggest perspective shifts for me is looking at practice as a way of fine-tuning my inadequacies instead of striving for perfection.

One encourages me to stumble through my imperfections and to constantly improve (do better than you did yesterday) while the other paints an ideal that may or may not be achievable (get good, noob).

With the internet constantly feeding us the best the world has to offer, it’s easy to feel like we don’t deserve to buy a pair of running shoes because people like David Goggins ran a hundred miles on broken feet.

But you know what happens if we based our choices on others’ pursuits? Nothing. Because we’d never run, and we’d never find out just where our limits are.

When in doubt, act

I can’t outthink the problems in my head. This is especially true when it comes to emotions. You know the cliché of faking it till you make it? Yeah that stuff works.

I’m not saying that you can fake happiness when you’re clinically depressed, but you can certainly coax your brain into think you’re an active person if you actually stay active every day.

So what if it’s just a walk around the block? I still worked out. Maybe tomorrow I can walk further. And the week after that I can start running. Pretty soon, I’ll end up running 10 kilometres just for fun, and all that just because I didn’t let perfection get in the way.

That’s also how I got into writing. You think I magically created a blog and people automatically liked what I posted? My lord, man, if you only saw the stuff I posted when I just started.

But I kept blogging badly, and little by little, I worked out the tiny details I could improve on, until finally, I’ve managed to fool some of you into thinking that I’m a much more accomplished writer than I actually am.

Would I have been able to do this by reading every ‘how to blog’ before publishing my first post? I don’t think so. While thinking has its place, all my best achievements in life were gotten through action.

Doing Things Badly Act - Jon Tyson

Not exactly what I meant when I said ‘act’, but you get the point. Photo: Jon Tyson

Don’t mistake ‘badly’ for ‘half-assed’

If you’re still resisting the thought of doing things badly, then you’re probably thinking about half-assing things. But you should know that there are nuances to this rule. The most important being that we want to free ourselves from the results, not the intent.

Sure, you may suck at drawing, and your first attempts at sketching the human head may resemble the Teletubbies more than anything, but that doesn’t mean you’re half-assing things.

Choosing to draw despite the lack of talent is doing something badly. Not learning the ratios of the human head is half-assing.

However, I have to add that there is a virtue to half-assery. And that’s you actually doing stuff. Plus, if we’ve learned anything from the previous point, it’s that action is better than nothing, right?

So what am I getting at, you ask? Simple. There is a difference between doing bad work and half-assing things, but it doesn’t really matter.

The shitty first draft

Which brings us to writing. We all have an idea of what ‘good writing’ is supposed to look like—a blog post needs subheadings and images, a novel would benefit from a three-act structure, characters need to be fully fleshed out…

And while forgetting best practices isn’t ideal, you know what’s worse? Not writing in the first place.

Oh, there are a ton of reasons why we might choose not to write, such as the fear of being judged, thinking there’s such a thing as perfection, or being professional procrastinators, to name some.

But coming up with a shitty first draft is much better than formulating the best story in the world—that stays in your head.

What have we learned so far? That action is the prerequisite to reaching our goals. And much like faking it till you make it, you’ll have to write your way to a finished story. There’s no thinking your way to a better draft.

It’s just like Hemingway said: “If you want to donate blood, just sit down at your typewriter.” Or something to that effect.

“I definitely think that if you can make peace with the fact that you will likely have to throw out 90 percent of your first draft, then you can relax and even almost enjoy “writing badly.” —Karen Russell

A flat-lay of typewriter, a Bukowski book, coffee, and mobilephone

Something something typewriters bleed. Photo: Pereanu Sebastian

The things I do badly

I love being a bumbling idiot. In fact, I could argue that most of my young adulthood was just me completing a crash course in general idiocy (only chasing the next high, moving to another country for a girl I’d just met, spending my days sleeping and nights playing video games, I could go on).

But more than anything, I hope that by showing how much of a fool I am, I could in turn inspire you to do more than you normally would’ve. Because if some rando from Malaysia could do it, I’m sure you can, right?

So here are some of the beneficial things I sometimes do badly:

  • Learning Chinese: I only memorise two characters a day, and I do a pretty bad job at that too. Asian characters don’t come naturally to me, but now I know a few hundred words that I didn’t before.
  • Exercise: Most times I’m just trying to maintain the unbroken chain of working out every day, and for that to happen, I go into my routines aiming for 60% effort. I usually end up pushing harder though.
  • Writing: This is where my 250-words-a-day habit started. I wrote entire novels at this pace, and it’s important to note that I often surpass my initial target too.
  • Chores: Every time I think I can’t deal with the chores, I start with something small like wiping the kitchen counter. Once I get into the groove though, branching out into mopping becomes that much easier.
  • Blogging: Technically still writing, but this is specific to blogging. When I have a looming deadline but no inspiration, I search for images and create my post scaffolding with lorem ipsum, complete with subheadings and tags. Seeing the post take shape usually motivates me to actually write it.

It’s always easier to make something better

…than to start in the first place. That’s why it’s important to do things badly.

Because what happens after you start is the brain gets over the inertia and accepts the activity as your new normal. And pretty soon, you’ll be wondering how you painted that entire canvas when you just wanted to fill in a colour or two.

Maybe that’s how we should approach life. To judge things not by the outcome of our attempts, but our intention to try in the first place.

Yet some of you may be trying super hard in life right now, and you may think that you’re doing badly. You might think that this means you suck. But I’d argue the contrary.

I’d say it means your life is worth doing.

It’s also worth signing up to my newsletter because I’ll send you badly-written emails. Also exclusive.

113 thoughts on “Why Doing Things Badly Helps You Achieve Your Life Goals

  1. Wow Stuart nice stuff here, though when I read the first post I was shocked by the title “Why doing things badly helps you to achieve goals”?, I was like Okay let me read further what the author means by that. I agree with the list of things you do badly, like learning Chinese I really don’t know that native language. 😂😂🙌


    • Lol, it seems so long now that I’ve written that post, but it’s only half a year ago. Thanks for reading my older posts and leaving your wonderful comments! Hopefully you start doing more things badly too, because most times, action is better than thinking. Glad having you here!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. LOVE THIS!!!!! Your posts just never disappoint.
    “When in doubt, act.” That’s not gonna be an easy one, cause the normal is “when in doubt, overthink.”
    This is a whole new perspective of not try to be good or perfect, but just trying to be a little less bad everyday.
    Amazing post!💙✔️


    • Oh yeah, I can definitely relate to overthinking. I overthink even the smallest tasks that don’t really have an effect on my life, such as what ink should I use to write my pen-pal letter with.

      But at the end of the day, one morsel of action is worth more than an entire day of thinking.

      Anyway, thanks for the kind words, Joanne!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ah, that’s such a great post to share! I think I have the book lying around somewhere and have not gotten around to reading it, lol, so it’s great to have a summary to know what I’m getting myself into. Thanks so much for this thoughtful post!


  3. Pingback: The key to happiness is daring to suck, and suck badly…or the mystery of motivation. – Barbells, books and…

  4. Excellent points, Stuart. I like the perspective – dare to suck and the world is yours! Nothing worth doing is ever easy in the beginning. I guess we’re blessed if we find that mysterious motivation to pursue a passion, even through the extremely humbling first months/years.


    • To build onto your great point, I believe nothing worth doing is ever easy… ever! If it is, then perhaps we should be looking for something else to do. I really appreciate your kind words and the share on your blog. You rock!


  5. Pingback: Why Doing Things Badly Helps You Achieve Your Life Goals | AM Simpson

  6. Wow. This resonated with me so much! You had me at “taking action without perfection could very well be my gateway to a new habit, that million-dollar book deal, or my dream job (that I’ve yet to determine).” Since I still have yet to find my dream job… You are a fantastic writer, that kept me reading. This definitely motivated me in some way to try to do new things, even if I start out badly. Thank you so much for this post! So much love sent your way!!


    • Aww thanks so much for your kind words, Catherine! It really is a joy to wake up to encouraging comments such as yours. And I love the fact that you actually took the time to write such a well thought-out one too. Stay awesome, and thanks again!


  7. This resonates so much! I came across that quote once before in a forum I think, and it really can be such a perspective change. I love your take on it! Not being able to out think the problems in our heads… makes me wish I could tell my younger overthinking anxiety ridden self the things in your post! But it probably wouldn’t land like it does now, with experience and realizing not perfect is 100% okay.


    • Oh yeah, I love perspective changes, because often, the switch between looking at things from a totally different standpoint could happen through a few little words (cliche platitudes aside). Loved your comment. Thanks so much for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Absolutely adore the bit about practicing to fine tune rather than “leveling up”. I’ve been preaching to myself lately that you don’t need to do things perfectly, or be the best, to enjoy doing them. That’s just another perspective to enhance what I’m trying to implement. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s always the greatest to receive comments like this, because who knew that words could give someone encouragement? I’m glad that you feel this way, because now, you’ve inspired me to keep going in return. Thanks for your comment, Shima!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this. I’m a big fan of the idea of doing things anyway, do things with enthusiasm and never mind if you have talent ( or not!). Do things for the love of it or the hell of it. Even if you do it really badly, you’ve either got a good starting point for improvement or a good laugh out of the results.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I like this. Especially the shitty first draft. I think a lot of people have this misconception of writing where they think it is easy, so there is no need for a crappy first draft. In their minds they will be perfect right out the gate, and then get discouraged when they find out that putting words together is a mix of art and science, and harder than it looks, so they quit and go back to video games or whatever. The same happens with aspiring streamers, too (I knew one, personally). People are, in general, afraid of sucking.
    And I was in that position for a long time, but it also became clearer over time that I was afraid of sucking at things because these were the things I was doing for others, rather than myself. If I do something for myself and personal enjoyment, rather than to stay in a clique or stroke an ego or please someone, then there is no fear of having a rocky start, and the finish line is more rewarding.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wonderful thoughts! This is why I actually enjoy going into things with the intent to fail, not because I want to half-ass things, but because that ‘daring to fail’ mindset allows me to explore what I’m doing in its entirety, and the shitty first draft is a great example. Some might say that going for the shitty first draft is half-assing things, but if that’s what it takes to finish a story…

      Anyway, I super appreciate you adding your thoughts! Thanks for this :)


  11. Doing things badly can be cathartic, and these procedures can be so uplifting that we have the mood to try try again.

    That’s what I think the biggest benefit of doing badly is. You’re motivated to try again, because you just KNOW you can do a better job this time. The clutch of time’s fingers is enough motivator as our shirt gets tugged by the seconds and minutes of passing time.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Aw yeah. Lowering the stakes in your mind does make things funner, and that definitely prompts you to try again. I know I definitely do with my doodling—I have no expectations, and that keeps me doodling, which in turn helps me learn more about drawing in general. Great point here. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I laughed out loud at “don’t mistake badly with half-assed!” Yes. So true! Jodi Picoult I think said, you can always edit a bad page, you can’t edit a blank page!” Often, for me, it’s just the act of starting (something as simple as turning that first page, opening the computer program, picking up that dumbbell) then realizing, oh okay, all I have to do is this next thing and then this next thing, and the expectations fall and I start to just go with the flow. Sometimes it’s a force that gets you started but hopefully the flow catches up! Thanks for sharing always, Stuart! Love hearing about your writing and blogging journey! :)

    Liked by 3 people

    • This is EXACTLY what I feel! I just need to start on the first thing. That’s usually the hardest step. Sometimes—especially when it comes to exercise—it’s that first step that’s the hardest. But once I get over that, the following steps feel so much easier.

      Maybe that’s what we should all practise. Just the first step of everything. Then the rest will fall in place.

      Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful thoughts in this comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to be honest though and say that I much prefer writing alone, lol. No pressure to write and I can explore my own stuff.

      Oh yeah, Chinese is a weird thing. I’ve technically gone through like 800 words already, but can realistically only recall like 300? But hey, still more than I used to know, which is zero.

      Anyway, thanks for dropping by with your lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Enjoyed your post! You reminded me of when I baked my first cake many many years ago, from a store bought cake-mix – I think it was Betty Crocker. Just add eggs and water, it said. How hard could it be, I thought. My 3 young boys took a whiff and stayed far away from it. Years later I bacame an accomplished amateur home baker and even baked durian cakes and pineapple tarts from scratch, of course using trusted recipes. For the research part and when I was first starting out (after I realised the ready cake mix would not do), I used a systematic approach. I started with a chocolate brownie that did not involve any expensive equipment such as a electric cake mixer. 4 ingredients only. Eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate. The rest is history. So bottom line is doing things badly = many interations until we succeed. We will arrive. Eventually. Thanks for your post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Brownies were one of my first recipes too! Though I needed to double boil the cocoa powder (which I consider fancy) even though I didn’t need a mixer.

      Such a wonderful story you’ve shared, about showcasing how someone who did something badly in the beginning can still turn into a skilled home baker.

      My own learning experience includes using a sheet tray to bake my first banana bread, because I didn’t know that using exact sized loaf pans were important. Came out with a glorified pancake more than bread, lol.

      Anyway, I always appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by, Jeanne!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great post as always! I too am a firm believer that we learn more from failures, so it’s definitely ok to fail! In this new year, may we continue to ‘fail well’ on the road towards breaking ourselves open for the world to see, and to envy our courage to fail! Onward Stu!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lol, yeah. I like failing forward. ‘Fail’ is my word for the year too. Here’s to failing more but also learning more!

      And I hope 2022 has been treating you well so far. Thanks so much for this great comment, Kelvin!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Love it! I always ask myself three questions in my journal: what energised me today, what drained me, how can I make today better.

      And like you, I just try to do more of the energising things and less of the draining things. Awesome stuff, and here’s to discovering more retrospective resolutions!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Lovely post. Thank you Stuart.
    I like, “One of the biggest perspective shifts for me is looking at practice as a way of fine-tuning my inadequacies instead of striving for perfection.”
    Although looking at FB or any other social media site, everyone and everything looks perfect. Deep down, we all know we are not perfect. Yet we strive to be perfect.
    What is wrong with failing while trying something new, or not being good at something? If I take on a new project, try my best, and yet not succeed, I feel I only have to answer to myself. At least, I have the satisfaction of trying and giving it my all. And if I have to give it up, so be it.
    What I can do well,
    What I can’t accomplish after several attempts
    Realizing that I need a lot of help to accomplish a new skill, and not hesitate or feel ashamed to seek that help
    And accepting this fact is more important to me than pretending to be perfect.
    Best wishes.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Wow, what a lovely perspective, Chaya!

      And yes, this is exactly what we need to learn in life—what we’re good at, and what doesn’t come naturally to us.

      I believe we all have our gifts (which could vary from passion), but the only way to discover them is to try things out, and to fail along the way.

      And we sometimes discover passions too (which could vary from our gifts), which we’ll continue to do despite how much we suck.

      And it’s great to discover the differences and learn more about ourselves.

      Loved your comment. Thanks for taking the time to write it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha, I’ll take that! I sometimes feel that I don’t have a voice, that I’m just trying to be like a thousand other bloggers, and it’s so encouraging to have you tell me that I have one. I appreciate it, and thanks for making my day!


  16. Doing is where it is at. The intention isn’t valuable till it is backed by action.
    I learnt this the hard way because going from chasing perfection to accepting something ‘good enough’ has been a huge learning curve for a recovering perfectionist like me.
    Thank you for this wonderful article that underscores the need for more people to actually take action on their dreams than spending a lifetime waiting in hope of releasing it to the world once it is perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah, and the most important bit is that nobody can tell you what’s good enough. You have to discover it on your own and just do it.

      And this exact thing has been a huge learning curve for me too, not just from perfectionism, but procrastination as well.

      Anyway, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. I appreciate it!


  17. I love this post. It’s especially inspiring to someone like me who is both lazy and afraid to screw up. So I’ll just half-ass but with good intentions. I think so many things in life boil down to Screw It. Do what you want and not worry so much. Btw are you sending out newsletters? I’m pretty sure I signed up but haven’t seen anything yet. Let me know and I’ll sign up again if I’ve been missing it.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. First of all, I have to say I have the quote “It’s not about being the best, it’s about being better than you were yesterday” on a wall in my office. I have to remind myself of that several times a week.

    I have been blogging (inconsistently) for years, because I thought I sucked at it. A few months ago I decided to just do it on a weekly basis, and lo and behold, I’ve gotten better at it. Plus I’ve made some fun and interesting connections along the way. :)

    If we strive for perfection before putting ourselves out there, we’re never going to get anywhere. And although we still might not make a big name for ourselves, at least we’ve made someone laugh, roll their eyes, or just say f-it and move on to the next blog.

    I too have decided to say f-it, and as a result have had more readers, followers, and now listeners. If we don’t start off doing things badly, there’s no room for growth. (I read that somewhere once…or twice.)

    Once again Stuart, another post worth reading. And I did click…badly. :)

    Liked by 3 people

  19. ” Maybe that’s how we should approach life. To judge things not by the outcome of our attempts, but our intention to try in the first place.”- I love this! I have so many things I want to try and I find that I have to just do them, even if I feel I do them badly. Blogging in particular is important. I sit down and realize it doesn’t have to be an idealized masterpiece and I end up coming up with ideas I really like.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hell yeah! I find that my ideas flow more readily when I’m not too concerned about sounding like ‘the ideal blogger’ I have pictured in my mind.

      The moment I try and emulate others though, that’s when my pieces start sounding stilted and boring. Lovely comment. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 3 people

  20. Truer words have not been said. In order to reach your final destination, you need to start walking toward it first. It can be so easy to stay trapped in our own heads and get stuck on the ‘ideal’ of things—the amount of times I haven’t pursued my goals because of this is insane. Like you, I still tend to google a bit before doing any said action, but I feel accomplished once I actually put in the work.

    Thanks for another motivational post!

    Liked by 4 people

    • You know what I’ve been realising? It’s that we learn so much more by doing something once, than by googling forever for an answer we might not even use.

      Here’s to doing more in 2022, and I hope we stop staying stuck in our own heads and start materialising the things that we want. Great comment here. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

      Liked by 2 people

  21. if this is your version of a badly written article, I’m in trouble!

    I am a big fan of “good enough”, and then work to get better. Seth Godin refers to it as shipping. Just get your work out there, and don’t worry about trying to make it perfect before doing so.

    Keep those chains going!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh you definitely know a thing or two about shipping. I’ve always admired your daily schedule, and you ship complete with images and a decent word count too.

      I think you’re the embodiment of ‘practice makes perfect’.

      Thanks so much for always showing your support, Jim!


    • Getting it out is the thing here, isn’t it? Especially for us as content creators. There’s no point creating a masterpiece if it’s not to be shared.

      Lol I’ve been loving seeing you here. You’ve really made my morning with all your wonderful comments :)


  22. Love this! The only way to get better at something is to keep doing it over and over again, even if the result isn’t what you envisioned at first. This is what kept me from trying to draw for many years. I couldn’t do it well, so why do it at all? But for the past year and a half, I’ve been practising. I did some really awful drawings that I’ll never show anyone. But, I also actually drew some really good stuff, and I’m visibly improving! It’s so important not to let fear of failure keep you from doing something. Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah, it’s stories like yours that make me dislike sayings like ‘perfect practice makes perfect’. Because before you can even get to perfect practice, you have to suck. And if you only want to practise perfectly from the get-go, you’re telling yourself that it’s not okay to suck.

      But what’s more important is that we just do it. Which is what you’ve done. And I’d love to see your progression too.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, EJ!

      Liked by 2 people

  23. I like things to be done correctly, and I strive to avoid errors, so doing something badly makes me cringe. But your advice is point-on and correct! We can’t wait around for perfect. We have to put in the messy work. And, badly doesn’t mean we aren’t putting in 100% effort.

    For the past two years, I have been using the pandemic as an excuse not to start my business. Yes, starting a business in the middle of a pandemic might not be the ideal time. But more than anything, I was waiting for a time when I would do everything right. I finally kicked myself in gear, found a mentor, and just started! I might be doing this whole business thing badly for a little, but at least that means I’m working towards my goal.

    Thanks for another motivational and reassuring post. I especially got a kick out of your example of poorly drawing a human head that resembled something closer to a Teletubbie. That was hilarious.

    Liked by 3 people

    • They say starting a business is like starting a family. There’s never a best time, and you just have to go for it.

      But it’s so awesome that you actually went ahead and executed, because like you said, you’re working towards your goals, and that in itself is super inspiring. I’m rooting for you too, and you’re going to be a great example for others in the same boat.

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment, Suzanne! I appreciate it :)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, that’s such a great way of putting it. It’s the personal experiences that best guide us, because we can listen to advice for years and not feel the pain of one mistake. Great point, and thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 2 people

  24. You are so right. It’s more important to act than to freeze in perfectionism. I enjoyed NaNoWriMo in November to write 50,000 words of a novel without editing or critiquing for that reason. Now I can go back and edit.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lol, editing is where perfectionism can rear its ugly head too. Explains why I hate that part of the process so much. Because I do fall down the rabbit hole of making one chapter perfect sometimes. But awesome stuff on winning NaNo! Writing without restrictions really feels empowering indeed. And thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve never done NaNA before and it was an enlightening experience. I normally start a big project each day by editing what I’ve written the day before. It was freeing.


  25. The likelihood of achieving perfection doing anything is so infinitesimally small that, in comparison, the odds of winning the lottery are fantastic. We should all be millionaires by the end of 2022! ;)

    This quote sprung to mind as I read your post: “Perfection is not the end goal. Connection is.” So true!
    I heard this on a webinar about creating video content by Vidyard but it can definitely apply to anything I can think of. I *think* the quote can be attributed to Umair Imtiaz, founder of No Edge Productions.

    Perfection is basically impossible but If we do stuff “badly” for long enough, we might work our way to good or even excellent. Great post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow, your collection of quotes really do add so much value to the post, Tracey. I appreciate you actually taking the time to add teachings you’ve gleaned from your own life. And that final quote is amazing.

      Some people think that ‘perfect practice makes perfect’, and that you shouldn’t try if you’re bad at something. But I say sucking at something is the way to get better. Loving your comment. Thanks for this!


  26. Super inspirational post, and great advice.
    This reminds me of the quote “If you feel the product you’re releasing is perfect, you’ve released it too late”, or something like that.
    Always a pleasure to read your posts

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow, nice quote. Sounds like something Seth Godin would say. But I think it’s not bad to release your product in its perfect form too. It’s just that I’ve never been able to get to that point, lol. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  27. This is great motivation. Loved the way you said you learn the chinese alphabet. I want to learn to read my Mother’s Mother Tongue and I still have not. I may try this!Yes we can’t make something perfect first time. Practice makes us perfect, failures are stepping stones to success!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Oh yeah, we like to think that failures are the end of a journey, and that it means we suck at pursuing our goals. But it’s how we learn, and I can definitely say I’ve learned more through failures than wins. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  28. I LOVe this and it is great advice. The title immediately flashed me back to driving around Southern California and constantly getting lost. But I can go anywhere without GPS now. Anything is worth doing badly – it’s how we perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Whoa, I wouldn’t NOT use GPS these days, mostly for traffic updates more than anything, but I can’t imagine trying to navigate my way around unfamiliar territory without it. But still, discomfort always breeds growth, yeah? And I appreciate you sharing your story of it. Thanks so much for adding so much value to the comments section!

      Liked by 1 person

  29. This is so unbelievably true though albeit sometimes hard for my perfectionist self to implement. But my perfectionism has gotten in the way of my productivity more than once so its definitely not the way to go. Thanks for posting this!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lol I talk all this game about doing things badly, but I still exercise too much caution in the first draft and end up taking way more time than I should, so I think it’s normal to have to combat your perfection tendencies when it comes to your own life. The important thing is that we keep improving, right? Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  30. “Action is the prerequisite to reaching our goals”

    Seems so simple and yet 🤯🤯🤯

    Starting is always the hardest part of any project for me (well, right up until I get to the middle, which is the hardest part until I get to the end). Perfectionism is a sickness, and great point that practice doesn’t make perfect, just better. Another great, inspiring post, Stuart! (Also that newsletter CTA is perfection)

    Liked by 5 people

    • Gosh, when you mentioned ‘the middle’, I keep thinking about the middle of a novel, which is such a slog. Technically, everything between the first and last chapter is the middle, and I remember feeling like I’ll never get out of it—exactly how I feel when I’m halfway through a run. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment! Love it.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I do feel like a cliche sometimes, because that’s what people who are into ‘productivity’ tend to repeat, but it’s true that we need to pursue our ‘one thing’ despite our level of inspiration to do it any justice. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Love it. Also, I am looking forward to some cooking/baking disaster stories based on doing it badly and trial and error. Cooking disaster stories are fantastic and I feel like yours will be entertaining because of your writing style. And then I will share my own, like the time I learned that one does not cook rice in the same way that one cooks pasta. Anyway, I am with you. Sometimes it’s worth trying and doing it badly. If nothing else, you get a good story.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Ha. You mean the time I mistook lemon cordial for cooking oil? Or when I bought lemongrass when I wanted to buy spring onions (they look the same dammit)? Those were mistakes when I was much, much younger, which probably explains why I never tried cooking again till today. Fingers crossed, the only bad thing that’s happened so far is an undercooked chicken (we somehow just know by mouth feel, even though I can’t tell by sight), to which I just threw it in the oven.

      But yeah, trying to cook rice the same way you cook pasta is pretty next level, lol. And stories are like gold for us.

      Thanks so much for stopping by, JYP! Great to see you around.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha!! That is amazing. Lemon cordial, oh boy.

        Re: rice, then I had the even more brilliant idea to add more hot water to get the rice to cook faster. That didn’t work. Then my friends unexpectedly invited themselves over and one of them told me that I had made the worst stir fry he had ever tasted. Anyway, these stories are pure gold


      • Lol and this is just cooking! I’m sure we have tons of stories like this in all aspects of our lives. Which is a good thing that we’re laughing at them. Because like your recent post on your blog, it’s always a good habit to find the funny in the bad.


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