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An imperfect pursuit of perfection

Danny Ruspandini - Impact Labs Australia
Danny R.

Name something that’s perfect.

For me, perfect is icy beer on a hot day. Or the smell of a baby’s head after a bath. Or a cinnamon donut.

But I don’t believe I myself or my business do anything perfectly. This is an extension of the idea from an email a few days ago, where I suggested that being perfect in your sustainability goals was unrealistic.

This is 100% pure opinion, but I believe perfection is at least two things:

1) Perfection is subjective

What’s perfect to me is probably not perfect to you. The cinnamon donuts I love most are the ones that are really bad for you - deep fried, lightly coated in sugar but LOTS of cinnamon. It’s a huge weakness, I’m sure plenty of people would find them gross. But they’re perrrrfect 😋

2) Perfection is incidental

A baby doesn’t aim for a perfect scent when it comes out of the bath... It’s my subjectivity again that finds it perfect, but it just happened - it wasn’t “designed” that way. Likewise, at the rate those donuts get bashed out, I’d be surprised if they said they were striving for perfection every time. They just fly through the production line (so I’d say it’s more likely that I have a low standard for a “perfect donut”).

For me, I sometimes (not always) aim to do things perfectly, especially with work - but I rarely hit it.

Other times, I aim to just deliver my best work which I believe is a different target (maybe more realistic?) to perfection. But every now and then, that will end up being someone’s perfect solution.

Here’s my take

We each have a different measure for what perfection is.

My measure for myself is not higher or lower than someone else’s measure of me - it’s a different system.

Aiming for perfection in your sustainability goals is not pointless. Setting the goal creates your own roadmap, and making it public invites people along for the ride.

For many people who are appreciating your sustainability efforts, the fact that you’re being open and public with your goals will be exceptionally good. You’ll still see your effort as imperfect but by someone else’s measure, now and then, my guess is it’ll come pretty close to perfect.

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