#49 Floors and Ceilings

How to Be an Imperfectionist

Stephen Guise wrote a great little book called How to Be an Imperfectionist. As a still-recovering perfectionist, I found it very useful.

One of my favorite Ideas in there inspired this +1.

Most of us with high standards set very aggressive goals. Now, this is a VERY good thing as having high standards in life is a key aspect to living an extraordinary life.


Those high standards can quickly work against us (and paralyze us) if we aren’t careful.


Here’s how to deal with it: We want to have our “everything-goes-perfectly” goals AND we want to have a basic, “let’s-just-make-sure-we-hit-this-target” goals.

Stephen calls that having a “floor” and a “ceiling.”

You have your basic, let’s make sure this happens floor. And then you have your let’s CRUSH it and do this ceiling.

You live happily between the two of those.

But… If your floor EQUALS your ceiling you’re kinda screwed. I mean, where do you live in there?

You don’t.

You get suffocated by do-or-die standards and run the risk of falling into the perfectionist’s procrastination trap of not doing ANYTHING.

Floors and ceilings.

How are yours?

Practical reflection time: Take a moment and think of your most important goal right now.

What is it?

What’s your ceiling?

And what’s your floor?

Live between them. Happily.

(P.S. Ultimately, we want to use those goals as targets and then get REALLY fired up about the systems that will make them a natural by-product of you crushing it. Then we take the unhealthy/ineffective obsession on outcomes and use that energy on the day-to-day processes of showing up and creating a string of Masterpiece Days—which is always wise.

And, of course, we floor/ceiling our process goals as well to make sure we don’t drive ourselves nuts. :)

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