If I told you the artwork you see here was painted by a 9-year-old, what would you think?
What if I told you it was painted by a 49-year-old?
Many of my recent conversations (and thus posts) have focused on perfectionism. It seems many achievers equate success with perfect – or at least exceptional – performance. Anything less can make us feel like less.
This painting was done just the other day, by me, in my personal journal. My watercolor skills have not improved probably since age 9.
But you know what?
When I look at this painting, I feel proud.
Not because I think it’s an outstanding work of art.
And certainly not because I see massive improvement in my skill over the years. (In fact, my watercolor skills may have even declined!)
But I feel proud because the purpose of playing with watercolors is, for me, 100% personal. The feel of the brush sliding across the paper soothes my nerves. The jovial colors that appear as I flip through my journal brighten my mood. The fact that I don’t judge or criticize myself at all for the outcome, imperfect as it is, feels liberating.
We don’t have to do all things perfectly in order for them to have purpose.
Don’t get me wrong: I still have many areas where I want to excel and improve. Growth is one of my core values, and also highly important in our quality of life.
But sometimes, the purpose can be found in the mere act of the doing – not because of the end result.
Do you agree? What do you do merely for the joy, or emotion, or delight it brings you in doing it?
Christi Hegstad, PhD, PCC, is the Practical + Purposeful Coach for Achievers! Join our email community for weekly coaching tips, free resources, book recommendations, and more!