Never Expect Perfection

Communication is hard.

We have to find the right words to express our idea in a way that the other person can decode and understand in their own brains.

"Oysterman, FSA" photograph by Russell Lee, public domain, 1938
This is what you asked me to do, right? “Oysterman, FSA” photograph by Russell Lee, public domain, 1938

Translating our ideas to others is hard. Their own perspectives color their understanding.

I’ve been learning this a lot lately.

The more specific we make our requests, the more we expect perfection.

When we expect perfection, we’re let down.

We cannot force people to do what we want. We can show them, we can guide them. We can persuade them with the best intentions.

But be careful.

Too often, we set expectations in our head about how someone else should behave or perform. That’s on us.

When we fail to communicate our needs to the busy people helping us, that’s on us.

And when they fail to meet our expectations, most often that too is on us.

There’s an old saying

If you want something done right, do it yourself.

Sure, if you can do it all, then do it all.

The rest of us humans are too busy for that.

You can paint the big picture to inspire others along a path.

Praise their improvements towards meeting that goal or running through the system — the little dopamine hits will keep them working.

Offer assistance and guidance to rewrite their mental scripts. Let them see their future behavior and the positive outcomes.

We’re all wounded animals that want others to understand us with empathy, not attack us with criticism.

Criticism doesn’t help our cause nearly as much as we wish it would.


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