The BFD - Bad First Draft

Let's face it. We'd all rather be perfect at anything we do the very first time we do it. I'd like to hit the long drive like Tiger Woods, chip like Phil Mickelson, and put like Ben Crenshaw...but I don't. 

At the ripe old age of 58, my wife and I fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting Egypt, land of pyramids and tombs and temples. Our first day of sightseeing included the pyramids of Giza and some other, lesser known pyramids.

Nothing Starts Out Perfect

We got up early to visit the pyramids of Giza. As children, we all marveled at the engineering of the pyramids: 


But after visiting the pyramids and sphinx, we visited Shakara. My wife was surprised to discover that the ancient Egyptians had not created perfect pyramids. There had been prototypes like the step pyramid at Shakara: 


This pyramid predates the Giza pyramids by 80 years or more.

Try, Try Again

There are hundreds of pyramids in Egypt, but we tend to focus on the Giza pyramids, not all of the prototypes that led up to their construction. 

Perfection is a goal, but rarely a reality. Many years ago I read about Werner Von Braun. He is considered to be the preeminent rocket engineer of the 20th century, yet there were thousands of improvements to the V-2 rocket he designed. The Wright Brothers couldn't envision a 747, but they got their motor powered kite off the ground. 

James Cameron, talking about Avatar, said that he had the script twelve years ago, but the special effects guys told him it couldn't be done. He just waited for technology to catch up to his dream.

Here's My Point

I meet far too many people who are waiting for perfection to bring their special gifts, their insights to the world. Stop waiting. Your idea won't get better until it meets reality. Then you can improve it. 

I wish that I could write perfect software that anticipates everything that anyone could do with it, but my product rides on the back of the whale called Excel. Microsoft finds ways to break things and so do customers. Then I find ways around the problems. 

I'd like to write a novel that keeps people up nights reading, but I haven't so far. I will, someday. 

Stop waiting. Start doing. The goal of perfection is waiting.

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