Most people who describe themselves as perfectionists are often just scared. They don’t want to start doing something they know they should be doing, because “they want to get it just right” the first time. Almost nobody who is anybody gets it right the first time. We used to only see the latest work from a master, from someone who has made it in their field. We rarely see what some great painter’s first attempts at painting looked like or what some composer’s music was at fifteen. Until now.
The great thing about the Internet is that it goes waaaaay back. Way way way back. While your first website might be gone, social media that has survived (Instagram, YouTube, Facebook) has kept a record of your life and work for years. This fall, my Facebook account will be 10 years old. I didn’t start using Instagram until 2014, but comparing my photos from then and now, the difference is like night and day.
Here’s an exercise: go on YouTube and look through your subscriptions. Find the biggest names (or the most important) and go to their “Videos” page. Sort by “Date added (oldest)”. Provided they haven’t removed their old videos, they’re bound to suck. Here’s the first video from 22 million subscriber channel “Smosh”.
Don’t be a perfectionist. Start today. Document your journey.
Except me. I’m happy with amazing. I routinely stop and think just how amazing today’s technology is. All those things I dreamt of growing up in the 90s are affordable reality today. We have real time streaming video calls, for free! Any movie, any song, any book is for sale online somewhere. You can buy a pocket sized high definition movie camera with a built in editor and a distribution center for 779€ (or much less if you go for Android).
Be grateful for, mindful of modern technology. Next time you have a moment, think about all the technology you use on a daily basis and what was before it. Memories grow sweeter with time but I doubt anyone wants to go back to 56k.
PS. The title is from a 2008 Louis CK Interview:
VOSS is my favorite brand of bottled water. Not that I could distinguish the taste from Evian, store brand or even plain tap water. It’s my favorite because of the bottle. VOSS is sold in tall, sleek and sturdy glass bottles, which are great for re-filling with tap water. I love the way it looks on my desk. I love holding it in my hands. I love that I can’t crumble it in my hands and have to buy a new one (I did however recently drop one on the floor and broke the plastic cap). I love the glass mouthpiece which makes the water taste more fresh somehow. I love that I never gather a pile of them on my desk and wonder which one to use.
Having great design in your life doesn’t have to be expensive. Surround yourself with well designed, aesthetic items and notice how much pleasure they bring.