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4. Repetition > Perfection

How to strive for excellence instead of perfection and get 80% quality in half the time.

Is anybody perfect at anything? NO! So, why do people spend an ungodly amount of time trying to make their work flawless? 🤦‍♀️ Is perfection even attainable?

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism is a fear of failing, making mistakes, being judged, and not meeting people’s expectations. Put simply: we strive for perfection in order to avoid guilt or shame (guilt = I did a bad thing; shame = I am a bad person).

So what does that look like in the real world?

  1. YouTubers/Podcasters: trying to make captions, lighting, and video flawless

  2. Presenters: tweaking your slides with detail your audience won’t remember

  3. Writers: over-editing and rewriting content

  4. Software Developers: making the interface look faultless rather than focusing on basic functionality

  5. Planners: making your itinerary so tight that it doesn’t allow for any spontaneity

When is your work GOOD ENOUGH? Brené Brown implores her listeners to focus on excellence over perfectionism. Perfection is all about extrinsic motivation, while excellence is all about intrinsic motivation.

Creating Excellent Work

There are two key components to mastering your craft over time:

1. Focus on Repetition

A lesson from the book Art & Fear about how quantity beats quality: 🏺

[A] ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing [his] class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality.

His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pound of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot – albeit a perfect one – to get an “A”.

Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work – and learning from their mistakes – the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts than grandiose theories and a pile of dead clay.

The repetition of the “quantity” group made their skills took their skills beyond that of the “quality” group. 🚨 Cliché phrase alert: Practice makes perfect! 🚨

Another example of this I loved recently was on the “How I Write” podcast with David Perell. (Shout out to Michelle from Build a Wealthy Spirit for sending this to us!) On the podcast, Shaan Puri talked about MrBeast’s advice on how to become great at YouTube, which was to:

Record 100 videos and each time, do something better than you did before.

Shaan says, “It’s the perfect advice to give someone because it’s true and [for the few people who actually do the work] it saves both of us of the hassle if you actually followed [the advice].”

2. Lower the Barrier to Entry

The second way to master your craft is to eliminate obstacles. If repetition generates quality, you must eliminate any barriers preventing the practice of your craft.

My boyfriend Paul does a great job of this with his YouTube. In order to post a video EVERY SINGLE DAY for his channel (The Mangineer) he doesn’t edit the videos. He doesn’t generate captions. He doesn’t have fancy lighting. He knows that these things will prevent him from his daily video reps. Still, his videos continue to get better every day because he’s practicing.

If you have a high barrier to entry, the likelihood of you following through is lowered.

In the book The ONE Thing, the authors talk about how the best way to tackle a long to-do list is NOT to put in more time; the solution is to eliminate some of your tasks.

Are you performing any superfluous tasks that can be eliminated to accomplish 80% of the quality in half the time?


  1. Art & Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland:

  2. How I Write Podcast with David Perell and guest Shaan Puri on How to Master Storytelling:

  3. Build a Wealthy Spirit Podcast with Sammie and Michelle:

  4. The Mangineer YouTube Channel with Paul Santana:

HYPRfocus is a community dedicated to self-optimization and radiant living. Our mission is to empower individuals to focus intensely on their passions and purpose to create a life of fulfillment and abundance.
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