We were chatting on the show about his book, “Do More Great Work” (you can hear the show here). Besides the great exercises for stepping out of busy and into meaningful work, one of the things I loved about the book were the nuggets of wisdom from Michael.
One that struck me in particular is that when you are engaged in ‘Great Work” it often takes you to the edge of your known world. In other words you have to be courageous enough to be uncomfortable sometimes if you are going to do what really matters. It tends to stretch you beyond your competency.
Yet when we talk about “Great” or doing “Great Work” it might sound as if you are trying for some standard of excellence. Striving for a new form of perfection called ‘Great Work.’ But this is not the case. You don’t have to be great, or perfect, or fixed up in any way to do something meaningful. In fact, Perfectionism and what Michael termed “the Cult of Excellence” are the enemies of Great Work, precisely because we are very unlikely to be able to both stretch into the unknown and do things perfectly at the same time.
I love the idea that you do not need to be a different person to make a difference. Although, you just may need to be a fed up person who doesn’t want to settle for less any longer.
Fed up just enough to keep going right to the edge of your world.
Here’s one of my yellow highlights from Michael’s book:
“You may have heard that when ancient mapmakers ran up to the very edge of the known world, they would write Hic Sunt Dracones, or “here there be dragons.”
May we all face them more often.
More on perfectionism
(and only a wee bit of ranting...)
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