What “If” by Rudyard Kipling can teach us about Analysis Paralysis, Perfectionism Paralysis and the “Done is better than perfect” concept.

Two of the biggest enemies of success: Analysis Paralysis and Perfectionism Paralysis. We have so much negative talk and artificial roadblocks in our heads that keep us from starting or finishing something: a business, that website, our book, that song, that album, the company app. We end up endlessly tweaking – never finishing. How do we get around that? Perhaps the concept of “done is better than perfect” can help with that – but when is that appropriate and when is it not? Do we sacrifice excellence for productivity? Do we trade off the time it takes to master a craft for the sake of churning out projects? Come chat with us about it here and let us know what you think! We’re tying our thoughts into the famous poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling (which we’ve included below for you to read and the excerpt we quoted is also highlighted below) and another concept around the French word “Bricolage” – plus we have two book recommendations for you from Jon Acuff. From this, we’ve extracted 3 tips for you:


  1. Set a firm deadline
  2. Be comfortable with flaws
  3. Remember every master was once a beginner.

We’ve also included a Control Freak Quiz below (take it and see how you do!). Check out the video for this blog post:

Check out the podcast for this blog post on iTunes:

“If” – by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same; 
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Control Freak - MicroManager

PS – Are you a Control Freak? A bit too much of a perfectionist perhaps? Take this quiz to find out:

The Control Freak Quiz

Source: PsychologyToday.com by Karl Albrecht Ph.D. of BrainSnacks

For each question, choose a number on a five-point scale, to show how accurately you think the statement describes you. Use 1 = Rarely or Never; 2 = Seldom; 3 = Sometimes; 4 = Often; and 5 = Very Often. Then add up all ten scores and consult the interpretation scale at the end. (Note: the even-numbered questions indicate personal control and the odd-numbered ones indicate control over others.)

Be as honest as you can. As you answer each question, imagine that someone who knows you well is looking over your shoulder – what would they say? Would they agree with your self-perception?

1. Do you “help” other people drive – tell them what route to take, when to turn, where to park, remind them that the traffic light has changed?

2. Do you devote a lot of attention and energy to keeping your personal environment organized?

3. Do you give people a lot of “shoulds” and “oughts” – unsolicited advice, suggestions, and “constructive criticism?”

4. Do you have lots of personal rules, routines, rituals, and ceremonies?

5. Are you the one who takes over and orders other people around when the situation seems confused?

6. Do you dislike depending on others, accepting help from them, or allowing them to do things for you?

7. Do you insist on “being right,” having things done your way, or having the final word?

8. Do you “over-plan” simple activities?

9. Do you find it difficult to admit making mistakes, being wrong or misinformed about something, or acknowledging that you’ve changed your mind?

10. Do you become angry, irritable, or anxious when someone or something makes you late, when things don’t start on time, or things don’t go according to plan?

Interpret Your Score:
41 – 50: yep, you’re a control freak.
31 – 40: you probably have some control issues.
21 – 30: you can live and let live.
10 – 20: are you being honest?





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Andrea D. Smith, The ADS Agency
Marketing & Branding Tips for Entrepreneurs & Career Professionals