Trey Junkin, center for the New York Giants, fumbled the snap making an easy field goal impossible for the kicker, which cost his team the 2003 NFC championship – and maybe the Super Bowl. In a report for the San Francisco Chronicle he said, “I tried to make a perfect snap when all I needed to do was make a good one.” Perfection is a treacherous metric.
Seeking perfection can lead to indecision and mistakes because of overthinking. When I played tennis, I could almost predict a double fault because the words “I have to get this in” passed through my mind as I was tossing the ball. If I relaxed and let my instincts take over, my training delivered a much better result.
Success is not about perfection. Success is about being good enough at the right time. The reason we practice is to build muscle memory to take over in stressful situations when our decision-making ability suffers due to worrying more about the result than the process. If we build a good process, we will get good results.
Investing requires proper instincts because decisions must be made quickly. If we wait for the perfect news, perfect President, perfect tax code and perfect opportunity, we will never invest. Just like our friends that wait for the perfect job or perfect spouse, they end up with no job and no spouse. Not investing delivers a guaranteed outcome; I just wish it were a good one. Success is knowing what is needed, taking the best of what’s available, and adjusting as new information becomes available. It’s about embracing what you’re given and preparing for what has yet to come.