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A Writer’s Notebook - Stop Trying to Be Perfect

Jamie Pham
Jamie Pham
One of my favorites movies is Friday Night Lights and in it, Coach Gary Gaines (played by Billy Bob Thorton) tells his players to “be perfect.” 
I’ve always thought it was the lamest thing someone could say but as I look back, he is not saying to be his version of “perfect.” 
He is telling his players to be their own version, whatever that may be.
“To me, being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship to yourself and your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is that you did everything that you could. There wasn’t one more thing that you could have done. Can you live in that moment, as best you can, with clear eyes and love in your heart? With joy in your heart? If you can do that gentleman, then you’re perfect.”
And lately, like I’m trying to be someone else’s version of ”perfect” instead of being my own. 
Instead of writing a blog post and publishing it, I would take a ridiculous amount of time “doing research” so I could cover every possible point. 
This would take up so much of my time that I would get bored/annoyed and abandon the whole post completely. 
I have tons and tons of developed and undeveloped ideas in my notebooks that I have left for dead and I don’t even want to look at the notes on my iPhone.
From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, we strive to be perfect. 
That doesn’t always happen but we wished our lives were. 
I want the perfect desk, the perfect cup of coffee, and the perfect mindset before I can start writing. 
What usually ends up happening is I sit around procrastinating because I’m waiting for that perfect moment. 
Since it never comes, I’m forced to rush and put something out that is mediocre, which is far from ideal and far from perfect but most of the time, it ends up being fine.
Author Austin Kleon has a book called “Show Your Work” and in it, he says that we should always share what we are working on. What we are building instead of the final polished product to show others the trials and tribulations that we go though. 
Gary Vaynerchuk wants his followers to share 7-10 pieces of content a day because once you get over trying to be someone else’s version of perfect, you’ll start to express yourself more. 
You wont have to worry about crafting the perfect photo that will make everyone envy of your life. And It’s ok to make mistakes and to be vulnerable. That’s how we learn to grow as a person. 
So be yourself and have fun with your life. Something I need to do a lot more of. 

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Jamie Pham
Jamie Pham @Jamiepham

Hi, I’m Jamie Pham. I currently live in Southern California working as a freelance writer, a social media manager, and run my own clothing line (One Two Threads). I’ve carried around a notebook with me for years now and usually jot down notes, ideas, and random things so I want to treat this newsletter as an extension of that.

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