“Strive for progress, not perfection.” That statement, is a quote from somebody sometime, is really a releasing statement. I remember the first time I heard a form of it from my instructor. I had pulled him aside after class and was lamenting my ability to do the kata perfectly. He listened and then uttered the phrase, “Strive for progress, not perfection.” And he added, “Or quit because you aren’t having any fun.” Wow – lighten-up with yourself, or move on. Not what I expected to hear, not remotely, not even in the same universe. However he broke me out of a place in my life, as a young man, that was sorely needed. It was a midwest koan, decidedly designed to break me out of my thinking pattern. Oh, it didn’t happen over night, it took time to set in, but it worked. So I pass it on to you strive for progress, not perfection, be gentle with yourself – Lord knows the world won’t be.

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