eris and toiletNo one reads a comic strip because it’s drawn well. They read it because it makes them laugh!

When I give a presentation about visual thinking tools, I ask folks to “raise your hand if you can draw.” Very few hands go up. If I asked that question in a kindergarten class, EVERY hand would go up. At some point, most of us stopped drawing…probably because someone told us we didn’t do it well, or mistook our pony for a beaver.

We have somehow been infected by the notion that unless we do something exceptionally well, we shouldn’t do it at all. We  become paralyzed by the crazy idea that our work (art or otherwise) must be perfect. (Which assumes that there is a universal standard regarding what “perfect” even looks like!)

In reality, most of the time, “good enough” is good enough. You can make your point  just as well with crude or primitive drawings as you can with  more polished art. (Some of my favorites: Hyperbole and a Half, Classy McGraceful, and The Oatmeal.) You can have fun singing or playing an instrument off-key. Nobody reading that report you wrote at work will notice or care that you put in eighteen hours choosing the perfect font…as long as it accurate conveys the message  required.

This fear of imperfection can cause us to waste time, by spending more time on a task than it is really worth. And it can inhibit our creativity and enjoyment of life.

My new motto: Dare to Do It Badly.

But do it.

(Thanks to Seth Godin for this title – go read his blog post here.)