Perfection vs. Reality
IMPERFECTION! The world reminds us every day that our imperfections…our errors and flaws…are why we are not admired, respected, and loved. The dream of PERFECTION is sold to every one of us from every angle in every minute of every day.
Joey Harrington bought into the dream of perfection. He became the star quarterback at the University of Oregon and a Heisman Trophy Finalist who rarely lost a football game at any level. He earned the third pick in the NFL draft to start his dream career as the starting quarterback for the Detroit Lions.
Then the losing started. He worked hard to stem the tide. But the losses kept mounting, so he worked harder, and harder still. Yet the team lost more than they won. He was vilified by the outside world who blamed him for the team’s failures. His imperfections were amplified in public, and his self-confidence eroded. The dream of perfection was spiraling out of reach, no matter how much effort he dedicated.
Yet something remarkable happened to Harrington in the process. By accepting his setbacks and ending his pursuit of perfection, he changed. He grew back his confidence. His stress level dropped, and his effectiveness grew. He became authentically himself. And he was much happier.
What Joey learned is an immensely important lesson to all of us. The pursuit of perfection is eroding innovation in companies, fracturing faith in our institutions, driving false-expectations in our families, and creating harmful self-image issues. And it is the greatest impediment to our happiness.
Conversely, by embracing our errors and failures, we are providing ourselves with a better starting point for learning and growth, increasing our creativity and passion, building more authentic relationships, and setting the stage for becoming the best version of ourselves.
An accomplished jazz musician and broadcaster, Harrington is a wonderfully passionate and thought-provoking speaker who uses his unique skillsets as an artist and communicator to create one of the most emotionally inspiring and important stories you will ever hear.