As I thought more about the perfect game, it got me thinking about how we (or others) create outrageously high standards for ourself, and then we wear ourselves out trying to live up to these arbitrary but seemingly meaningful benchmarks. When we fail, we beat ourselves up, stress ourselves out, feel guilty, try harder, work longer, and ultimately, burn out. In our society, all of this is accepted as normal, and anyone who doesn’t operate this way is viewed as a slacker. Unless, they somehow manage to get extraordinary results anyway, in which case, they are a genius. There is something wrong with this picture if you ask me.
Here is what’s interesting to me. The guaranteed worst way to go about pitching a perfect game is to set out with that as your goal. If that’s your goal, you will be more likely to walk the first batter on four pitches than you will be to get out of the first inning with your perfect game intact. Watching Will Roberts, it was clear to me how masterpieces are created. By doing, one small thing at a time with calm, but clear, focus. By focusing on the task at hand rather than the result. By not striving for perfection. By being willing to be satisfied with less than perfection, perfection became possible.