March 1, 2020

Ish by Lynne Cazaly: Why chasing perfect is not good enough

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About the Author

Lynne Cazaly helps individuals, teams and organisations transition to new ways of thinking and working. 

Lynne is an international keynote speaker, author and a master facilitator. She is the author of 6 books. 

Lynne is an experienced radio broadcaster, presenter and producer having
presented more than 10000 hours on-air. Her background is as a communication specialist, having lectured in under-graduate and post-graduate programs in several of Australia’s Universities and consulting to different industries, sectors and fields on engagement, communication and change. 

Lynne can help you think better, make sense of information and handle the realities of information overload with her clever hacks and ingenious processes, tools and methods. She is a cognitive load coping expert.

Lynne is an experienced board director and chair and an #avgeek, loving everything aviation and air traffic control. 


Click here to buy on The Book Depository

About the Book

It’s natural to want to do well – at work, in study, in life, to do our best. But what happens when striving for the best becomes something more … the pursuit of perfection? 

Perfectionism is on the rise and it has dire consequences for how we think and feel about ourselves and others, how we think, live, and work. Perfectionism has been seen to cause over-thinking, over-working, burnout, sleeplessness, and mental health problems like depression and anxiety. 

We can’t keep going like this!

But what’s the alternative if it’s not perfect?

Lynne Cazaly uncovers how to think, work and achieve in clever ways adapted from the productive and creative worlds of software development … and improvisation.  How do they get things done? How do they put their ideas out there? And what can we learn from them? 

Excellence, quality and continuous improvement are important. But the pursuit of perfection … not so much. 

Here’s a helpful alternative that guides you to making great progress and achieving what you want in life. 



Find out more about the book here:


BIG IDEA 1 (6:00) – Nothing is perfect

This is the fundamental of the book and even Steven Hawkins says that perfectionism is not possible and in fact, without imperfection, not of us would exist. The pursuit of it causes frustration, procrastination, and fractured relationships.

Perfectionism is therefore never-ending because it doesn’t exist. It’s like a vicious cycle of pursuing the idea of perfection, hitting the reality that you can’t be perfect, which we then perceive as a failing and berate ourselves… and start all over again. 

BIG IDEA 2 (10:10) – Perfectionism comes in different looks

Lynne talks about the research on the three flavours of perfectionism. The first is self-oriented where you hold yourself to very high standards, second is socially prescribed, this is about our expectations of other people towards us (ie, thinking that others hold us to higher standards than they do) and the third is other-oriented perfectionism where we hold other people to very high standards. 

But what are we afraid of by letting something be ‘good enough’, whilst still being fit for purpose. By striving for perfection, are you trying to hide what’s really going on? Are you hoping people will envy you rather than you envying other people? Are you trying to prove someone wrong? 

It is a human need trying to be met in our strive for perfectionism. What does yours look like?

BIG IDEA 3 (12:56) – Ish is the answer

This is the transition from ‘not good enough to good enough’. It’s about deciding when to stop. Of course, good enough has to be acceptable, feasible and doable – so if you are a surgeon or a pilot, you probably can’t apply ‘good enough’ to all of your work, but there will be tasks or activities where ‘good enough’ is perfectly fine.  You can plot your task or project you’re doing against the acceptability, feasibility and doability test in the book.

The important thing is to define what done looks like and what does good enough mean? It’s important to have clear communications and expectations setting to avoid conflicts in ‘the gap’. Ish also has to be intentional by challenging yourself to know when enough is enough and find those perfectionist triggers. Also, try allowing others to be Ish, ask where you are holding other people to higher standards than are necessary.

Music By: Seine River Song by Loya

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