This past week I was asked, “What’s the difference between being “wow” and being “perfect””? – a question I found thought provoking enough that I thought I’d send my answer along.
In my opinion, “wowing” someone has nothing to do with being perfect. In fact, perfection is exhausting—for you and for those around you. If you’re the one taking a crack at it, mazel tov and all that, but the fact remains that the same way no one wants to be around someone who is right all the time, no one wants to be around someone who seems perfect all the time. In addition to which, I imagine you are stressing out your adrenal glands trying to be all things to all people. My recommendation would be to let that go.
So what wows us? Humanity wows us. Authenticity wows us. Approachability wows us. Consider Oprah, whom I believe many people love far more for her struggles with her weight; consider David Letterman, whom I believe many people like better for his struggles with infidelity; and, finally, consider Jennifer Lawrence. If she falls down at one more awards ceremony, I’m pretty sure she will be crowned Queen of America.
In other words, we like people we can relate to. We’re not fans of perfect.
What are some small ways you can wow others that have nothing to do with being perfect? Try learning people’s names; asking them questions about their children/parents/dogs/hobbies, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’; looking them in the eye; writing thank you notes…..
And when you do do something that is less than perfect, jump in with both feet. Say, “I was wrong.” Say, “This is my fault.”
I promise those around you will find that perfect.
Frances Cole Jones