A Microsoft Vista Lesson In Perfectionism

I woke up this morning all excited to publish Part 2 of my free report: The Energetics of Attraction: Understanding and Applying the Harmonics of Human Awareness to Compose the Life You Desire. (If you haven’t read Part 1, you can get it here).

Yesterday, I spent over 4-hours “finalizing” the document. I added the section on the role of the subconscious in attraction, made revisions based on feedback I received, and added the layout elements including all the callouts and quotes.

So imagine my surprise this morning when I fired up my computer, started Word and got to the quick launch menu and saw no sign of my revised file! I spent a few minutes poking around, but rather than get completely stressed before my morning yoga class, I took a deep breath and walked downtown for some hot yoga.

After returning from yoga I searched everywhere on the internal hard drive, external hard drive, and flash drives. I’ve looked for the autorecover files. And I’ve searched Google on the slight chance that Vista has some glitch (no snide comments please!) that makes files just disappear.

No luck.

The file is gone.

So, either I had a major hallucinatory/out-of-body experience for those 4-plus-hours yesterday, or Vista/Word decided to eat that file. Either way, I can’t say that I’m thrilled!

However, being a Law of Attraction practitioner, I’m taking a lot of deep breaths and looking for the positive and the lesson in this.

One big positive is that, aside from the brief moment when I considered smashing the computer, I have remained relatively calm during this process. I haven’t whined (too much). I haven’t screamed (thought about it). I haven’t found a “Microsoft is the antichrist” website to rant on (hadn’t actually thought of that one until just now. Maybe… Nah!)

In fact, as I write this, I actually have a silly grin on my face and feel pretty good. (Check in with me again when I’m 2-hours into making those revisions again!)

Now, as for the lesson… Can you say “perfectionists anonymous?” Sure, as a coach and trainer, I encourage people to let go of perfectionism and get more done. But that’s still a life lesson I’m actively working on.

If you have already downloaded and read part 1 of the report you know that Part 2 was supposed to be done last week. Didn’t happen. Yesterday, I planned to publish it by lunchtime. Didn’t happen. So when I “finished” it around 9:00pm last night, I thought, since it was “too late” to publish it, that I would give it one more read through this morning before sending it out.

I guess that was one too many versions and the computer gods conspired to give me a gentle reminder that next time I should focus on getting it done, not perfect!

Are you a perfectionist? Do you tend to take your projects one, two or more versions beyond where they need to go? What would happen if you “finished” your project in 3 versions instead of 5? How much time would you save? How much sooner would people have access to it? How much more money would you make?

Vista is a prime example! Do you think the project managers at Microsoft knew there were bugs in Vista when they released it? Absolutely. Did they find a good balance between getting it right and getting it done? I suppose it depends on which desk you’re sitting at. If you’re in the accounting office at Microsoft, I’m sure you’re feeling pretty good about Vista being out in the world. If you’re sitting at home pulling your hair out, you may not agree!

But Microsoft aside, I’m going to challenge you, and I’m challenging myself as well, to focus on “finishing” your projects – blog posts, reports, presentations, art projects, songs, etc. – in at least one fewer drafts than you normally would.

Don’t do what I did last night and say, “I’ll just give this one more read in the morning.” Get it out the door so that you can move on to the next project.

Does this mean that some mistakes will get through? You bet. Is it the end of the world? No!

In my case, a few typos in a free report isn’t going to make someone say, “Look, there’s a typo. I’m not going to read any more of this stuff!” And, honestly, if someone is going to be turned off by some typos, I’d rather they move on to someone else’s free report!

So here’s my promise to you: I will have Part 2 of The Energetics of Attraction: Understanding and Applying the Harmonics of Human Awareness to Compose the Life You Desire published by Noon pacific time… Today! That gives me two hours to redo the revisions, quotes and other layout elements. (Now it’s 1 hour and 53 minutes because I just did a quick proof of this post!)

If you haven’t downloaded Part 1 of the report, go get it now.

And then watch for an email at Noon announcing Part 2!

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    7 Responses to “A Microsoft Vista Lesson In Perfectionism”

    1. Tania on April 10th, 2008 4:02 pm

      Hi Ed,
      Sorry to hear about your loss of Part 2. Great timing to see your post though, I’ve been cursed with the Virgo-perfection thing for too long and the last couple of days I’ve just been concentrating on getting projects finished (although I’m still the perfectionist, just trying to back off a little). It does feel really good to finish with something and let it go.

    2. Evelyn Lim on April 10th, 2008 5:31 pm

      So sorry to hear about your experience.

      In an instance like this, using the subconscious mind can help. Your mind may have stored where you’ve kept the file. It may be a good idea to try to call on the memory, before starting to write all over again.


    3. Edward Mills on April 10th, 2008 6:49 pm

      @Tania: You’re a Virgo too? Bummer. I mean, welcome to the club! I think for most hardcore perfectionists, backing off a bit is a great thing. In my experience, the products or projects are still very high quality, but they’re out in the world where people can benefit from them.

      @Evelyn: Thanks for the suggestion. The problem was not forgetting where I saved it. I know exactly where I saved it. It just wasn’t there! But I thought, “just in case” I’ll take a look around. Many searches later there is still no sign of it.

      But the good news is, Part 2 of the report was done at 12:15 and although it took another 45 to set up the download page, the email went out to people who had downloaded Part 1 before 1:00!

      Now all of you who read Part 2, can post all the typos and other errors you find here! 😉

    4. Mags on April 10th, 2008 11:52 pm

      Hi Ed

      I loved Part 1, and I’m just about to go and download Part 2 – glad to see that it made it out into the world despite Microsoft’s best efforts to thwart it!

      Btw, I’m sure there’s a conspiracy… last week, I also made revisions to a document I was working on, and I’m very pernickety when it comes to saving (I hit ctrl-S at the end of almost every sentence!). Yet, when I re-opened the document, none of the changes were there… 🙂 Since I’m working in XP, I can’t even blame Vista for being buggy! Then Firefox crashed a couple of days later (Firefox?! Crash?!) and lost all my bookmarks 🙁

      Now, I’ll just cross my fingers and hope that this comment posts….

    5. Edward Mills on April 11th, 2008 5:21 am

      @Mags: Is Mercury Retrograde??? 😉

    6. Mags on April 11th, 2008 6:17 am

      Ah, thought you had something there, but I just checked the dates for Mercury Retrograde and unfortunately not 😉

      But then again, I’ve never been one to do something when everyone else is doing it, so maybe I’ve decided subconsciously to be different and have my Mercury retrograde now! Maybe you have too?!

    7. Mike on April 11th, 2008 8:28 am


      Part two was well worth the wait! The conductor analogy worked perfectly, and the whole thing makes perfect sense. Thank you!


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