Does Practice Make Perfect?

By Anthony Ejiogu
7 Min Read

Dear reader, I recently stumbled on a video where the speaker said “practice makes perfect”.  As soon as I heard this, I stopped because something about it caught my attention.

So I did a little research to find who made this statement that so many people quote.

What I learned is that it was a quote by Benjamin Franklin. For me, there was something odd about his quote. One that I couldn’t ignore but share with you.

But first tell me, did you notice anything about this quote? 

If you did, at what point did you notice something off about the quote “practice makes perfect”?

Let me know in the comments below.

I for one didn’t realize this earlier on in life until I learned that practice doesn’t make you perfect.

Before I proceed, let me share a personal story with you because I grew up with this kind of thinking that one can attain perfection at something through practice.

During my secondary school days, I started making 3D model of architectural designs and continued after my graduation.

At that time, I was still contemplating on what I wanted to study in university.

I kept on practicing to perfect my skills as well as my designs.  One day, I put my design out for people to see and a stranger came to me.

He was delighted to see what I had created and he encouraged me to keep it up. He told me some inspiring stories and praised me for being able to create those at that time.

But before he left, He said keep practicing – “Practice makes perfect”. 

Those words inspired me. I wanted to be practice and perfect my skills and designs. 

For some reason I believed the successful succeeded by perfecting to the point of perfection.

I guess I was naive to think the successful in their craft did so because they perfected their skills.

Anyways, I kept this thought in mind and practiced. However, I started to notice some patterns in how I did things.

I practiced, practiced, improved but got sad that I could never get myself to make them perfect, and I mean flawless.

Gradually, I began to put off completing my designs until they were perfect because of that way It meant I had not only practiced enough but perfected my skill. I became somewhat of a perfectionist. After all, perfectionists work hard to make everything perfect. Right?

Then came the moment of truth as I started to pay attention to this perfectionist I was becoming. And I learned that being perfect is a weakness. 

You tend to miss out on opportunities because you struggle to get things done. 

You can hardly accept and celebrate your success

You become this person who avoids taking on challenges that may cause you to fail.

And you don’t allow yourself to make mistakes.

Let this be clear that while the intentions behind practicing to be perfect could be good, you should know that you can NEVER BE PERFECT.

BUT Don’t be sad about it! it’s actually a good thing.

Think of it like this, if practice makes you perfect then you will most certainly get to a point where you don’t need to practice anymore. 

Isn’t that right? But it isn’t. Micheal Jordan, the basketball player who is considered as the greatest of all time practiced like crazy, still, he wasn’t perfect at taking a shot.

Christiano Ronaldo, one of the best footballers out there is practice shooting the ball countless times… still, he misses his shots in the field… 

This indicates practice doesn’t make anyone perfect at something.

I understand that to some people, If you say ‘practice makes perfect’, it means that it is possible to learn something or develop a skill if you practice enough.

Some people say this to encourage someone to keep practicing. But there’s another side to this, Someone could understand it differently believing that until it is perfect they have not practiced enough.

That’s a common misinterpretation of the phrase “practice makes perfect” as opposed to the intention behind it.

Olympics champions practice day in, day out not because they want to be perfect but because they want to be better, and progress.

So Enough with it already. Practice does not make you perfect.  It makes you better, better than you were previously. Don’t practice to be perfect as some people tell you.

Practice with the intent to be better, and to progress at whatever you do. If you enjoyed this video smash that like button. 

Don’t forget to share with friends who may have be told practice makes perfect.

Thank you for sticking with me until the end.

Final Thought

It is amazing how this widespread belief that “practice makes perfect” still lingers in the mind of students, young adults, and parents. It’s no surprise that I find this thought prevailing in the 21st century, people believe this to be true.

As someone who grew up with such a belief, I am trying to clear your thoughts from this popular misconception and open you to the reality behind practicing whatever we want. I hope you find some takeaways from this video or something to rethink.

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Hi there!! I'm Anthony Ejiogu, Founder, and Creator of TheSuccessElite. It is my hope to be a part of your journey to self-discovery, achieving your dreams, and living up to your potential.