Steadfastly imperfect

“Last week I came across a quote that really resonated with me, attributed to Zero Waste blogger Anne-Marie Bonneau: “We don’t need a handful of people doing Zero Waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” 

(In case you don’t know, Zero Waste is a growing movement that encourages people to rethink the way we consume products and thereby minimise waste, especially plastics. Here’s a good beginner’s guide.)

I think do-gooders generally suffer from perfectionism: we’re so sincere about our efforts, we want to get it right all of the time. This ‘all or nothing’ approach is not only unrealistic, it also takes away the joy that comes from doing the right thing.

What I like about Anne-Marie’s quote is that we can replace the words ‘Zero Waste’ with veganism, clean energy, ethical tech, or any other philosophy we subscribe to and be reminded that, instead of obsessing about our own shortcomings, we can make a big difference by simply motivating the people around us to change their behaviour just a little.”

Kai, Dense Discovery newsletter

I really like this “tech” or maybe it’s a “design” newsletter from the publisher of Offscreen Magazine, Kai Brach.

I always liked the magazine for its human look into the lives and motivations of people making some of the digital products we love. It felt like a magazine for people my industry of Design, but not focusing on the business as so many industry news sources might.

The magazine is on pause after a few years (maybe done for good?) and while Kai has a day job now, he sends out a great email newsletter, Dense Discovery, with little gems of websites, references, desk accoutrement, and interesting downloads.

Anyhow, that’s what Dense Discovery is, and what Offscreen Magazine was/is. They’re worth checking out if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

Today I wanted to rip what he wrote in the latest newsletter verbatim because he made such a great point. It’s not about tech. Really it’s about any kind of difficult change: just do it, and quit getting hung up on perfection or fitting your identity into a specific label (e.g. a pescatarian still consumes a lot less meat, even if you feel like you’re a vegetarian that breaks the rules, remember the purpose).

Inwardly: social media

I just listened to a podcast episode about quitting social media. That’s a big topic lately so it’s probably not a shocker, but it’s interesting to hear about it from people much more addicted than I could imagine!

Quitting Social Media

Like with the quote above, I would like to hear about people reducing or shifting what they spend time on instead of quitting stuff cold turkey. Maybe quitting provides some excitement and motivation to make change, but try not to beat yourself up as soon as you break a streak.