Aiming for Perfection?

Posted on 12/16/09 13 Comments

Back with you after an amazing week spent with life strategist Anthony Robbins and his crew target at his Date with Destiny workshop. For me it was a blind date because I had no idea why I was going or what to expect. I spent thousands of dollars to be there and I turned down an opportunity to go the AKC Invitationals in order to participate in this workshop. I have no regrets, it was spectacular.

It was 6 days but in those 6 days we got 90 hours of instruction. Yes, you read that correctly. We started at 9 AM, sometimes 10 or 11 AM. The earliest night was 1 AM and one night we went until 3:45 AM all without more than 1-45 minute break per day (so you had to pack snacks with you) and no scheduled bathroom breaks.

Now I am a person that is bed by 10:00 at night and up at 5:30 in the morning. Some New Year’s eves I can make it to midnight, but not all of them. Yet I rarely checked my watch at all during those late hours. Each day we went full tilt. Time flew by and I would do it again in  a heartbeat. To say it was life altering would be an understatement. Tony has a new reality TV show starting in January. Be sure to tune in and get a glimpse of what we went through.

The workshop was mostly about discovery, learning about yourself, what makes you tick, your relationships and emotions.  There were many couples that went and a many people in a lot of pain. But that was before “Transformation Day” where things were turned around. There was about 1500 participants and we were put into groups of 50 people. Many of  those 50 people were almost like family by the end of 6 days.

During one of his lectures Tony made a comment that made me think of some of my students. When I have asked some of them in the past what they are trying to achieve with their nose targets or other dog training skills the answer has sometimes come back as “perfection”. I always found that a strange answer but it has not been uncommon in my teaching. I tried to inspire people to exchange “perfect” for loads of fun and “roughly right”.

Tony’s comment really struck a cord so I thought I would share it.  He said “Perfection is the lowest standard a human could ever take on because it is unattainable therefore you ultimately have no standard at all. You are preparing for failure, because that is your ultimate expectation.” So aiming for perfection means you will never move forward. For some of you that may be what your subconscious expects and you will never achieve more than you think you deserve.

It was pretty heady stuff!

Today I am outrageously grateful for my week with Tony Robbins and for all of the people in my life (including each of you).


  1. Theresa says:
    Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 11:58pm

    Where the heck is Susan ?
    has she been dragged into a whelping box by all the puppies ?


  2. Marcella says:
    Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 4:27pm

    Definitely a simple yet important thing to think about. I love the things you share with us, Susan. It makes life so much more worth living, especially with our dogs. Sometimes the most important lessons can come in the least expected ways. 🙂


  3. Helen Verte says:
    Sunday, December 20, 2009 at 11:01am

    Susan, you made the right choice. Tony Robbins rocks. The AKC Invitationals? Someone posted a YouTube of what agility purgatory looks like and it was right there at the 2009 AKC Agility Invitational. Yikes!


  4. Beth says:
    Friday, December 18, 2009 at 9:54pm

    Welcome back! Tony sounds like he works wonders on the soul. Can’t wait to hear more in Florida. We should all enjoy the little things in life………:)


  5. Theresa says:
    Friday, December 18, 2009 at 3:49am

    YEA TR !!!!
    I think it is awesome you were able to attend a live seminar ..
    It sounds as wonderful as I would expect it to be. Can’t wait to hopefully hear more sometime, and to see how the fruits come forth in your life !
    I’ve listened to some of his seminars and know how inspiring and right on in allot of ways he is ! (are you yeasty ? )
    Good for you !
    Gee…. sounds like the Invitational, but hey did have a couple porta potties……… 🙂


  6. Kim Munoz says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 4:38pm

    Hmmm…interesting quote. For me “perfection” means that nothing more can be done to improve or get better. I think this is true for a lot of OCD personalities. They obsess on something and do it over and over and over trying to get it perfect – but it never is and so the obsession manifests.

    I tend to be my own worst critique. I find criticism is easier to swallow than a compliment. If I get a compliment I think “…yeah BUT…this would have made it better”. It’s difficult to just say “thank you” and enjoy it.

    So what did Mr. Robbins suggest for us nutso individuals who aim to disappoint ourselves?


  7. Christine says:
    Thursday, December 17, 2009 at 2:12pm

    At training last night, fantastic. I yelled ‘that’s it’ jackpot galore. Woohooo, perfection. Its only a word. It is its meaning that you apply that matters. My goal will be my idea of perfection, the fun is getting there and the perfection is my interpretation. Like beauty it is in the eye of the beholder. So my ideal may not be the same as others but I can dream and I can aspire and the process is a whole lot of fun.


  8. Deeds says:
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 11:41pm

    I’ve always wanted to try to attend one of his workshops. Just can never get the free time.


  9. Andrea says:
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 1:42pm

    Yay, so glad you’re back with us! Sounds like an amazing experience.


  10. Mike Gooch says:
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 12:42pm

    I’ll keep shooting for excellence in all the little pieces, and appreciate all the little victories…and let perfection monitor itself.


  11. Bobbie Bhambree says:
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 11:33am

    I started agility to “give my herding dog a job.” Then it was about building my business as a dog trainer by offering another service to clients. Then it was about improving my skills as a dog trainer and instructor. Finally, unknowingly, agility has become a vehicle of self-learning and personal growth.

    I’m happy to say I’ve learned the lesson of trading “perfection” for “roughly right” and Tricky (the pup) is benefiting from this. On top of it, we’re having lots of fun. It’s been a real change since training my first dog aiming for perfection and making us miserable in the process.

    The Tony Robbin’s quote definitely strikes a chord. Thanks for sharing.


  12. Kristine says:
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10:53am

    This year I exchanged “perfection” to loads of fun and “roughly right”. This has paid off in ways that I could never have imagined. My dogs are happier, I’m happier, and our competition performance has improved exponentially. I like what Tony said about perfection. That really is true.


  13. Jan DeMello says:
    Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 10:25am

    I thoroughly admire and enjoy TR…been over 10 years since I went to his seminar. What a truly great inspiration he is and what an opportunity for you to be able to attend! Happy Holidays to you, John and all the kids and mostly to Buzz!


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