85% is Good Enough

According to bestselling author Dan Pink, we learn best when we teeter on the edge of our confidence.

If a challenge is too difficult, we get discouraged.

But if it’s too easy, we become complacent and stagnate.

So where’s the sweet spot? And what can it teach us about the nature of our mistakes?

We Learn Best When We Make Mistakes

According to new research published in Nature, we learn best when our error rate is about 15 percent.

In other words, when we’re working on something new… such as learning a new musical instrument, language, sport, or type of writing assignment… we should aim to get it right 85 percent of the time.

Not 100 percent. Eighty-five percent!

Why? Because perfectionism kills progress.

So if you want to make real progress, pay attention to how comfortable you are. If you’re messing up about 15 percent of the time, you’re doing it right!

In other words, aim for an 85 percent “good enough” level — at least to start.

Once you reach that level, put the work aside for a while. Come back to it a day or two later and work on any sections that fall short of 85 percent and bring those up to the 85 percent mark.

The idea is to aim for incremental, continuous improvements — and not expect perfection to happen miraculously.

Mistakes Aren’t Failures

I love this idea because it underlines the fact that mistakes aren’t failures.

Mistakes are part of learning. And when we understand this, we start to see our mistakes as a sign of positive progress — not a sign of failure.

And that’s the only way to push yourself, and your business, forward.


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I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’d like to work with me to grow your income quickly with better clients (and become one of my new success stories). Just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

4.  Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Email me at [email protected] … put “Breakthrough” in the subject line and I’ll get back to you with more details.